Tick Tock: 729 Days Without A Budget

Accreditation at Colleges and Universities Threatened by Bruce Rauner’s Manufactured Crisis

Chicago, IL — The Higher Learning Commission warns that Illinois colleges and universities’ accreditation could soon be withdrawn because of Bruce Rauner’s manufactured crisis. Low-income students no longer receiving federal financial aid would be another devastating blow for students after the reduction or elimination of MAP grant funding under Rauner’s devastating leadership.  
 
Here’s what Illinoisans are reading in the news about Bruce Rauner’s latest assault on higher education:

WSIU: Commission Warns of More Trouble for IL Higher Ed Without Budget
 
The state's budget impasse may soon affect more than just overall funding for higher education.
 
The Higher Learning Commission - an organization that accredits schools in the Midwest - recently sent a letter to state lawmakers and the governor, urging them to pass a budget.
 
The HLC says without state funding, Illinois universities are at risk of losing their accreditation.
 
The Herald News: State’s credit crunch could crunch credit at state schools
 
College accreditation could be another casualty of the state budget impasse.
 
The Higher Learning Commission, which accredits schools in Illinois and 18 other states, is required to sanction schools that cannot provide necessary academic programs and financial aid. HLC President Barbara Gellman-Danley wrote Thursday in a letter to Gov. Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly that the lack of a budget means a lack of sustainable funding for higher education.
 
The Southern Illinoisan: Budget impasse could have 'accreditation consequences' for Illinois colleges and universities
 
The letter notes that the commission has been studying Illinois institutions of higher learning during the past two and a half years and has “observed the increasingly dire effects of this budget crisis.”
 
“These include but are not limited to the following:

  • Increased tuition and fees for students and loss of MAP money for needy students;
  • Significantly declining student enrollments;
  • Loss of faculty and staff and elimination of academic programs and services;
  • Canceled capital projects and cuts to plant operations, further diminishing jobs; and,
  • Depleted or diminished cash reserves and loss of grant and charitable donation income.”


According to the letter, that could mean some institutions may ultimately face withdrawal of accreditation, which means that their students could not access federal financial aid.

“Under Bruce Rauner, our state is failing to meet its obligation to provide quality and affordable education to all Illinois students,” said Pritzker campaign spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh.“Colleges and universities losing accreditation will be devastating to our low-income students, who will see their federal financial aid dollars disappear, likely causing many to drop out of school. We’ve already seen enrollment drop as MAP grants dried up under Rauner, but now even federal funding is at risk. This is unsustainable and deeply damaging to the future of our state.”

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Crisis Creatin' Rauner