But Illinois State University in Normal is working to rise above the curve.
President Al Bowman delivered his "State of the University" address today.
Turns out, fiscal year payments to ISU are nearly five million dollars less than before.
Despite state cuts to education, Bowman says the college is still financially stable.
He's rewarding two percent pay raises to employees based on positive performance.
Bowman says the increase is needed to keep great educators on campus.
"The reason for doing it is purely for competitive reasons," said Bowman. "We've got very good people who could leave tomorrow and we've got to continue offering salaries that are attractive."
Bowman says improvements to student housing and the soon to be renovated Hancock football stadium will continue bringing students to campus.
For the 16th year in a row, ISU's fall enrollment exceeded 20,000 people.