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State budget crisis could cost ECC $5.6 million in funding

As the Illinois state budget remains at an impasse, Elgin Community College officials are taking precautionary measures to lessen the impact on students.

“Without a state budget approved for fiscal year 2016, we could lose $5,641,350 of revenue in our operating budget,” said Sharon Konny, ECC vice president of business and finance.

To account for a lack of state funding, the college has instituted a hiring freeze on non-essential positions. In addition, travel will be restricted to arrangements and contractual obligations made prior to Dec. 09, 2015. The college will also continue to look at other areas in the budget for ways to save money.

“Right now the college is fronting the money for certain grant-funded programs that have not received their state or federal funding,” Konny said. “If these particular grants are not funded, it could cost the college up to $1.4 million and there is no guarantee that ECC will be reimbursed from the state.”

For the fall 2015 semester, the college paid $402,500 to cover the state's Monetary Award Program (MAP), which provides financial aid to Illinois students.  It will cost an additional $400,000 to fund the program for the spring 2016 semester.

“Our students depend on these funds to continue their education,” said ECC President David Sam, PhD JD, LLM. “And we do not want a lack of state funding to hinder their ability to earn their credentials.”

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