To the Editor:
Two-year institutions offer people affordable educational opportunities. Kishwaukee College is no different. We’ve offered quality education to our community since opening more than 50 years ago. Here are some recent data on how we’ve remained good stewards of tuition and taxpayer money.
We have levied the same fixed real estate tax rate for education and operations and maintenance for the past 10 years. The equalized assessed value of real estate in our district was lower in 2018 than it was in 2009, so the levy dollars received for education and operations and maintenance are fewer than they were in 2009. Through strategic planning, we have kept costs low without diminishing quality. In fact, our fiscal 2019 operating budget is at the fiscal 2006 level when adjusted for inflation. Essentially, we’ve kept responding to the community, and still controlled costs.
An audit conducted by the college’s independent auditor, Sikich, reported Kish’s financial audit was one of the best they evaluated for our fiscal 2017. The 2018 audit was as good. These clean audits speak to the core of how we operate – with integrity and responsibility.
Our cost per student is comparable to college districts across the state, with no noteworthy difference among schools with similar full-time enrollment equivalencies. Our credit hour rate and student fees are also within range of other Illinois community colleges with similar makeups.
With the ability to save about $10,000 a year, attending Kish before transferring to a four-year university could be a wise choice for many prospective students. Thirty credit hours total $4,830 at Kish. Comparatively, someone may pay $14,903 at an Illinois public university and $35,471 at an Illinois private university, according to figures in the Illinois Student Assistance Commission’s 2017 data book. Additionally, many Kish students receive financial support through state and federal grants and scholarships awarded by the Kishwaukee College Foundation.
We take our volunteer positions on the board of trustees seriously because we know giving back to our community is important. Student Trustee Johnathan Prose, Trustee Kathleen Watkins, Trustee Linda Mason, Trustee Ken Doubler, Trustee Roberta Burke, Secretary Kathleen Spears, Vice Chairman Robert Hammon, and I all give our unique talents and input into ensuring transparency across the College. It is a deep honor we get to invest our time on the noble pursuit of education.
Chairman of the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees