Applications are way up at many of the state universities in Illinois. That means that many schools are imposing earlier deadlines and turning away students they would have admitted in the past.
The slow economy and relatively low tuition costs at public universities are some of the reasons behind the surge. There's also a population boom among high school graduates that is expected to continue for years to come.
Applications are up by 11 percent at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Northern Illinois in DeKalb saw a 10 percent increase in March.
Eastern Illinois in Charleston and Southern Illinois in Carbondale also are among the schools seeing the biggest increases.