February 12, 2016

Regents to vote on higher out-of-state cap

The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System is expected to vote Friday on a recommendation to raise the cap on out-of-state enrollments. UW Madison interim Chancellor David Ward said there’s increased capacity within the UW System. “We want to take more in-state students, but the challenge is, as we deal with the declining demographics in Wisconsin, there are fewer high school students from Wisconsin,” said Ward. “We’d like a little more flexibility in the in-state out-of-state proportion.”

“We’re talking about an increase in capacity of barely 200, 250 students, so it’s not dramatically changing it,” said Ward. Wisconsin is alone among Big 10 institutions in placing any restrictions on out-of-state enrollment.

On Thursday, a Regents’ committee approved raising the cap on out-of-state enrollment to 27.5 percent of the total student body system-wide. An initial proposal to raise it to 30 percent drew an angry response from the chair of the Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee, state Representative Steve Nass. “I have some regrets that used 30 percent, because it became the focus, not the idea that in effect we’ll be taking in more in-state students,” said Ward. “But the net result of that is that because of the flow-through of out-of-state students, there are going to be slightly more than 25 percent of out-of-state students.”

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