Western Illinois University says tougher admissions standards are helping to attract more qualified applicants.
University officials announced earlier this year that the new standards would go into effect for high school seniors applying for the fall 2014 semester.
Admissions Director Andy Borst says the university has seen progress and hopes for even more improvement. He says the university is drawing more qualified applicants, while Western is making admissions decisions much more quickly than in the past - within four days, instead of three weeks.
Borst says the number of freshman applicants meeting the school's tougher standards is up 12.6 percent compared to last year. Another 5,500 freshmen are expected to apply for the fall 2014 semester.
He says the next goal is getting students to commit to attending Western.