UW System announces Wisconsin Tuition Promise initiative

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 4:35 PM CDT
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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) - The UW System is hoping to make college more accessible for Wisconsin students.

System president Jay Rothman was joined by UW-La Crosse Chancellor Joe Gow and UW-Platteville Chancellor Tammy Evetovich Tuesday in announcing the Wisconsin Tuition Promise program.

The initiative will provide up to four years of tuition and fee funding for students coming from families earning less than $62,000 annually.

Rothman says the goal is to provide first-generation students and those from low-to-moderate income families the chance to continue their education.

“The Tuition Promise is an investment in human capital, it is investment in people,” Rothman expressed. “We believe that all students deserve an opportunity to receive a UW System education.”

Eligible students must be Wisconsin residents, be first-time enrollees or transfer students, be continuously enrolled in school, and apply for financial aid each year.

UW-La Crosse Vice Chancellor for Admissions and Recruitment Cory Sjoquist says the program will help remove a common barrier for prospective college students.

“Oftentimes when we’re working with students and families, they ask about that cost,” Sjoquist explained. “This will help them because they can see that if they fall into that category and they qualify, they know that the tuition portion is taken care of.”

Once those students are enrolled, Gow says they’ll eventually be able to bolster the state’s workforce.

“The program will get more students into the university, and that means we’re going to have more graduates, and more skilled graduates, and so this is great for the future of Wisconsin,” Gow conveyed.

The program will officially launch in the fall of 2023, and its first year carries a $13.8 million price tag that will be covered by the UW System.

In order for Wisconsin Tuition Promise to continue past the 2023-24 school year, Rothman says state aid will be needed.

“We want to partner with the Legislature, and it will be included as part of the budget request that we make in terms of the biennial budget,” Rothman detailed. “Our hope is they would support the second year, and hopefully thereafter.”

The UW System estimates 8,000 students will be supported through the program once it’s fully implemented over four years.

More information about Wisconsin Tuition Promise can be found here.

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