SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WRSP) — The state board of higher education says their largest concern heading into the summer is not having a budget in place to help them stay afloat through the fall.
The Executive Director of the State Board of Higher Education, Dr. Jim Applegate, says there isn't a single college or university that hasn't been impacted by the budget impasse -- and the damage continues to mount.
Currently, the higher education system cannot work on growing and improving if it struggles to stay afloat, says Dr. Applegate. A new problem that has emerged a result of the impasse is working to regain the trust of the people of Illinois.
"If we get a real budget, that it will be several years before we fully recover from this," said Dr. Applegate, when asked about the fallout of the impasse. "We got to rebuild trust with faculty and staff, we have to rebuild trust with parents and students, and people who want to go to college."
Here are some of the biggest concerns facing higher education over the summer, according to Dr. Applegate:
First, a second stop gap measure being implemented. Currently, the idea is still a being discussed at the statehouse, and money from the first stopgap has all but been depleted.
Second, is fall enrollment for colleges and universities. Numerous institutions across the state are unable to predict what the fall class will look like, and that's a major concern when it comes to measuring potential income.
Third, being able to afford scholarships already handed out. Schools promise prospective students money and without a budget in place, the money passed along isn't there for use.
Finally, the fear of potential closures. Without an idea of when to expect the second stopgap measure to be passed, schools aren't sure how much longer their reserves will last and that's assuming there is still any left.