How COVID-19 affects LLC financially

Anna Gould, Reporter

Since March, COVID-19 has had a deadly impact on our society. From the economy to the health care system, every institution has had to drastically modify in order to solve this dilemma. 

One sector that has been unfairly affected by the virus is the American education system. Most prominently, colleges across the United States have lost funding due to the spread of the virus. Seeking a higher education is costly to begin with, and COVID-19 is making it even more difficult.

 In order to get to the bottom of this problem, I recently interviewed Lake Land College’s Vice President for Business Services, Greg Nuxoll, about how LLC has been financially affected by COVID-19. On that same note, I surveyed a number of Lake Land students to get a better understanding of how students reacted to the changes that have occurred as a result of the pandemic. Here’s what I found out.

One of the most concerning issues regarding the pandemic for students is paying for college. According to College Tuition Compare, the average cost of going to a community college in Illinois totals around to $7,978. On top of that, many students who worked in order to pay for their tuition are more than likely out of a job due to the virus. This unfortunate circumstance puts many students at a disadvantage.

Although this may be true, Mr. Nuxoll provided a positive outlook. “On a short-term basis,” he said, “the college has not been impacted dramatically as the state funding thus far has started fairly consistent with prior years.” As many colleges around Illinois are losing funding, Lake Land remains on a solid financial foundation. Not only is this significant for the college, but it helps out students as well.  

Mr. Nuxoll continued, “Financially, the college will see reduced tuition and fee revenue due to lower enrollment, but that was taken into account as we developed our budget for the 2021 Fiscal Year.” With a majority of the classes being taught online this semester, many students feel as if they are not receiving the same quality of education due to the unfortunate circumstances. When prompted about whether tuition should be reduced or kept the same, first year student, Bailey Welburn, voiced her opinion on this matter: “Yes, it should be reduced because people’s jobs are being put on hold and some can’t afford full tuition.” Many students can relate to this viewpoint, but Lake Land discovered a solution. 

As a solution, grants are being provided for those who need a little extra help paying for college, especially during a worldwide pandemic. “We are proud to have used federal CARES Act funding to provide over $800,000 of financial assistance to students, thus far, to help them through the difficult economic times,” Mr. Nuxoll commented on the subject. He went on, “We also used the CARES Act funds to purchase a significant amount of new technology to help our students and faculty excel in a virtual-learning environment, including software, laptops, other personal computing equipment and internet related tools.”

 Thankfully, no major financial damage was done to Lake Land College, and it remains an affordable institution that provides quality postsecondary educational services. Although there are many unknowns regarding the future of the COVID-19 pandemic, there is one thing that is certain: students enrolled at Lake Land can rest a little easier knowing their financial future is secured through their time at Lake Land College.

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