Behind the ivied walls and serene, manicured campuses, Illinois higher education is today under significant stress. State funding for colleges and universities in Illinois is lower than it was a decade ago, and parents are resisting tuition and fee charges that have increased sharply.
And now free (or very low-cost) courses are being offered to the masses online from professors at elite universities.
Our public and private universities are scrambling to see if new business models are needed to avoid the threat of closures down the road.
Illinois colleges and universities enrolled 834,000 students this past year. For every student, there are a couple of parents as well as grandparents worrying about how to pay for college educations with annual sticker prices that range from about $10,000 at community colleges to as much as $50,000 at private colleges.