UW Regents have cleared a tuition hike for state universities. Prior to the vote regents heard the presentation breaking down the proposed $5.6 billion dollar annual operating budget. Regent and current student Aaron Wingad talked of how the UW system has to make up for shortfalls from state government. Although far from perfect, Wingad said the budget does “a reasonable job of spreading the burden…among students, faculty and programs alike.”
The budget contains 5.5 percent tuition hike for universities, along with a tuition freeze for the two year schools. The freeze has been in effect for four years leading to concerns about incentives it’s creating. Regent Tom Loftus questioned if the policy is steering students into those cheaper UW schools.
“The success rate needs to be better here,” said Loftus about the relatively low number of degrees coming out of the two year schools. Other regents claimed it’s possible there are students who complete two years of coursework at those schools however do not complete an associates’ degree. These students then transfer and eventually finish a bachelors’ degree.
Tuition at UW-Madison and UW-Eau Claire would be slightly higher as the campuses phase in tuition surcharges. Regardless, tuition at the Madison flagship would remain the second lowest in the Big Ten, according to UW System President Kevin Reilly.