MADISON, Wis. – “Yesterday, the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents took time out of their normal schedule to engage in a lengthy discussion about the future of public higher education. The idea was to put a variety of big ideas on the table, understand those ideas better, and apply that understanding to future policy decisions.
“The Regents spent about two hours on issues related to tuition and financial aid. Among the specific topics covered, the Regents discussed tuition stratification, differential tuition, and the merits of per-credit versus plateau pricing. The Regents talked about savings plans, the benefits of cohort pricing, and the value of discounts for families with multiple children enrolled.
“The Regents also addressed the risks and benefits of using tuition revenue to provide additional need-based financial aid. Out of all the topics discussed, this piece of the conversation has generated the most attention in state and national news outlets today. Some of that coverage implies that a new policy has been adopted, or soon will be.
“To be perfectly clear, no action was scheduled on this or any other strategic topic, and none was taken. There are no plans on the table, only ideas.
“The UW System remains committed to stimulating Wisconsin’s economic vitality by producing more college graduates and supporting the success of home-grown businesses and the jobs they create. We want to preserve Wisconsin’s longstanding reputation for affordability and excellence in higher education. That includes advocating strongly for more public and private investment in need-based financial aid.
“By engaging in such a public brainstorming session, the Regents invited public involvement, and that input is always welcome. However, we hope that any feedback will be based upon the facts. Citizens who share our desire for affordable education can learn more about this topic and other ideas discussed yesterday by going to our website: www.wisconsin.edu. There, you will find streaming audio and video of the Regents’ discussions, as well as all of the policy documents they reviewed.”