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CTBA: After adjusting for inflation since 2000, state higher ed funding is down 46 percent and tuition is up 110 percent

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Center for Tax and Budget Accountability

After adjusting for inflation, state funding for Illinois colleges and universities has fallen by nearly 50% since 2000, while tuition has more than doubled, making it increasingly difficult for students from low- and middle-income families generally, and Black and Latinx students specifically, to afford getting a higher education degree.

Despite growing evidence that a college degree is more important than ever for success in the labor market and in spite of recent funding increases, the report finds that, after inflation, Illinois’ General Fund support for Higher Education has declined significantly over the last two decades, and is 46 percent less now in real terms than in 2000.

To help make up for that loss of General Fund support, the average annual student tuition and fee cost of attending a public four-year university in Illinois increased by 115 percent—after inflation—between 2000 and 2021.

The full report is here.

As I’ve said many times before, 2001 was Illinois’ budgetary high-water mark. Then came the 9/11 crash, followed by the 2008 crash and three governors in a row who weren’t serious about doing things like properly funding higher ed.

We’re only now digging our way out.

       

19 Comments
  1. - High Socks - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 12:06 pm:

    One of those Governors (Rauner) openly went to war with the public universities and did damage that will take years to undo


  2. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 12:21 pm:

    “One of those Governors (Rauner) openly went to war ….”

    So did Blagojevich. Or, should I say, his budget staff. After reaching FY 2005 budget “agreements” with agencies, they went into agency budget forms and took out all inter-agency agreements / grants / contracts state agencies had with public universities. Many got restored, but it was an example of their ham fistedness causing damage.


  3. - DuPage - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 12:23 pm:

    Tuition at the state universities took a great leap upward during Blagojevich’s first term. The health insurance for all state employees was paid as an item in the state budget. The Blagojevich administration took the universities health insurance out of the state budget and made the universities pay for it. This was followed by a large increase in tuition. Blago said he was launching an investigation into the increase in tuition. Suddenly, the investigation was never mentioned again.


  4. - Friendly Bob Adams - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 12:32 pm:

    This de-funding has been a bipartisan achievement across many administrations over many years. The very idea that a state has a responsibility to fund a public university system has been lost. This trend has mainly been a boon to the student loan industry.


  5. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 12:36 pm:

    ===So did Blagojevich===

    Yep.


  6. - Oldtimer - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 12:37 pm:

    Higher Ed offered to take a greater share of the budget hit than most in Ryan’s last budget because they’d had a good run from ‘94-‘01. Their reward? Blagojevich, riding a wave of faux populism, came in complaining about administrative bloat, non appropriated tuition funds, and lump sum budgeting for the publics and then implemented even more cuts in an almost gleeful manner.


  7. - Lefty Lefty - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 12:58 pm:

    Remember when Blago wanted to put all the state’s revenue into one fund? Imagine if that was implemented. Man he was trouble.


  8. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 12:59 pm:

    This is a pretty common pattern for higher ed throughout the country. While costs have gone up (there isn’t automation efficiency in higher ed) tuition at public schools is largely driven by the reduction in state support.

    And then everyone complains about skilled labor shortages.

    ===all inter-agency agreements / grants / contracts state agencies had with public universities.

    I just can’t. That guy.


  9. - Suburban Mom - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 1:24 pm:

    I’d also like them to show what college cost in 1968 for the Baby Boomers (and how many hours you had to work at minimum wage for tuition). A lot of older people complain about kids today not working for college and wanting a handout, totally ignoring how incredibly cheap college was in 1968 and how well summer lifeguard positions paid back then.


  10. - Anyone Remember - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 1:37 pm:

    ===The Blagojevich administration took the universities health insurance out of the state budget and made the universities pay for it.===

    Remember Vince DeMuzio in an appropriation hearing, under Ryan, complaining the university “Income Funds” were no longer appropriated by the GA, asking something like “Why did we give up that control?” He was told (Rauschenberger?) that trade-off was the universities paid their “Income Funds” group health insurance costs. He grunted like he wasn’t happy.

