Officials at the University of Wisconsin Madison want to temporarily drop a limit on admitting out-of-state students.
The plan calls for a four year suspension of a policy which limits out-of-state enrollments to 27.5 percent. It’s aimed at attracting more young people to live in Wisconsin and potentially stay here after graduation, while also helping to use the higher tuition rates those students pay to make up for state budget cuts.
Critics have described the move as a “cash grab” that will not benefit Wisconsin natives, but campus officials said it will not affect the school’s mandate to reserve 3,500 spots a year for in-state freshmen.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank noted that changes in the state’s demographics are making it harder for businesses to find workers, due to a drop in the number of students graduating high school. While applications to attend the flagship campus have almost doubled in the past decade, the number of state residents seeking admission has actually been on the decline. Blank contends the waiver will allow the UW to “actively recruit top students from around Wisconsin and beyond so that those students are more likely to seek employment in our state when they graduate.”
Figures released by the UW indicate that, among Wisconsin residents who graduate from the UW-Madison, 72 percent stay in the state following graduation. Among non-resident students, 15 percent stay in Wisconsin in the first year after they graduate.
The request will be presented to the UW System Board of Regents, when it meets next week.