MADISON, Wis. – With college affordability a top priority, the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents approved a UW System proposal recommending increased state funding for financial aid at its meeting Thursday at UW-Milwaukee.
The UW System is requesting an increase of $6,384,100 in 2017-18 and an additional $6,384,100 in 2018-19 for the Wisconsin Grant-University of Wisconsin (UW) program, which is the state’s largest financial aid program for students attending UW institutions. The program is administered by the state’s Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB).
“This proposal reflects our commitment to UW System students, their families and a stronger future for Wisconsin,” said UW System President Ray Cross. “Affordability is a top priority. Higher education is so critical to the success of both individuals and our society. We need to keep the doors in the UW System open to any students seeking a college degree while helping limit their debt loads.”
One in four resident UW System undergraduates – more than 32,000 students – received a Wisconsin Grant in 2014-15. The average grant was $1,773.
“At a time when there is legitimate concern about the rising levels of student debt, what we’re really talking about is not just the cost of a student’s UW experience, but rather the net cost. The amount of state and federal support a student receives plays a significant part in keeping that net cost down. It is incumbent on us to advocate for the support necessary for our students,” said Regent President Regina Millner.
Overall, seven out of 10 UW System students received $1.4 billion in some form of financial aid in 2014-15.
The Regent-approved financial aid request will now be forwarded to HEAB for inclusion in that agency’s biennial budget submission to the Department of Administration.