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Yet another deadline looming as impasse drags on

Friday, Apr 15, 2016

* Bloomberg’s Elizabeth Campbell sets it up

As a May 1 deadline looms for high school seniors deciding where to attend college, students are thinking twice about universities in Illinois, where the worst budget crisis in state history has halted funding for higher education.

Public colleges haven’t received state aid for the year that started July 1 as Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic lawmakers fight over a spending plan. The strain has spurred colleges to furlough staff and cancel projects. State scholarships for low-income students haven’t been paid. High school counselors and some state schools say they’re hearing that more students are looking to private, community colleges or out-of-state options, because of the funding uncertainty.

“You’re having an upswing in students that just are not going to those schools” that are struggling financially like Chicago State University and Northeastern Illinois, said Amanda Andros, a counselor at Lane Technical College Prep, Chicago’s largest high school. “They’re not sure if the university is going to stay open.”

May 1st is 16 days from now.

* Tom Kacich has the numbers

The number of people seeking student aid in the state is down by at least 10 percent, said Eric Zarnikow, executive director of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

“We know that students may simply be dropping out. We know that for FY17 (which begins July 1), our FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) filing volume is down pretty significantly,” Zarnikow told the House Higher Education Committee. “And for MAP-eligible students it’s down about 14 percent. That’s really a very significant reduction.” […]

“What we don’t know yet,” Zarnikow said, “is are those students deciding not to go to school at all, or are they choosing to go out of state?”

* Related…

* ADDED: Budget Impasse Blurs Future For The Class of 2016

* How to deal with a glut of part-time academics? Make them full-time - The American Association of University Professors wants to convert nearly all part-time faculty jobs to full-time tenured positions.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - PublicServant - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:06 am:

    A helpful tip in assigning the vast majority of blame for this mess where it belongs is realizing that Mike Madigan has been in the State Legislature for decades. Bruce Rauner has been in office for one year. Bruce has never had an enacted budget. Mike has had an enacted budget every year of his decades-long tenure, except for one. Just sayin.

  2. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:09 am:

    Right now, if you have a child contemplating four year schools and you aren’t looking out of state, just for the deals out there…

    There are close to a half dozen schools targeting Illinois high school students, and specifically point to value and monetary incentives for Illinois students because they are “out of state”.

  3. - Dr X - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:09 am:

    I’m in a position to advise college students on future plans. I have to be honest with them. I tell them to choose a community college or look out of state. But we are seeing more students who can’t swing a community college without MAP.

  4. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:09 am:

    From the State’s perspective, does it matter whether they are going to another state to attend college or just not attending at all, in both cases it is a detriment to the state. Governor, release this hostage if nothing else!

  5. - Magic carpet ride - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:13 am:

    Word travels fast when the education process is disrupted and many taxpayers directly involved in education may not understand why. But labor will be there to tell the story to those asking why IMHO.L

  6. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:13 am:

    ===There are close to a half dozen schools targeting Illinois high school students, and specifically point to value and monetary incentives for Illinois students because they are “out of state”.===

    Is one of those schools Indiana University by chance? My oldest is a high school senior.

  7. - Abigail Adams - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:14 am:

    I moved to Illinois from Iowa about two years ago. So far this spring three acquaintances with college-bound children have asked me about the University of Iowa.

    This is just anecdata, of course … but my experience supports the idea that “the melt” is happening.

  8. - And I Approved This Message - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:20 am:

    A novel way to turn around Illinois’ economic decline - A State-Sponsored Brain Drain. Brilliant!

  9. - Anon - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:21 am:


    ===There are close to a half dozen schools targeting Illinois high school students===

    You are absolutely right about this. When I was a student at Iowa State University I was a student representative to their Liberal Arts and Sciences College faculty assembly. The college and the university as a whole had a plan a decade ago for recruiting students from Illinois specifically that included not just a marketing campaign, but actually identifying ways to make Iowa State University more appealing in general.

    The last several years Iowa State has had record enrollment and has been expanding the number of tenured track faculty.

    Meanwhile, here in Illinois the university leadership can’t even put pressure on the legislature by doing something basic, like threatening the 2016-2017 athletic year if FY 2016 appropriations are not received.

    Most of those programs run at a loss and cutting your support staff for athletics doesn’t threaten the university’s mission or accreditation and people care more about football than they do about art history.

