2017 Budget

To the students of Columbia College Chicago:

At its most recent meeting on September 17, the Columbia College Chicago Board of Trustees approved a $202.2 million operating budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year.  As it has done for the past couple of years, the business office has prepared a presentation about the new operating budget and its component parts. I hope that the updated charts and supporting narrative will provide clarity about how the college obtains and uses resources to advance its mission.

This budget was presented to the Board as a break-even budget, i.e. with revenues equal to expenses. We were pleased to be able to fund important spending initiatives identified in the strategic plan – for example, the continued modernization of the campus IT infrastructure – and to maintain the same level of student scholarship support as last year even with reduced enrollment. At the same time, we are enhancing teaching and learning facilities such as the Cinema Art and Science space, which was remodeled over the summer, and the Getz Theater, which will undergo a complete renovation in the second half of 2017.

The business affairs department and I remain committed to doing all that we can to support the teaching, learning, and creative activity that goes on in and outside of the classroom.

Rich Dowsek
Interim Vice President for Business Affairs/CFO

Fiscal Year 2017 Budget

GAAP Composition of Unrestricted Revenues *

(Dollar amounts in millions)

For Fiscal Year 2017, the college’s revenues total $202.2 million:

  • Tuition & Fees, Net - $160.6
  • Residence Halls - $28
  • Instructional Lessons - $0.9
  • Sales & Services - $1.2
  • Gifts, Contracts, Other Income - $1.2
  • Investment Income For Operations - $10.3

* Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) are the universal accounting standards used in the preparation and presentation of financial statements. The GAAP adjusted total for the revenue budget is $207.7 million, accounting for $4.5 million in tuition allowances, which includes items such as bad debt expense.

Tuition & Fees, net - $160.6, 79%


  • Tuition Revenues $190.6: Tuition charged to students enrolled in the college's academic programs and courses during the academic year and summer session.
  • Scholarships ($38): Financial aid awards to eligible students enrolled in formal coursework; other grants and stipends to eligible students.
  • Fees $12.5: Instructional resource fees charged to students enrolled in programs or courses of study requiring supplies, materials, services, and equipment not covered by tuition charges; other fees charged to students for programs and services such as international programs, the health center, student orientation, U-Pass, and transcript requests.
  • Tuition Allowances ($4.5): Estimated uncollectible student charges (tuition, fees, residence hall room charges).
Residence Halls, net $28, 14%:

Includes room, meal plan, and supplemental meal plan charges for students living in college-owned and college-leased residence halls.

Instruction Lessons $0.9, 0%:

Instructional lessons and fees for non-degree-seeking students – primarily instruction at Sherwood Community Music School.

Sales & Services $1.2, 1%:

Single, group, and subscription ticket sales to college programs and performances; sales of published works; advertising sales; fees received for conferences held, sponsored, or hosted at the college; charges for educational classes or workshops offered to the general public; commissions generated by the use of vending machines and over-the-counter food services; and sales from the college Bookstore.

Gifts, Contracts, Other Income $1.2, 1%:

Gifts and contract income provided to the college by individuals, foundations, corporations, and other organizations for unrestricted use; income from rental of space or equipment.

Investment Income for Operations $10.3, 5%:

Interest and dividend income from the college’s investments used to support the operating and scholarship budget, in accordance with policies established by the Board of Trustees.

Fiscal Year 2017 Budget

GAAP Composition of Unrestricted Expenses by Function *

(Dollar amounts in millions)

For Fiscal Year 2017, the college’s expenses total $202.2 million:

  • Instructional Departments - $65.8
  • College Administration - $29.7
  • Student Services - $27
  • Library - $3.4
  • Academic Administration - $11
  • Physical Plant - $10.2
  • Depreciation, Debt Interest - $18.9
  • Auxiliary Enterprises and Centers - $4.3
  • Institutional Advancement - $6.4
  • Residence Halls - $25.5

* Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) are the universal accounting standards used in the preparation and presentation of financial statements.

Instructional Departments $65.8, 33%

Departments that deliver the college’s academic programs. Includes the cost of faculty, support staff, and related expenses. Excludes academic administration whose primary function is administrative rather than instructional – for example, the provost’s and deans’ offices.

College Administration $29.7, 15%

Management of, and long-range planning for, the college; fiscal operations; administrative information technology; space management; human resources and non-academic records; procurement; and support services for faculty and staff.

Student Services $27, 13%

Departments that support students’ emotional and physical well-being and intellectual, cultural, and social development outside of the classroom. Also includes the admissions, student employment, student financial services, and student life offices.

Library $3.4, 2%

Includes the Columbia College Chicago Library and inter-library loan program expenses.

Academic Administration $11, 5%

Departments that support academic instruction and the college’s public service mission. Includes the provost’s and deans’ offices, academic initiatives, and related academic support.

Physical Plant $10.2, 5%

Departments that operate and maintain the physical plant, both facilities and grounds (excluding residence halls). Includes utilities, maintenance, and security.

Depreciation and Interest $18.9, 9%

Depreciation allocates the cost of fixed assets – buildings, equipment – over the useful life of those assets. Interest expense is the cost of repaying loans used to finance the acquisition, construction, renovation, and equipping of educational or student housing facilities.

Auxiliary Enterprises and Centers $4.3, 2%

Departments that furnish goods or services to students, faculty, or staff, or that provide non-instructional services to external individuals and groups. Includes ShopColumbia, the Computer Store, community service activities, and arts- and media-focused research and outreach centers (Museum of Contemporary Photography, Center for Community Arts Partnerships, Center for Black Music Research, etc.).

Institutional Advancement $6.4, 3%

Development and fundraising activities, alumni and community relations, and communication and marketing.

Residence Halls $25.5, 13%

Includes both college-owned and college-leased properties. Expenditures include personnel, supplies, services, lease payments, and the operation and maintenance of plant.