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Extra state funding could help lower tuition at UW schools

University of Wisconsin System
University of Wisconsin System

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - UW students could pay their lowest tuition increase in years this fall.

That’s what associate vice president Freda Harris told the university’s Board of Regents Thursday.

Governor Scott Walker has asked lawmakers to approve an extra $181 million in state funds for the UW System over the next two years.

The Regents will set this fall’s tuition during the summer, after the state budget is finalized.

Harris says the extra state funding could help reduce a growing gap between what students pay for their tuition, and what the state kicks in.

Back in the 1970’s, Wisconsin students and their families only paid 25 percent of UW tuition, while the state paid the rest. Now, students cover 70 percent of the tab.

The university has had budget pressures for most of the last three decades. In-state tuition has gone up by 5.5 percent in each of the last four years – and it was even higher before the state imposed limits on tuition hikes in the last decade.