Higher Ed Board Seeks 16.6% Funding Hike


Published on December 6 2018 10:17 am
Last Updated on December 6 2018 10:17 am
Written by Greg Sapp

The Illinois Board of Higher Education has approved a fiscal year 2020 budget that would include $314 million new dollars, or a 16.6% increase in funding.

IBHE Chairman Tom Cross terms the next fiscal year "beyond critical for the future of higher education in our state." Cross said the budget would help universities recover from the stopgap budget of fiscal 2016.

The budget seeks additional funding for grant programs, including $100 million for MAP grants.

Cross noted that even with the 16.6% increase, the budget would still be lower than the amount approved by lawmakers for fiscal year 2002.

IBHE Executive Director Al Bowman said there is a clear connection between tuition increases and the budgets. Bowman said, "Revenues for public universities used to come primarily from the state budget, at 72% of the total in Fiscal 2002. That meant that only 28% came from tuition and fees. That ratio has flipped, so that students are largely responsible for almost 65% of university revenue.

The Board is also requesting $664 million in funding to pay for imperative deferred maintenance. That's in addition to $1.5 billion for regular capital projects.