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ECC proposes preliminary budget for 2016-17 academic year

Due to a lack of sufficient state funding, Elgin Community College officials are implementing substantial cost-saving measures to make up for a $2.7 million deficit. Officials are carefully examining items presented in the fiscal year 2017 budget with the goal of cutting unnecessary expenses and are expected to propose a balanced budget by the June 14 board meeting.

“This is the first time in the history of the college that we have been in this predicament,” said Sharon Konny, vice president of business and finance. “We are looking at every expense and evaluating every area of the college to consider how we can operate more efficiently. We are confident that we will be able to propose a balanced budget for next fiscal year.”

In order to cut costs, the college implemented a travel freeze in December and postponed the filling of vacant positons, with the exception of positions that involve safety, security and student success.  Although additional cost-effective measures are being considered, student success and student services remain a top priority.

Among the cost-saving measures include changing the policy for granting Senior Citizen Tuition Waivers. Beginning with the summer 2016 term, Senior Citizen Tuition Waivers will only be granted to students who meet requirements outlined in the Illinois Senior Citizens Courses Act. To qualify, students must be 65 years of age or older, must meet income requirements as outlined in the statute, and must be enrolled in a regularly scheduled credit course. Previously, the college only required students to be age 60 or older. Income was not taken into consideration. This, along with the sun setting of some of the Board of Trustees tuition waivers (over the next three years), will save the college approximately $225,000. Students in financial need are encouraged to visit the Financial Aid office to apply for scholarships through the ECC Foundation, which awards more than 200 scholarships to students each year.  

Additionally, the college will save $400,000 a year as a result of negotiating favorable energy contracts, and another $1 million by deferring non-essential maintenance and capital projects for fiscal year 2017.

Despite the governor's signing of an emergency funding bill of $600 million last month to support community colleges, ECC will only receive $1.4 million, which is 27 percent of what it anticipated for the 2015-16 academic year.”

“These are challenging times for every public institution in the state of Illinois, “said ECC President David Sam, Ph.D., JD, LLM. “The longer this financial crisis continues, the more difficult it becomes to operate at the economic level that we have in previous years. However, we are making sure that whatever choices we make, our students will be the least impacted.”

For a detailed look at the 2016-17 proposed budget, visit For more information about the ECC Foundation, visit


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