UW System spokesman David Giroux says student debt is a big concern for many struggling families. He says there’s been a huge spike in applications for need-based financial aid; there’s more need, but less money to go around. Yet, Giroux says, there is still a significant amount of help available. “In fact, some 70 percent of our students today do not pay the full sticker price of tuition.”
Giroux says their challenge is to do a better job helping people to understand the difference between sticker price of a college education and net price. He compares it to a car loan, explaining, there is room for negotiation in reducing the final sticker price when considering factory rebates and incentives. Giroux says the same is true in higher education. There are grants, loans, and scholarships available.
Also, he compares the differences in long-term benefits in each scenario. “If you take out $25,000 in loans to buy a new car today, about five to ten years from now that car is going to be worth almost zero. If you take out $25,000 in loans today to go to college, ten years from now hopefully you’ve been able to translate that college education into a better quality of life and into a better career trajectory.”
Regents at the University of Wisconsin System on Thursday approved a 5.5 percent tuition increase for all 26 campuses to help offset funding reductions.
That 5.5 percent translates to about $247 at each of the two-year campuses, up to $328 at several of the four-year campuses, with a highest increase of $681 at UW-Madison.
AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:41