Sunday, January 8, 2017

Editorial: Gov and Dems looking like ushers at Illinois exit door - Chicago Sun Times

When a state cannot be bothered to write a budget, a public university cannot plan. It cannot offer certainty about tuition or faculty pay or what programs will continue on. Should anybody be surprised, then, that Illinois this fall suffered a net outmigration of 16,000 higher ed students? Our state is losing bright young people to other states. They will embark on careers and offer their talents elsewhere. A preliminary report this week by the Illinois Board of Higher Education reveals that enrollment is dropping in all centers of higher education in Illinois — public universities, community colleges and private colleges, which typically depend on state scholarship aid for some of their students. Southern Illinois University at Carbondale suffered the biggest loss — 6½ percent of its enrollment, including 11 percent of its graduate students. As tuition rises and university finances grow shakier, students and their families are hesitating to enroll at an Illinois school that might cut back on classes or even shut down, making it hard or impossible to graduate.

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