UW-Madison’s resident undergraduate students would see a $419 increase in tuition and fees for the next academic year under a proposal unveiled by UW System President Jay Rothman.
Rothman told state lawmakers earlier this month of his plan to propose a tuition increase for the 2023-24 year to address revenue constraints across the entire UW System. If passed by the Board of Regents later this month, it would mark the first time the UW System has raised tuition for in-state undergraduates since 2013.
Exact increases would vary at each of UW System’s 13 universities, according to information provided Friday. All told, resident undergraduate students would see an average 4.2% increase in tuition and fees, including room and board costs. Certain high-cost programs at some universities also would increase, as well as tuition for graduate and nonresident undergraduate students, Rothman noted.
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“We are an incredible value compared to our peers, and we know that an investment in higher education pays off in the long run with higher earnings and more career mobility,” Rothman said in a statement. “The strength of the UW System rests in the quality of education it provides to its students, and that is done through sound investment.”
Under the proposal, the average cost of tuition and fees at UW-Madison would increase by $419, while room rates and meal plans would increase by $250, according to information provided by the System. All told, the increases represent a 3% change over the current academic year.
Out-of-state undergraduate students would see tuition increase by $1,137, or 3.3%, at UW-Madison.
The cost for students in programs such as engineering, nursing, biomedical, health sciences, business, computer science, cybersecurity, construction management and fine arts across the System’s 12 universities would also increase under the proposal.
There are no plans for increases to resident or nonresident graduate tuition at UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee and UW-Superior. Graduate programs at other universities would increase by 2% to 5.4%.
The proposed tuition and fees (excluding room rates and meal plans) for the next academic year would range from $7,855 at UW-Parkside to $11,215 at UW-Madison.
The Board of Regents is slated to consider the tuition increase proposal at its March 30-31 meeting at UW-Stout.
The state Legislature kept tuition frozen for eight years before lawmakers relinquished control of in-state tuition to the Regents in 2021. The System kept the freeze in place for the 2022-23 school year.
Rothman has said the tuition increase for next year is vital to the System’s financial health and ability to maintain its educational standards.
“It is unsustainable to continue a decade-long tuition freeze, even as costs have increased and inflation has accelerated,” Rothman said. “This modest tuition increase will help our universities continue to provide students with a world-class education, produce the talent that makes Wisconsin’s workforce succeed, and spark innovation and vitality in our communities.”
It’s estimated the increase would generate an additional $38 million a year in revenue. That increase would largely go toward funding increases in the employee pay plan, 70% of which has historically been covered by the state with the remainder covered by the System, Rothman told lawmakers. In its biennial budget request, the System asked for the state to fully cover the pay plan increases.
Gov. Tony Evers’ 2023-25 budget proposal left the System $130 million short of the $435.9 million increase the System requested. Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers have proposed a bill that would allow the Regents to set tuition, but any increases of in-state resident tuition would be limited to the rate of inflation.
A 2020 study by the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum found that other states did a better job than Wisconsin at providing public universities with more taxpayer funding to make up for budget shortfalls caused by tuition freezes or other limits.
Proposed cost for resident undergraduates to attend a University of Wisconsin System school, FY24
|UW Campus||Tuition||Fees||Room||Meal plan||TOTAL||Change over FY23|
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