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UW may increase out-of-state enrollment


MADISON (WSAU)  The U-W Board of Regents is about to decide whether to let a larger percentage of its students come from out-of-state. Right now only 25-percent of students can come from outside Wisconsin, not including Minnesotans who pay in-state tuition under a long-time reciprocity agreement. And the Regents will consider an increase to 30-percent when they meet today and tomorrow.

State Assembly Colleges Committee chairman Steve Nass objects. He says it might create fewer opportunities for Wisconsin students to attend the state’s largest campus in Madison. But officials say the proposal would add 200 more spots at Madison for Wisconsin freshmen. Spokesman David Giroux says the school is trying to strike a balance between giving access to Wisconsinites, while attracting the best-and-brightest from throughout the world.

U-W Madison is the only school that’s close to the current out-of-state enrollment limit – and Provost Paul DeLuca says it’s difficult to stay under it. That’s because officials must estimate their enrollments each year, due to the growing numbers of students who apply at more than one college and go somewhere else.

The proposal could also bring in more revenue, because out-of-state students generally pay higher tuition. Each percentage point in non-resident enrollments would give Madison an extra $4.5-million s a year.

Nass said he was caught off-guard when the proposal was unveiled this week – and he wants to delay it so the public can have more of a say. But DeLuca says many lawmakers support the change – and he calls it a policy matter for the Regents – not a political matter for the Legislature.