Despite the economic recession, area universities are seeing a surge in the number of students coming through their doors.
"It's very exciting, the growth has been nearly 60 percent in the last five years, phenomenal for any place, and business", said Dr. Brian Sajko, Vire President of Admissions for Eureka College.
Sajko says he believes their increase can be attributed, in part, to affordability. "The idea is to keep the overall sticker price of the college low enough that private college education is affordable for an average family".
And although Bradley University's a little more expensive than Eureka College, the Vice President for Student Affairs says it's still cheaper than other private schools of Bradley's size. Alan Galsky said, "We're very much affordable, probably 10 thousand dollars a year difference".
But Galsky says although families aren't paying quite as much for a private education, over the past year they've seen a rise in the number of people seeking private and public financial aid as well as scholarships through Bradley. "That's a very good sign of the economic situation that families find themselves in these challenges".
Illinois State Uuniversity is seeing a different influx in their incoming freshmen population.
"This year among our freshmen class, we have an 18 percent increase in African American Students and a 34 percent increase in Hispanic students which we think is great" said Jay Groves, Illinois State University Spokesman.
In addition, the school kicked in five million dollars in student financial aid to supplement other scholarships, and plan to continue the trend. So it seems although families have less money to dole out for education, area universities are helping to foot the bill.