MADISON, Wis.—University of Wisconsin System Interim President Michael J. Falbo issued this statement today:
“State support for its public universities here in Wisconsin has fallen from around 30 percent in 2002 to 18 percent today. While students and families are picking up more of the costs of education, student aid has also fallen behind. Declining student aid increases student debt, depresses enrollment, and exacerbates Wisconsin’s workforce challenges.
“The University of Wisconsin is the state’s primary magnet for developing, attracting, and retaining talent. Yet, investment in financial aid for Wisconsin students is now well below national averages. That is why we proposed expanding UW-Madison’s Bucky’s Tuition Promise to all UW System universities in the last budget. Targeted aid to students will help more than just those students and families affected, it would help all of Wisconsin. More students getting more education leads to more graduates. Simply put, student aid should be an easy investment to increase personal earnings and address workforce shortages.”
The University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 165,000 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. Nearly 90 percent of in-state UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree – with a median salary of more than $66,000. The UW System provides a 23:1 return on state investment. UW System universities also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.