Wisconsin students may pay more to attend U of M

Instate is still too expensive

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker says the state shouldn’t have to subsidize the reciprocity agreement that allows both Wisconsin and Minnesota students pay instate tuition even if they study in the others’ states.

The University of Minnesota is $3,000-per-year more expensive than the the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and he says taxpayers shouldn’t be picking up that extra expense.

So it looks like he wants to charge Wisconsin students the difference.

This from the Associated Press:

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin college students would have to

pay more to attend the University of Minnesota under a proposal

backed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Walker is asking the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee to

approve a change to the two states’ 43-year-old tuition reciprocity

program that would save Wisconsin money by making students who go

to Minnesota pay more.

The reciprocity program allows Wisconsin and Minnesota

college-bound students to pay instate tuition even if they attend

public universities in the other state. This year it costs about

$3,000 more in tuition and fees to attend the University of

Minnesota than it does to go to the University of

Wisconsin-Madison. Under the deal, the state of Wisconsin makes up

the difference for students who decide to go to Minnesota.

That subsidy would end under Walker’s proposal, which means

Wisconsin students would have to pay all of the higher Minnesota

resident tuition.

“We don’t think taxpayers should pay more to send Wisconsin

students to an out-of-state college than they would for an in-state

college,” said Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie.

The agreement to end the deal was reached earlier this year by

Wisconsin’s Higher Educational Aids Board, which runs the program,

and the state of Minnesota. A spokeswoman for the Minnesota Higher

Education Services Office had no immediate comment.

“Administratively it is a nightmare to keep track of all the

students and come up with the additional tuition they owe,” said

the Wisconsin board’s interim administrator Sherrie Nelson, at a

Thursday budget briefing before the Joint Finance Committee. She

said given the cost of the program, the state felt it was best to

“take the burden off the state” and have the students pick up the

cost.

Walker estimated the state would save $12 million a year by

eliminating the subsidy, but Nelson said the savings would actually

be closer to $4 million. About 10,600 Wisconsin students

participated in the program this year, with the majority of them

attending the University of Minnesota, Nelson said.