As Illinois college students struggle to know if they’ll receive all their financial benefits, some incoming freshmen are deciding avoid that and not attend in-state colleges.
With all the troubles that comes with starting college, struggling to know if you're going to receive state assistance is one thing an incoming freshman, Amber Carnahan, said she didn't want to deal with.
“For me SIUC didn’t feel like home," Carnahan said.
Carnahan is from Chester, Illinois. She said with budget issues still in Springfield, her mentors told her it was best to look at colleges outside the state.
“With the budgeting cut in Illinois," she said. "Getting a degree in music, teaching over here will be a lot easier for me to keep a job and get a job then it would be in Illinois.”
Many other students have made that decision as well.
Even though Southeast Missouri State University has seen the same amount of Illinois high school graduates coming to its school, other schools like Murray State have seen growth.
One factor that benefits students making that decision – the option of in-state tuition.
Lenell Hahn is Southeast’s director of admissions.
“That definitely is a significant impact when they’re able to get down to what an in-state student would pay," Hahn said. “We really hope that the budget situation is cleared up soon because that’s in the best interest for our region and all college communities that we serve.”
Caranahan agreed, but said she would rather focus on her future then to worry about Illinois financial issues
“So I can teach in Missouri and not have a big of a worry factor as in Illinois," Carnahan said.