Governor Walker, Legislative Republicans Failing Wisconsin College Students
Cuts to UW campuses and financial aid leading to higher student loan debt
(Madison)--This week the UW System announced student fee increases needed to bridge the gap created by funding cuts imposed by Walker and legislative Republicans since they took power in 2011. In addition, UW System President Ray Cross will be asking the Board of Regents to seek a 33% biennial increase in need-based financial aid from the state.
In the past six years, the average cost of attendance in the UW System has increased 16%, while at the same time the average Wisconsin Grant awarded to students attending UW System schools declined by 18%.
“Despite claims that they are committed to keeping college affordable, Governor Walker and legislative Republicans continue to price Wisconsin students out of a higher education,” said Hansen. “This should surprise no one. You can’t keep cutting support for the UW System and reducing access to financial aid without having a negative impact on students and the quality of their education.”
GPR support of the UW system is the lowest it’s been since 2007 (including debt service). Adjusting for inflation, GPR support is the lowest it’s been ever. In addition, Senate Republicans and Governor Walker are refusing to help students by fulfilling the $400/student financial aid increase. The number of resident students eligible for state support increased from 28,132 in 2008-09 to 34,521 in 2014-15, a 23% increase.
“Governor Walker and Republicans have cut $795 million in funding for our UW campuses and have refused to increase financial aid,” said Hansen. “As a result we are seeing more and more students forced to rely on student loans to pay for their education. It is time to recognize that despite their claims, the Governor and republican leaders have made it more expensive and more difficult for students of average means to get a college education.“