Tougher admissions standards means more applicants for WIU

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More high school students are applying to Western Illinois University even though the university is about to raise it's admissions standards.

It's finals week and freshmen Holly Hoelting is spending her Tuesday night at the library studying. She's one of the 11,000 freshmen that applied to Western Illinois University last year.

"It was the matter of choosing the right school for me, not based on if I got into it," said Hoelting.

Applications were up at Western for the 2013-2014 school year by 12.6 percent including the Macomb and Quad City campuses.

"This a place of higher learning and high expectations come along with it," said Andy Borst, admissions director.

Next year's applicants will be facing higher standards with new bars set for students accepted.

"It's more about understanding who their students are. We didn't approach this necessarily wanting to increase our standards. We approached this to say who is successful," said Borst.

The university says the tougher admissions are actually attracting more students.

"Everyone wants to know they're getting good value for their money," said Borst.

Raising the bar means better enrollment for the university.

"Each class builds into a larger sophomore class, larger junior class and so that really is the goal is to both increase size and quality of our incoming class," said Borst.

While others add it also means better quality students.

"If you raise the standards then you're going to have more quality students here and you're going to have a higher graduation rate, everything is going to go up and that's just great for any university," said Hoelting.

The new standards include higher ACT scores and minimum grade point averages. Right now WIU accepts a 2.8 GPA and the majority of their students that fall in the 18-23 ACT score.