  10. - Ducky LaMoore - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:21 am:

    @Cubs in ‘16

  11. - Wensicia - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:21 am:

    High school senoirs have to assume they won’t be receiving any funding from the state at this point. I’m worried many that have applied to various state universities are not yet aware of this fact.

  12. - Earnest - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:23 am:

    This is just short-term pain which will usher in a golden age for the State of Illinois. The only long-term impact is that the state will become great again. We just need to increase funding for K-12 without a budget in place and enact a few reforms. /snark for me, truth for others

  13. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:25 am:

    - Cubs in ‘16 -

    Both Purdue and Indiana try to assist on an aggressive individual-based cost incentive way, meaning taking with Admissions on a case by case will help.

    Kentucky, Mizzou, Nebraska-Lincoln, Iowa State, Iowa are some schools that use some simple form of ACT/SAT scoring and GPA to really, for starters, narrow the out of state gap, let alone reduce tuition. Then there’s the residency “fixes” like at Mizzou or Iowa that make them competitive to border states too.

    Ask IU-Bloomington for an advisor assessment on cost versus academic achievement. It’ll be worth it.

  14. - burbanite - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:27 am:

    and what happens to those kids who only need a couple classes to graduate? ugh

  15. - wordslinger - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:29 am:

    –“They’re not sure if the university is going to stay open.”–

    Cut off state funding for a year, then scare off prospective students by creating doubt as to a school’s viability (further reducing funding) and the whole “shakeout” plan advances, in it’s own haphazard and destructive way.

    Too bad the public didn’t have a chance to weigh in on it before the last gubernatorial election.

  16. - DuPage - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:30 am:

    The community colleges are also having financial problems. I read that the Elgin Community College was shorted 5 million dollars and will have to make cuts.

  17. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:31 am:

    Thank you very much Ducky and Willy.

  18. - Joe M - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:35 am:

    The budget stalemate and lack of funding to state universities, is on top of declining demographics of the number of Illinois high school seniors for a few years - and also on top of escalating tuition rates as the universities had to compensate for declining state appropriations over the last dozen or so years. A triple whammy.

  19. - Finally Out (and now very glad to be) - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:38 am:

    We have not done much research on college because my daughter has always planned to go to the University of Illinois. She now says she does not want to attend college in IL and she has picked two universities not in IL that we will be visiting this summer. I suppose I could force her to stay here, but I don’t want her somewhere for 4 years where she is uncomfortable and wouldn’t apply herself. Two of her best friends are also planning to go out of state now. I realize that is only three people and not a large number, but she says kids are starting to talk about it.

    Also, it could have nothing to do with the political situation, probably just a coincidence. /s

  20. - College Mascot - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:43 am:

    There’s a big world out there outside of Illinois, kids! Go out there and experience it! Time to leave the nest! Fly, little birdies, fly!

  21. - Politix - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:45 am:

    “A helpful tip in assigning the vast majority of blame for this mess where it belongs is realizing that Mike Madigan has been in the State Legislature for decades.”

    I don’t think this means what you think it means.

    Up until your MAN Rauner took office, the kids were getting their MAP grants. He vetoed the MAP grant bill. The money remains hostage in the Education Assistance Fund.

    Keep blaming Madigan, though.

  22. - Sgt_Schultz - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:47 am:

    Most of the major universities in the surrounding states also offer large tuition cuts as part of the Midwest Student Exchange Program. This program has been in place for quite a while and offers tuition at almost in-state rates to qualifying applicants from participating states. At this point Illinois has no leverage in trying to draw students from out of state within this program, but quite probably will be losing many that will never return.

  23. - PublicServant - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:47 am:

    My daughter is attending out-of-state (Ohio) and she has a merit scholarship that wouldn’t be too much if she was an instate student at just 2K/year. But since she out-of-state, a 3K stipend is added, and specifically since she’s from Chicago, an additional 5K/year is added for a grand total of 10K, representing over 60% of the OOS Surcharge. I, for one, am grateful for the targeting.

  24. - Metro East Transplant - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 9:56 am:

    Zarnikow take it from me….they are choosing to go out of state. As I said yesterday for starters the grant money given to in state students from ANY IL university is weak at best.

    When you can go out of state, even paying out of state tuition and the costs are equivalent or less…why stay in IL?

