Illinois College Enrollment Dips, Compared to Neighboring States

Oct 3, 2016

How has Illinois' year-long budget impasse affected enrollment at public colleges and universities? The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform conducted a study to find out.

Credit bourgeoisbee / Flickr/Creative Commons

The good news: Enrollment at Illinois three largest public universities increased -- but just barely. The biggest gain was at the state's flagship campus in Urbana-Champaign, where enrollment increase 1.8 percent. 

But Sarah Brune, director of the non-partisan research group, says Illinois' small and mid-size schools fell behind their neighbors. 

"A lot of these mid- and small-size schools were speaking out throughout the impasse saying that they don't have the type of reserves or endowment to draw on when their funding becomes completely uncertain, especially for MAP grants and things that are so important for their students." 

The biggest drop at any school in the seven Midwest states was at Chicago State University, where enrollment declined 25 percent.