As the state has cut funding to higher education, universities have made up for the losses by raising tuition. But when there are fewer students to pay, colleges feel the squeeze all over again.
At Western Illinois University, enrollment is down two percent from last year -- about 500 fewer students. Officials say that's an opportunity cost nearing a million dollars.
Enrollment is down at Eastern Illinois University too. The school cut 11 percent of its staff in the last five years, which President William Perry says has saved $10 million dollars.
Both men were in Springfield asking lawmakers for more money -- or at least flat funding -- next year.
NIU's fall enrollment dropped 3 percent from the previous year. It's the 4th consecutive yearly decline.