    OW…you are 1 of my favorite commenters, but I don’t think the residency “fixes” you mention are real, at least NOT for incoming freshmen. We visited Mizzou and incoming IL freshmen do not get in-state tuition. What you can do, is become a MO resident (via drivers license, voter registration, address) your 2nd year and then get in-state tuition. This 2nd year residency stands true with most of the other surrounding state universities too. Side Note….all the surrounding states you mentioned are recruiting IL kids hard. Worked for us….GO WILDCATS :)

  25. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 10:02 am:

    ===There’s a big world out there outside of Illinois, kids! Go out there and experience it! Time to leave the nest! Fly, little birdies, fly!===

    I know you felt good “saying that”, puffed your chest, a quick smirk of smugness…

    Some kids want to be the 3rd generation to atend UIUC… why should Rauner decimate higher ed?

    Some families outside Charleston, Macomb, Edwardsville, Carbondale, DeKalb… They want to send their kids close, and live at home, to save costs and help with many family things, but Rauner is going to decide which of those schools will stay open(?)

    This isn’t the 1950s with Wally Cleaver choosing “State” because Ward and June can afford to and him there and that’s all there is to it.

    Purposely losing Education institutions is like a governor choosing to give up on citizens here in Illinois and telling them “Leave, it’s not worth being here, I won’t invest in a future here for families and students.”

    Why anyone would not want the best in state educational institutions is beyond me.

    But, your smirk probably says it all…

  26. - Bronco Bahma - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 10:03 am:

    But there are places like Murray State University in Murray, KY and Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO that do not charge out of state tuition to Illinois residents. SIU had to drop out of state rates to surrounding states years ago just to stay competitive.

  27. - Prof Anonymous - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 10:05 am:

    At the public university where I work, we have a contractually mandated student to (tenured and tenure-track) faculty ratio. The administration has been in violation of that ratio for several years running now (too few faculty given how many students we have), and the union filed a grievance. The administration was pushing to have the ratio raised.

    Now the administration has stopped pushing for a higher student to faculty ratio, because they figure our enrollment is going to crater so quickly that the remaining faculty will be enough to get the ratio back in order.

    You’d think this would be a silver lining. Go to a Illinois public university, as you, as one of the last students to attend, will have the full attention of the remaining faculty members! But the ratio applies only to tenured and tenure-track faculty. The university will be laying off lots of other faculty (non-tenure track–so-called “adjuncts”–and graduate assistants). So class sizes won’t actually decline–there will just be a few overworked tenured and tenure-track profs desperately trying to hang on. Faculty are less mobile than students.

    Even if the state passes a budget later this summer, the damage to Illinois state universities is already massive and will be long-lasting. We were already losing enrollment before this year. This is a lose-lose for Illinois: half the missing students go out of state, many never to return, half don’t go to college at all.

    Quite a turnaround.

  28. - WIUoblivion - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 10:07 am:

    Full disclosure: Taught at WIU since 2004, my department is pretty well-regarded & has so far escaped layoffs.

    Should students risk attending an Illinois public university? Only for compelling academic reasons (program excellence, unique opportunities) or only at the few schools with some financial viability (e.g., Chambana, ISU). Otherwise, look elsewhere if possible.

    But this isn’t about only students looking elsewhere. Faculty & administrators who can are leaving the state or retiring — & it’s the best & most experienced who can move. With hiring freezes, there’s little to no chance to fill vacancies, & anyway, what reasonably talented academic would consider job in Illinois?

    So the brain drain is occurring at several levels in Illinois higher ed; both are accelerating. In my department, three of four senior faculty will retire in 2017, the fourth probably will, too. Four of six junior faculty are looking elsewhere or considering live offers. (Me? Sorry, I’m moving on to something better elsewhere.)

    So if this is the guv’s plan, it’s working. Just remember, Bruce, that it’s hard to turn things around without the seed corn that’s being driven out of the state.

  29. - X-prof - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 10:08 am:

    ===From the State’s perspective, does it matter whether they are going to another state to attend college or just not attending at all, in both cases it is a detriment to the state.===

    I take your point that both are bad outcomes, but one is worse from the state’s perspective. The student that simply drops out will be one more IL citizen who is not educated up to his/her potential. On average, these individuals will earn less over a lifetime than they could, thereby impairing the state’s economy, requiring more services, and paying less taxes for decades to come.

