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HomeBreakingUniversity of Wisconsin Approves 5% Tuition Hike

University of Wisconsin Approves 5% Tuition Hike

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Regents at the University of Wisconsin say they are worried about the growing costs of attaining a college education, but almost every single one of them voted to raise tuition at the state’s campuses.

The UW’s 5% tuition hike passed Friday on a 15-1 vote.

Only Technical College System President Rodney Pasch voted against the increase, saying those are real dollars that real students are going to have to pay.

“Either they have an account, a savings that they can pull it out of, or if they have, if they have a job, they have to work some additional hours, or they have to go in debt. And we know that debt is a certain problem that students are dealing with today,” he said.

Regent Scott Beightol defended the tuition hike as part of inflation.

“It is important to all of us that a UW education continues to be affordable, but as resident tuition rates have been held flat for the past 10 years, inflation has increased a cumulative 26%, and it’s time to use this operational lever,” Beightol said.

The 5% tuition hike is the first for the UW System in a decade, and is earmarked mostly for raises and university employees.

Regent Dana Wachs said charging students more will allow the university to draw top employees from across the country.

“Now is the time to start taking steps to preserve this institution and preserve it into the future,” he said.

Regent President Karen Walsh echoed that idea, adding the University of Wisconsin needs more top professors and teachers.

“I’m very concerned about quality – and the campuses need to have the resources to deliver on this.”

The tuition increase is not a blanket across-the-board hike. Each campus will see a slightly different increase. For example, tuition will jump 5.4% at UW-River Fall, while only going-up 4.8% at UW-Whitewater.

Out-of-state students will also see a slightly lower increase, and graduate students will see a slightly different rate as well.

Wisconsin lawmakers froze tuition at the University of Wisconsin back in 2013 after years of tuition increases. Lawmakers have warned the university, however, not to move too quickly or raise tuition too high.

Rep. Dave Murphy, R-Greenville, has a piece of legislation that would limit tuition increases to the rate of inflation. The UW’s 5% hike falls well under the restrictions in Murphy’s legislation.

UW students will see the new tuition increase on their bills next fall.

Ben Yount - The Center Square
The Center Square contributor

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