More ‘highly qualified’ students applying to, selecting UIC

students passing between the Science and Engineering Laboratory buildings

UIC received more letters of intent to enroll this year than ever before.


UIC is sending each student who submitted a letter of intent to enroll for fall 2015 a symbolic gift: a graduation tassel with a 2019 charm.

The 4,010 students who pledged to attend UIC this fall — more than the target enrollment of 3,340 — will also receive a welcoming note from Chancellor Michael Amiridis, suggesting they mark their calendars for graduation ceremonies in May 2019.

“We want to plant the seed that this is a four-year degree,” said Kevin Browne, vice provost for academic and enrollment services. “It’s a physical reminder when they see it hanging on their rear-view mirrors that ‘I will graduate in 2019.’”

UIC received more letters of intent to enroll this year than ever before. The campus also received the highest number of freshman applications (16,281) and granted the most offers of admission (12,016).

“More highly qualified students are selecting us as their first choice,” Browne said.

UIC has seen an increase in applications since switching to the Common Application for the Fall 2013 admissions cycle and revamping its marketing materials to prospective students, Browne said. The Common Application allows students to submit one application to multiple universities.

“We’ve been a hidden gem for a very long time,” he said. “We are attempting to put the university into context for students, parents and counselors.

“Students are our partners and together we create something. If we’re not a good fit, we’re not a good fit. We want students to come to UIC because it’s a good fit and we want them to be happy and successful and graduate in four years.”

UIC recruitment activities have expanded over the last four years to include more travel, Browne said.

“Before, we rarely left Cook County,” he said. “We have a statewide, nationwide and worldwide enrollment management plan to bring the knowledge of the university to a more global audience while maintaining a strong commitment to Chicago and surrounding communities.”

In the past, international students were less than 1 percent of the UIC undergraduate population, but that number will likely increase to 5 percent this fall because of an increased international recruitment push, Browne said. About 9 percent of the letters of intent to enroll submitted for fall are from nonresident students.

UIC recruiters will continue to reach out over the summer to students who submitted a letter of intent to enroll, Browne said.

“We will make phone calls, send emails, attend events at summer programs and host events at the UIC Visitors Center to make sure students have what they need to make that decision,” he said.

Recruitment for fall 2016 will begin early next academic year, including a campus Open House Oct. 3. Students who apply to UIC through the Common Application by Nov. 1 will be guaranteed a decision by Thanksgiving, Browne said.

“The idea is that when families are getting together, they can start looking at what their choices will be,” he said.


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