Raymond Cross

Raymond Cross

The new president of the University of Wisconsin System says the possibility of another tuition freeze could provide an opportunity to start a new discussion about the costs of higher education.

The current state budget froze UW tuition for two years, following revelations last spring that the System was sitting on a large cash reserve. Republicans have said they want to do it again in the next budget, with the system expected to end this year with another surplus. UW System President Ray Cross says another freeze may not necessarily be a bad thing, and it may open up discussions about how state aid has gone down during the years tuition went up.

AUDIO: UW President Ray Cross

Speaking at a Wispolitics.com event in Madison this week, Cross said he wants to start talking about rising student debt and how the state can work to address the issue. Cross said “student debt is enormous, and if we are oblivious to that, shame on us. That has to be a priority.”

Cross says he expects the UW System could make its largest ever request for student financial aid during the next state budget process.

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