States across the nation including Illinois are looking at ways to make higher education more affordable for students, increase the number of degrees earned and make the workforce more competitive internationally. I have been serving on a Higher Education Finance Commission this past summer with the charge to evaluate other states’ practices and develop recommendations for Illinois.
The commission is in the process of drafting its report for the legislature but the following observations seem clear. Illinois is not doing enough to make college affordable or to increase the number of completed courses or progress toward degrees. While state financial aid policies for students may be well directed, they are not implemented very well.
Further, it appears that a majority of high school graduates are not ready for college work which results in their taking additional catch-up courses and increases the cost of a degree or certificate. Finally, the state is not adequately financing higher education to achieve our publicly stated goals for higher education.
You can view commission materials, meeting minutes and policy considerations on the Board of Higher Education web site: IBHE- Higher Education Finance Study Commission.
Join My Education Council
I will be hosting my next Education Advisory Council meeting at the Kishwaukee College Conference Center on Wednesday, October 13th at 7 p.m. We will be discussing school success, financing, reforms and recent legislation. Join in the discussion and share your ideas that will help me represent the district in Springfield.
District Office 815-748-3494 or E-Mail to email@example.com