So often students credit their decision to attend Illinois State to family members or friends, a teacher, or graduates who recommended the University.

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They see the student’s potential, and they know the benefit of the Redbird experience. All that’s missing is connecting the prospective student with campus. That step is now much easier to accomplish, thanks to a new “Refer a Redbird” form on the Office of Admissions website.

The page, found at, allows individuals to add the name of a prospective student to the Admissions Office’s mailing list. Students will then begin receiving communication from Admissions while making their higher education plans.

Director of Admissions Jeff Mavros, M.S. ’06, sees this reference page helping the University’s recruitment efforts. ISU is a top choice for students, and the University has set record-breaking freshman enrollments in recent years. The 2018 freshman class totals 3,689.

Looking ahead, however, recruitment challenges will escalate because the pool of eligible incoming freshmen will be shrinking. Alumni recommending students can help combat the problem of outmigration. Nearly half of all Illinois high school graduates leave the state to pursue their degree.

The key to changing this pattern is to capture the attention of high school graduates as they are being pursued by schools across the country. One of the best ways to do that is by rallying alumni to share their Redbird story and gain their help in connecting high school or transfer students to the University.

“We have to get on the radar of prospective students. That is the biggest issue, finding a way for students to at least give Illinois State consideration,” Mavros said. He is confident students will be impressed by what they learn about life as a Redbird, which will expand the pool of those who apply.