The vice-chairman of the state Senate Universities and Technical Colleges Committee says continuing a tuition freeze for University of Wisconsin campuses for another two years is a “clear choice” for state lawmakers to make.
State Sen. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) said carrying on the freeze, which has been in place through the last two biennial budgets, is a key component of the spending plan Governor Scott Walker will roll out early next year. The Whitewater Republican noted that the freeze has saved the average UW System student $6,311.
“Extending the UW System tuition freeze is a clear choice for legislators; you can stand with Wisconsin’s middle class families or you can bow to the desires of out-of-touch university administrators earning six-digit salaries,” Nass said in a statement.
The senator’s comments come after UW System President Ray Cross said the Board of Regents will vote on a budget request next week that asks for ending the freeze on tuition increases, along with $42.5 million in new spending. Cross has billed the move as a worthwhile investment in the state’s economy, while arguing that ending the freeze is necessary in order to meet the UW’s goal of helping more students graduate on time and reduce the overall cost of a college education.
However, Nass argued that the ten years before the freeze saw the UW “UW System officials victimize families and students with an unjustified 118% increase in tuition.”
Whether the freeze continues is likely to factor heavily into budget talks next year. Governor Scott Walker recently sent a letter to state agencies where he said he does plan to include it in his budget proposal.