higher ed

J.B. Pritzker
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

J.B. Pritzker is set to become the 43rd governor of Illinois on Monday. He won in part by promising to make college more affordable, improve the state’s finances, and reform the criminal justice system.

Statehouse editor Brian Mackey sat down with Pritzker over the weekend for a conversation focused on his policy agenda, the problems facing Illinois, and ethics in government.

College Illinois!

No matter how good you've been this year, there's one thing we know you're not getting for Christmas: A pre-paid tuition contract from the state's College Illinois! plan.

Established in 1999, the plan was a way for parents or grandparents to pay tuition in advance through a contract. But Eric Zarnikow, director of the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, decided to stop selling those contracts last year.

WOSU Public Media / Flikr

College in Illinois is becoming more expensive on average, and fewer students are graduating from the state’s large public universities. That’s according to a decade’s-worth of federal education data.


Tim Killeen and Barbara Wilson
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The University of Illinois president told a panel of lawmakers Thursday that he'd like to maintain a freeze on tuition rates.

For the past several years, Illinois has been losing more college students than any state except New Jersey. Last year, as higher education was starved by the state budget impasse, that trend continued.

Overall, undergraduate enrollment decreased by 2 percent, with even steeper drops at public universities and community colleges. 

Schools defying this trend include those focused on medical professions, such as City Colleges of Chicago's Malcolm X campus. Mark Potter, the provost, said its home in the medical district makes it more attractive.

The Quad, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Clay Gregory / flickr.com/claygregory (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Six of Illinois’ state universities have been put on notice for credit downgrades. It’s the latest knock on state government after more than 21 months without a full budget.

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Enrollment in Illinois’ public universities and community colleges continues to decline. That’s according to figures released by the state Board of Higher Education.

Eastern Illinois University

Campus communities in the state feel the consequences of drastic higher education cuts. 

Amanda Vinicky
Network Knowledge

Host Amanda Vinicky and guests Kent Redfield (UIS) and Dave Dahl (WTAX) discuss an impasse over the AFSCME contract and Governor Rauner as well as sinking enrollment in some state universities.

CapitolView is a production of WSEC-TV/PBS Springfield, Network Knowledge.

NPR Illinois State Week logo (Capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Gov. Bruce Rauner stumped across Illinois to drum up support for education funding — K-12 education finding, at least. College students, particularly from low-income backgrounds, have no such luck.

College of DuPage

College campuses (and the politics behind them) are taking center stage in Springfield's festering stalemate.

Cortlon Cofield posed with his sister Chloe at his graduation last May.
Cprtlon Cofield

Cortlon Cofield said Thursday nights were always special during his freshman year at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. That’s because Thursdays were "Food for the Soul" night in the Florida Avenue Residence Hall (known as FAR).