by Benjamin Yount
The University of Wisconsin is moving toward its first tuition increase in a decade.
UW President Jay Rothman told lawmakers on Thursday that he will ask regents to raise tuition by 5%, starting next fall.
“After more than a decade of frozen tuition rates and as costs have increased and more particularly in recent years, inflation has accelerated, it is essential that we seek this increase for the long-term financial viability of our universities and to sustain the quality of education and research and services that we provide,” Rothman said in a hearing before the Assembly Committee on Colleges and universities.
Rothman also asked for nearly $2 billion for new buildings on UW campuses, as well as millions of dollars more to pay for free-tuition programs at the UW’s other campuses, and to cover the cost of inflation.
“We are requesting a 4% general purpose revenue increase in the 2023 year, and a 4% increase in the following year in support of general operating budgets for the UW System,” Rothman explained.
Wisconsin lawmakers froze tuition at the UW System back in 2013. They lifted that freeze in 2021, but warned UW managers against rising tuition too quickly or too high.
Tuition at UW schools varies by campus, and Rothman insists that even with the tuition hike, Wisconsin’s other campuses will remain affordable.
“The UW System already offers the most affordable public education system in the upper Midwest,” Rothman said. “No one compares to us.”
In-state tuition at UW-Madison, the state’s largest campus, is currently just under $11,000 a year. A five percent increase would push that total just over $11,000.
Out-of-state tuition is much higher, at nearly $40,000 a-year.
Rothman told lawmakers he plans to ask UW Regents to approve the tuition hike at their meeting later this month.
– – –
Benjamin Yount is a contributor to The Center Square.
Photo “Jay Rothman” by Jay Rothman. Background Photo “University of Wisconsin-Madison” by University of Wisconsin-Madison.