Students pay when Illinois stiffs community colleges

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Jake Olberding enrolled at Highland Community College thinking it would be an affordable higher education option, but he’ll pay more for tuition this fall because his school is squeezed by Illinois’ $5.8 billion backlog of delinquent bills.

Highland trustees approved a 9.5 percent tuition hike in March, which means Olberding will pay $115 per credit hour to take classes this fall, his second year of college. The tuition increase hasn’t derailed the Lena student’s college path.

“It’d have to be a pretty big (tuition) increase for me not to go,” Olberding said.

Highland administrators worry that not all students will share his resolve.

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