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State Stix

Where can you find the 'pure spirits of Illinois'?

Inside the State Capitol cornerstone is a new copper box. Inside the new copper box is an old copper box. Inside the old copper box is a whiskey bottle in a sterling silver case.

On the case is an inscription: "This Whiskey was made for Abraham Lincoln, Sept. 20, 1860, and presented to him as an Emblem of his administration. It is pure, & will grow Better as it grows older. P.L. Howlett."

The bottle was last checked and found to be full in 1966 by Secy, of State Paul Powell. Present on the occasion were Auditor of Public Accounts Michael J. Howlett. and P.L. Howlett's grandson, Lester E. Howlett,

Source: Michael J. Howlett, Keepers of the Seal: A History of the Secretaries of State of Illinois and How Their Office Grew, pp. 131-132. Stale of Illinois. August 1977.

If I can't go to Princeton, I'll go to UI

Illinois students who took the ACT in 1985 and went on to Illinois colleges and universities were asked to check a box indicating family income. Of the group that checked the highest family income ($60,000 or over), 66 percent went to the state's public four-year-plus universities.

Source: American College Testing Service (ACT).

Tuition and fees per student in Illinois colleges and universities

Current $ and (constant 1986 $)
 FY 1974FY 1986
Commmunity colleges$263   ($ 613) $ 776
Public universities $ 606   ($1,412) $1,615
Private colleges & universities$2,102  ($4,898) $6,139

Using 1986 constant dollars, the net increase in tuition and fees is:

26.6 percent for community colleges:
14.4 percent for public universities;
25.3 percent for private colleges and universities.

Source: "Trends in Student Costs and Financial Aid." State Board of Higher Education. March 3, 1987.

Student aid: 16 tons

Total student financial aid expenditures in fiscal 1986 totaled slightly over $1 billion.

In fiscal 1974 it was $251 million. This is an increase of 321.5 percent — or 80.9 percent in constant dollars.

All higher education sectors received marked increases in financial aid funding fiscal 1974 and fiscal 1986.

Community colleges: up 171.4 percent in constant 1986 dollars.

Private institutions: up 101.1 percent.

Public universities: up 44.7 percent.

The share in total financial aid funding increased for community colleges (going from 8 percent to 12 percent) and for private institutions (46.2 percent to 51.4 percent).

It decreased for public universities (45.8 percent to 36.6 percent).

Another day older and deeper in debt

Although student aid expenditures are up, so is the number of recipients.

Result? A decrease in aid per recipient in constant dollars and a greater proportion of costs financed by loans.

In fiscal 1974 the Illinois Guaranteed Loan Program (IGLP) accounted for 6.8 percent of student aid. In fiscal 1986 it accounted for a little over 20 percent.

Thank goodness for IGSLs!

Illinois Guaranteed Student Loans (IGSLs) increased 638.2 percent in current dollars and 216.9 percent in constant dollars between fiscal 1974 and 1986.

In aid per recipient IGSLs increased 92.4 percent in current dollars and went down 8.4 percent in constant dollars. But every other form of aid went down a lot more in constant dollars per recipient.

The federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program dropped by 48.6 percent. National Direct Student Loans dropped 37.3 percent, and College Work Study decreased by 33.7 percent.

Source: "Trends in Student Costs and Financial Aid." State Board of Higher Education. March 3. 1987.

And for MAP, PLUS ALAS and MRS

Grants, scholarships and loans awarded in fiscal year 1986 by the Illinois State Scholarship Commission totaled over $500 million.

Illinois Guaranteed Student Loans: $370 million to 156,000 students ($2,365 average loan).

The Illinois Monetary Award Program (MAP), the nation's second largest grant program: $121 million to 103,000 students ($1,180 average grant).

Other aid included $8.7 million in Parent Loans (PLUS); $8.4 million in student Auxiliary Loans (ALAS); $2.3 million in Merit Recognition Scholarships and $1.3 million in National Guard/Naval Militia awards.

Source: Illinois State Scholarship Commission. April 10, 1987.

Angst and the FAF

It isn't in any hazard reports yet, but watch for an increase in stress-related illnesses among parents, students, and office workers exposed over long periods of time to Financial Aid Forms.

General funds; bond debt

The general funds balance at the end of April was $196,877 million. The average daily available balance was $122,829 million.

The state sold a record $830 million in bonds in fiscal 1986, bringing its bonded indebtedness (principal plus interest) to $6,986 billion. In fiscal 1977 it was $2,870 billion.

Source: Office of the Comptroller.

Unemployment rates

The national seasonally adjusted unemplyment rate dropped to 6.3 percent in April, the lowest since December 1979. The Illinois unemployment rate rose in April to 8.2 percent from 7.7 percent in March (reported incorrectly in May "State Stix").

In April there were 5.652 million people in the state's civilian labor force; 5.186 million people had jobs, and 466,000 were looking for work. The increase in unemployment was due to more jobseekers than spring openings and continued spinoff in job furloughs from the retooling of the Chrysler plant in Belvedere.

Final February unemployment rates for the state's major metro areas were:

Aurora-Elgin. 7.3 percent.
Bloomington-Normal, 5.3 percent.
Champaign-Urbana-Rantoul, 5.2 percent.
Chicago, 7.3 percent.
Davenport, Rock Island, Moline (Illinois sector), 10.5 percent.
Decatur, 10.7 percent.
Joliet, 8.7 percent.
Kankakee, 10.3 percent.
Lake County, 5.4 percent.
Peoria, 9.5 percent.
Rockford, 9.0 percent.
Springfield, 6.1 percent.
St. Louis (Illinois sector), 10.4 percent.

Source: Department of Employment Security.

Margaret S. Knoepfle

26/June 1987/Illinois Issues

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