universities

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In Illinois, public college and university students and their guardians will soon have a better idea of how much they’ve borrowed -- and an estimate of how much they’ll be paying back per month.

That’s thanks to a state pilot program. The letters relay information on federal, private and institutional loans.

Bobbi Smith is the interim director of financial aid at Western Illinois University.

What To Know About Recreational Cannabis On Campus

Dec 11, 2019
Andrew Heiserman

On a recent Thursday, a small group of Northern Illinois University students took their seats at an open forum to discuss recreational cannabis. It will be legal in Illinois soon.

Administrators wanted to make one thing clear: marijuana will still be banned on NIU’s campus.

That’s mostly because of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act.    

The state's budget impasse soon may affect more than just overall funding for higher education.

The Higher Learning Commission, which accredits schools in the Midwest, recently sent a letter to state lawmakers and the governor  urging them to pass a budget. The HLC says that, without state funding, Illinois universities are at risk of losing their accreditation. SIU President Randy Dunn said that could be catastrophic.

Rich Egger / WIUM/Illinois Public Radio

The state of Illinois has cut funding to higher education each year for more than a decade.  Those cuts, combined with declining enrollment, will cause some people to lose their jobs at Western Illinois University at the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses.

University of Illinois

The University of Illinois is officially asking Illinois leaders to come to terms on a state budget for the current fiscal year.

At their meeting in Chicago Thursday, the trustees approved a resolution urging an end to the budget impasse, and signed a presentation copy.

U of I President Timothy Killeen says a hiring freeze affecting 230 full-time positions at the university is just one of the cutbacks instituted to cope with the budget delay.

State of Illinois

Leaders of several state universities and community colleges are sounding the alarm as they begin month three of receiving no money from Illinois. 

State support for Illinois’s 12 public universities and its 49 community colleges is the largest part of the state government that isn’t being funded during Springfield’s budget impasse.

While the state’s bigger schools, like the University of Illinois, are able to truck along without much impact on students, the situation at Eastern Illinois University is much more dire, officials say.

State of Illinois

Illinois public colleges and universities have become collateral damage in the state’s months-long budget impasse, fueled by political stalemate between Illinois’ Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and the democratically-controlled General Assembly.

Rauner says he’s willing to consider more state revenue to pay for support to items like public colleges and universities, but only if lawmakers pass his pro-business, union-weakening “Turnaround Agenda” first.

Illinois Board of Higher Education

As the Illinois budget stalemate continues, universities and community colleges are already feeling the pain.

Last anybody heard, Gov. Bruce Rauner wanted to cut higher education spending drastically, by more than 30 percent. But with the budget stalled in the legislature, colleges have no idea how much money they’ll get. 

James Applegate, director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, says this kind of chaos costs money. 

“This is an extremely inefficient way to run a shop,” Applegate said.

State of Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner stepped directly into a big budget hole when he was sworn in this week. The state’s about halfway through its fiscal year. 

Illinois' fiscal year goes through June. But before Rauner took over, state agencies had sent signals, they were already running short on cash.

All eyes on are the new governor to see how he deals with what the administration says is a $1.6 billion mid-year hole.