    But, then again, under Blagojevich, Filan was known to “double count” on more than one occasion … .


  11. - Cool Papa Bell - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 1:42 pm:

    =I’d also like them to show what college cost in 1968 for the Baby Boomers (and how many hours you had to work at minimum wage for tuition). A lot of older people complain about kids today not working for college and wanting a handout, totally ignoring how incredibly cheap college was in 1968 and how well summer lifeguard positions paid back then.=

    Few years back I was at the U of I listening to a few “oldtimers” go on about their summer jobs and how they could work on the U of I farm or another and make enough to pay for school and how great that was and kinda lamenting how kids are these days.

    So I asked who’s hiring summer workers and can pay $10k a month. Its like they just had never thought about it. I also pointed out the Dean at the time was making $300k a year.

    The Gov has been out touting Jr Colleges and MAP Grant awards. We need more and more of that. I applaud him and think that 2 years at a JuCo is about the only way this middle class family can begin to afford college for my two. I’m pretty sure we can graduate from LLCC debt free and then take on two years of college funding from there.


  12. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 1:49 pm:

    ===. I applaud him and think that 2 years at a JuCo is about the only way this middle class family can begin to afford college for my two.

    Don’t assume that. Remember there are scholarships of varying stripes for Community Colleges too) and other aid. I’m a strong advocate for CCs, but let the kids see what kind of deal they can get at 4 year public and privates. It’s often not that crazy especially if you are indeed middle income (everyone in American including me thinks they are middle class).


  13. - ArchPundit - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 1:50 pm:

    And that’s not to denigrate starting at a community college–just make sure it’s the right place for your students and has the type of program and culture that fits them.


  14. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 1:52 pm:

    - Cool Papa Bear -

    That’s restaurant quality. Thank you.

    To the post,

    When it’s still a better choice to take a merit scholarship in Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, Iowa, Missouri, and Michigan than it is to attend any illinois university as a “resident”, that’s not the best way to run a railroad.

    I’ve commented numerous-numerous times to ideas, thoughts, plans, and programs, and all is predicated on two things;

    * Reimagine higher education in Illinois

    * Fully funding higher education while also giving adequate and thoughtful scholastic scholarships to keep Illinois students here

    If all it that means that higher education will be funded to lower costs, deliver better services and meet levels in all not seen for far too many administrations… “how can I help?”

    So much work to do


  15. - DTownResident - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 2:27 pm:

    You can add Kansas and Nebraska to the states where state schools start close to or cheaper to Illinois in-state rates before any scholarships are offered. There is either tuition the same as in state or a Midwest rate slightly higher. Those can come in with room and board and books at say 18-23000 which puts them lower than SIU,ISU, and others.


  16. - Tammy - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 2:29 pm:

    Big increases in MAP and SURS pension funding since then. Don’t know if that figures in the math.


  17. - City Zen - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 2:53 pm:

    ==Big increases in MAP and SURS pension funding since then.==

    And therein lies the rub. SURS funding has increased eight fold since 2000. As much as Martire enjoys separating pension debt from the expense to which it’s associated, it’s the cost of higher ed nonetheless.


  18. - thechampaignlife - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 3:31 pm:

    As much as public higher ed has struggled over the last two decades, most institutions are getting by. They could use the money, of course, but lets make sure DCFS and social services are taken care of first. They really got the short end of the stick, and that impact causes real generational suffering. Higher ed can limp along a few more years, but the psychiatrically held ward of the state cannot.


  19. - Loop Lady - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 6:47 pm:

    I was a staffer at DNR when Blago went after the Scientific Surveys at UIUC…I couldn’t fathom his ignorance in doing this.

    Needless to say, I didn’t move up in the administration. LOL.


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