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College administrators say the sluggish economy, tuition increases and limits on available financial aid are driving down enrollment this fall at most Illinois public universities.

Overall enrollment is down sharply at Eastern Illinois University and Southern Illinois' Carbondale campus. Similarly the number of students on campus is down at Northern Illinois, Western Illinois and Illinois State. The University of Illinois' flagship campus is one exception.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission says the amount of financial aid being provided by Illinois' cash-strapped state government is down this year by 4%.

Eastern Illinois University Vice President for Academic Affairs Blair Lord says it's simply getting harder for many students to get to college.

But some schools such as Northern Illinois note their freshman classes are larger this fall.

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