Many of Illinois' public universities are welcoming larger freshmen classes to their campuses this fall.
Experts warn not to read too much into the increases. But many of the schools say higher numbers could mean that everything from the University of Illinois' strong science and math programs to efforts working to draw more students to smaller schools such as Eastern Illinois University.
Blair Lord is provost at EIU. The Charleston school's freshman enrollment went up for the first time in four years to 1,254.