  30. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 10:08 am:

    ===OW…you are 1 of my favorite commenters, but I don’t think the residency “fixes” you mention are real, at least NOT for incoming freshmen. We visited Mizzou and incoming IL freshmen do not get in-state tuition. What you can do, is become a MO resident (via drivers license, voter registration, address) your 2nd year and then get in-state tuition.===

    Yep, I described that weeks ago.

    The “sell” is over the 4 years, your tuition is dramatically less.

    Iowa has the 9 hours equals full time Freshman year, allowing residency in the dorms, then the following years getting in-state tuition.

    Comparing Iowa to Iowa State, formulas with ACT and GPA at Iowa State try to offset costs immediately, especially for out of state residents.

    No worries, for brevity I tried to have others look for themselves, like you did.

  31. - cimry90 - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 10:10 am:

    My daughter is a high school junior and her college search has taken us to schools in KY and MO. Early this year I had wanted her to visit ISU due to it only being an hour away from home and being familiar with the campus as I am a graduate.

    She will qualify for merit scholarships that are available to incoming freshmen and is renewal if a certain grade point average is maintained. The chance that ISU would drop her major or some other event would occur due to budget mess would mean she would need to transfer and scholarships offered to transfers lag greatly behind incoming freshmen.

    So we are not taking that chance. It will now mean traveling 4 to 6 hours vs. one hour for her and us.

  32. - Outta Here - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 10:16 am:

    This situation is so incredibly sad and so incredibly unnecessary — it makes me physically ill.

    Unless there are compelling reasons, don’t risk Illinois higher ed — as a student or as a prof.

    Me, I’m a twelve year prof at WIU and there’s no reason to make it thirteen. I love my students and respect my colleagues, but sorry, I’m outta here for something more secure.

  33. - ANONIME - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 10:19 am:

    I have advised people with kids in 8th grade to be thinking they won’t go to Il universities and start looking at out of state now. this will decimate our higher education for years to come, even if they pass a budget now. who wants to see what will happen in the next few years.

  34. - Metro East Transplant - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 10:19 am:

    OW….I also have a younger one, so when it’s time for him to start looking, I’m calling you for the scoop 1st…LOL You could charge for knowledge like this :)

  35. - olddog - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 10:24 am:

    In the meantime, as the AAUP study points out, college teaching is no longer a viable career option for students considering a major in the humanities. Long before Illinois’ budget impasse, I advised English majors to consider going for TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) certification. At least as native speakers of American English, they could qualify for full-time tenure-track positions overseas.

  36. - Norseman - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 10:33 am:

    This havoc is being wrought in the name of economic growth. One of Illinois’ selling points to attracting business has been our higher education. So this known asset is going to be destroyed for the speculative benefit of Rauner’s TA. Not to mention the continued loss of Illinois residents who leave for college in other states and never return.

    This will be Rauner’s legacy of arrogance.

  37. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 10:37 am:

    - Metro East Transplant -

    First, thanks for your kind words.

    And “nah”, we’re all here to help each other, and I know I learn much more than I’ve ever imparted, so, for your son, keep your ears open, look at the flagship schools that are bordering Illinois, then border schools, then schools like Nebraska, or Texas, or Colorado depending on the major to be studied, and look for tuition formulas based on high school and testing benchmarks and you’ll be fine.

    Good luck.

  38. - Earnest - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 10:58 am:

    >This havoc is being wrought in the name of economic growth.

    I don’t think of it very often, but the base assumption by Rauner in his overall approach is that this is leverage against the Democratic Party because these are things they care about. Therefore he thinks these are all things Republicans don’t care about? I don’t believe that for a second, unfortunately, I don’t have any evidence to support that at this time.

    Then again, the destruction is the end in itself, so party has little to do with it.

  39. - @MisterJayEm - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 11:01 am:

    Don’t worry, everybody!

    Before the day is over, the governor will post an Instagram photo of himself posing with some students, and everything will be A-okay!!1!

    – MrJM

  40. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 11:03 am:

    What is the impact on SURS of faculty and staff layoffs and departures?

  41. - thechampaignlife - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 11:05 am:

    Here’s a thought: charge the same tuition rate for all students and use a ten year $4,000 post-graduation tax credit to state university graduates to keep them here.

