college

Community College Students Hurting In Budget Battle

Jan 25, 2016

Illinois community colleges students are caught up in a political battle between the Republican governor and Democratic legislators.

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.

Kankakee Community College

Many public Illinois colleges and universities are hard-hit by the budget stalemate. The state isn’t mandated to fund higher education the way it must pay for kindergarten through high school.

Kankakee Community College made cuts earlier in the year due to a continued decline in enrollment. Officials cut down on its award-winning sustainability program and decided to stop operating its public radio station.

College Textbooks Could Soon Get A Lot Cheaper

Oct 12, 2015
WVIK

College students could soon save thousands of dollars each year on textbooks. Illinois US Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Al Franken, from Minnesota, are proposing a bill so colleges and universities can provide more textbooks online for free.

Franken says the cost of textbooks has risen 82-percent over the last decade, and the average student spends over $1,200 on books each year. And, textbooks are one of the most "overlooked costs" when it comes to college affordability.

Bright Directions

The state of Illinois is reducing fees on its Bright Directions 529 college savings plan. It’s meant to help families put more of their investment toward rising tuition costs. 

According to the state treasurer's office, the change eliminates a setup fee and quarterly maintenance fee, and cuts management fees by almost half. Officials say more than 100,000 accounts will benefit from the new terms, saving investors nearly $3.6 million annually.

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.

Illinois Board of Higher Education

New legislation could help give veterans a leg up in securing a contract with an Illinois university or college. 

The measure does not put restrictions on the vendors universities can choose. But it does require they report how much they spend on veteran owned businesses, as well as those run by minorities and women.

Dan Johnson, who represents the Federation of Women Contractors, says many institutions already have diversity goals for their procurement programs.

College Illinois Up and Running...Again

Oct 2, 2012
College Illinois

College Illinois is once again open for business. The state's troubled pre-paid tuition program had previously stopped selling contracts amid reports of financial mismanagement.

Selling back college textbooks can be frustrating

May 18, 2012
WNIJ

As college courses wrap up for the year, college students are trying to get the best prices for their used textbooks.  

Some textbooks will be updated, and students will not get a penny for those. Others may be damaged or missing portions.  Nothing for those either. 

Increasingly, students are going online to buy and sell or opting for a cheaper upfront cost for an electronic version of the course material.