Report shows impact of budget impasse on colleges - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Report shows impact of budget impasse on colleges

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WSIL -- In a new report, researchers at the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, blame a lack of state leadership for causing "disproportionate and lasting consequences" for universities like SIU.

They say it led to more than 72,000 fewer students enrolling in Illinois colleges and about 7,500 jobs losses.

Researchers say the strain from the budget impasse also cost the state's economy nearly $1 billion per year, including more than $30 million in Southern Illinois.

The impasse forced schools to make more than $600-million dollars in cuts. As a result, of the schools raised tuition, cut programs, and laid off workers.

According to the report, SIU raised its tuition by  $1,100.

The school also laid of dozens of workers and recently experienced a nine percent drop in enrollment.

The researchers who put together the report say Illinois should use this as an opportunity to make college more affordable for more people. 

"Illinois must get back on the right track in the wake of the significant damage caused by the two-year budget impasse– with some university reserves exhausted, programs cut, workers laid off, and credit ratings downgraded," they wrote. "Illinois can correct past mistakes by evolving into a national leader on making college affordable for all citizens or by expanding tuition grants to residents."

To read the full report, click here

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