    State universities would no longer have to rely on funding from the state. Out-of-state students would have a $40k incentive to stick around, as would in-state students who might otherwise leave upon graduation, stopping a state-subsidized brain drain. The universities could even loan the $40k to students to be repaid with their tax credits, so everyone would get the “in-state” rate upfront.

  42. - Norseman - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 11:11 am:

    thechampaignlife, you’ve made a very thoughtful suggestion. Unfortunately, our governor is not interested in any measures that don’t dismantle unions or enhance the bottom line of the wealthy.

  43. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 11:17 am:

    This effect of the impasse really (banned words.)

    My heart goes out to the families and students here in IL who are struggling through this mess-it’s already a big decision without the blowup of our higher ed institutions happening at the same time.

    It’s also not easy for the current college students and families who are dealing with the implosion of their financial aid packages and/or the potential loss of their program of study, let alone the closure of the university they attend. AA has two kids in college right now-they are fortunate to attend probably two of the handful of financially stable Unis in the state. That hasn’t stopped the concern about a reduction in classes that could affect their graduation date or even the elimination of their course of study.

    I guess I shoulda sent them to Dartmouth.

  44. - Jimmy H - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 11:28 am:

    What happens if a University’s enrollment drops 20% or more for Fall semester? Universities in imminent peril need funding now. Funding now is the only way to stabilize enrollment.

  45. - Jimmy H - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 11:45 am:

    “And for MAP-eligible students it’s down about 14 percent. That’s really a very significant reduction.” […]
    This is sickening!!! The MAP is a way out of very bad situations for many of these kids. It is in fact the way many of them would not end up in prison or worse.

  46. - OutrageousTimes - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 12:10 pm:

    ===”Here’s an thought…State universities would no longer have to rely on funding from the state.”===

    Bruce? Is that you Bruce??
    Sheesh. What a lame way to go about investing in Illinois’ economic future, and her citizens.

  47. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 12:18 pm:

    - AA -,

    Bud, you know its families in your “situation” (how tragic it is that sending a child to a state university can be summed up as a situation, but I digess…) that worry ME most.

    All you seem to be able to do is hope that graduation happens before destruction, if that’s possible for some. You’re a good man, like many in your predicament. I hope for you and your kids.


    - Anon -

    Yeah, Iowa State. In the past 6 years, I’ve noticed on sports channels, especially during college contests, NGeo, News outlets, Iowa State and “Choose Your Experience” has been very visible in the Chicago media market (Oswego is in Chicago’s media market, k? lol) and with the highest ebrollmevg last year and the goal to, wait for it, increase that number again, Iowa State is what Rauner hopes…

    Rauner hopes Iowa State peels off enough, and Mizzou peels off enough, and Wisconsin, and Michigan, and Michigan State…

    That Western Illinois or Eastern Illinois or Chicago State can fad away.

    It’s just tragic.

  48. - Fairness and Fairness Only - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 12:42 pm:

    We won’t even consider an Illinois school. University is still several years away but the cuts we’ve already seen this year will have long term ramifications. It pains me to say that because I think Illinois had a reputation for truly higher education but there is no way I’d risk a decision of this magnitude in the current state.

  49. - Ghost - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 12:46 pm:

    So much damage from one wealthy narcissistic egotist who wants to crush unions to appease himself. all the suffering and long term problems being created by this gov far oversahdow the rhe need to fix pension funding.

  50. - Ray del Camino - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 12:50 pm:

    SIU is not taking on water as fast as Western and Eastern, but people are freaking out and there’s sincere worry about a quickly dwindling new freshman class. Carbondale economy taking a hit. I hope the voters are looking at whose side Rep. Terri Bryant is on. (Hint: It’s not their side.)

  51. - Peters Post - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 1:32 pm:

    At report card pick up last night at Lane Tech one Engineering teacher described a brighter scenario for the University of Illinois. He suggests that U of I has way more research, corporate sponsorship and grants coming in through the Engineering Department as to cover the whole University. At least there is one ray of optimism.

  52. - Sad Cubs fan - Friday, Apr 15, 16 @ 2:28 pm:

    What’s the big deal? U of I will just take more students from China instead. Isn’t that their modus operandi these days?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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