Reciprocity spikes up rivalry between Minnesota and Wisconsin Universities

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- The choice between attending a Minnesota or Wisconsin university after high school can already be a tough one for many students. And because of reciprocity it is an even harder one for kids living closer to the Minnesota-Wisconsin border.

One in four students attending University of Wisconsin Eau Claire came across the river, and reciprocity is to thank for that.

"Reciprocity is important because, I don't think that I would have come here if it wasn't for reciprocity, because it made it a lot cheaper,” said Minnesota native UW Eau Claire student Hayley Rueckert.

"It does encourage students to look at Minnesota school if you are from Wisconsin and the other way around,” said Wisconsin native UW Eau Claire student Andria Schwabe.

But with birth rates dropping in the past decade reciprocity could make it more difficult for Wisconsin schools to lure prospective students.

"Does that mean we'll have some competition with some school in Minnesota? Sure! And especially with a place like Eau Claire, we are an hour from the border; we are going to have students who are looking at Minnesota as well as Wisconsin schools,” said Kris Anderson, the Director of Admission at UW Eau Claire.

"I know a lot of kids from my grade, from my school, that did choose Twin Cities, because it is a great school,” said Schwabe.

But Anderson says even with the big maroon and gold competitor next door UW Eau Claire is still an popular option for students.

"When you look at the quality and traditions of the University of Wisconsin System, I mean, this is one of the best university systems in the world! It makes sense that we would be an attractive option for students from other states," said Anderson.

Anderson also says UW Eau Claire has a big freshman class, which means that it does rely on kids right out of high school to attend the university so they will be recruiting more heavily in the next couple of years.

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