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University of Illinois to study African-American enrollment

The University of Illinois plans to conduct a survey to study the drop in African-American student enrollment.

The News-Gazette reports that 475 black students enrolled at the university this fall, down from about 500 last year and almost 550 in 2016. The 2018 number doesn’t include 115 multiracial students who also identify as African-American.

University officials plan to survey the more than 700 applicants who declined the school’s admission offer this year.

University admissions director Andrew Borst says finances, offers from other universities and the declining pool of Illinois high school students likely contributed to the drop in African-American students.

University officials hope the new Illinois Commitment program will increase enrollment. The program beginning next fall will cover tuition for students from a household with an annual income below $61,000.