GFF grantee Partnership for College Completion recently released a trio of reports that focus on college affordability for students in Illinois. Peoria Public Radio covered the report in its feature, “New Reports Say, In Order To Increase Equity, Illinois Needs To Change How It Funds Higher Ed.”
An advocacy group is calling on Illinois to make higher education more equitable for students. It says that means changing the way it funds post-secondary schooling.
Before they dug into the numbers, Kyle Westbrook said his group wanted to try to reframe the conversation around the cost of college in Illinois.
He’s the executive director of the Partnership for College Completion. The organization just released three “Priced Out” reports analyzing state disinvestment in higher education. He said universities and lawmakers have often looked at higher-ed funding from the point of view of the schools.
“It shouldn’t be surprising that as higher education has become much less affordable over the last 15 years, particularly for low-income students,” he said, “it shouldn’t be a surprise that we see that impact being felt on students who are at least able to afford to attend college.”
The organization says state funding for public universities has fallen 50% since 2002. Community colleges have experienced similar dis-investments.
The reports look at three student groups who experience affordability challenges: African-American, LatinX and students who live in rural communities.