It’s impossible to examine state higher education finances in 2016 without separating the collapse in Illinois from a more nuanced picture across the rest of the country.
State and local support for higher education in Illinois plunged as the state’s lawmakers and governor were unable to reach a budget agreement and instead passed severely pared-down stopgap funding. Educational appropriations per full-time equivalent student in the state skidded 80 percent year over year, from $10,986 to $2,196. Enrollment in public institutions dropped by 11 percent, or 46,000 students.
That situation proved to be enough of an outlier that it weighed down several key markers in the 2016 State Higher Education Finance report from the State Higher Education Executive Officers association, which is being released today. The report annually offers an in-depth look at the breakdown of state and local funding, tuition revenue, enrollment, and degree completion across public higher education, a sector that enrolls roughly three-quarters of students in U.S. postsecondary education.
Include Illinois in the report’s key markers, and overall public support for higher education fell by 1.8 percent per full-time equivalent student in 2016, to $6,954, according to the report. Exclude Illinois, and overall support increased by 3.2 percent, to $7,116.
The full study is here.
* The governor said this yesterday…
OK, but the biggest problem has persisted for the past two years, and it’s large enough that it’s dragging down the whole country’s averages.
…Adding… Comptroller Mendoza via St. Louis TV…
“It’s unsustainable. At some point the entire university system will collapse. They’re probably going to have to look for another university to go to, and it’s not going to be in Illinois,” she says.
Mendoza challenged teachers and administrators to not be quiet, to let their lawmakers and the governor know they want a state budget.
“There’s only so far that they can go without getting state funding, so maybe even if they don’t close their doors they’d have to eliminate a whole series of programs and even colleges within the university. We’ve already seen other universities do that,” she says.