One Longer-Term Consequence of the Mess in Illinois

These are the opening paragraphs of the news story “Illinois Risks Brain Drain as University Students Look Elsewhere” written by Elizabeth Campbell for Bloomberg News:

“As a May 1 deadline looms for high school seniors deciding where to attend college, students are thinking twice about universities in Illinois, where the worst budget crisis in state history has halted funding for higher education.

“Public colleges haven’t received state aid for the year that started July 1 as Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic lawmakers fight over a budget. The strain has spurred colleges to furlough staff and cancel projects. State scholarships for low-income students haven’t been paid. High school counselors and some state schools say they’re hearing that more students are looking to private, community colleges or out-of-state options, because of the funding uncertainty.

“’You’re having an upswing in students that just are not going to those schools’ that are struggling financially like Chicago State University and Northeastern Illinois, said Amanda Andros, a counselor at Lane Technical College Prep, Chicago’s largest high school. ‘They’re not sure if the university is going to stay open.’

“Pensions, bonds and state employees are getting paid during the impasse, but higher education funds are stuck at zero, leaving public universities and poor students who rely on state aid among the hardest hit by the budget standoff.

“As more students look elsewhere, Illinois risks a long-term loss of residents, further pressuring the economy of the state that ranked 49 out of 50 in terms of population gains in the last three years. . . .”


Campell’s complete story is available at:



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