Walker lowers tuition in new proposal

NIKOLAI LUMPKINS | lumpk001@rangers.uwp.edu

The Student Government for the UW school system held the first student representative meeting of the spring semester on Saturday, February 4th, at UW-Parkside.

State Representative, Cory Mason, attended to answer questions from the student representatives, most notably the concerns surrounding Governor Scott Walker’s budget proposal for 2017-2019.  

Student representative from UW-Madison, Sally Rohrer, raised an issue regarding the effect that lowering in-state tuition will have on the cost of tuition for out-of-state students.

In response, Mason stated that “tuition cut’s are good, if it’s properly funded” and explained that, if revenue increases at the amount projected, then the cost is unlikely to fall onto out-of-state students, but that “unfortunately, there is no easier place to cut funding to the University of Wisconsin, and that needs to change.” With Scott Walker’s new budget proposal, Mason may have gotten his wish.

Increased funding for education.

On Tuesday, February 8th, Walker unveiled his full budget proposal, and the most striking changes are his plans to cut tuition for in-state students by five percent and require all UW schools to provide three-year-degree programs.

Walker’s decision to fund education after years of neglecting the UW system has raised suspicions, with many student’s questioning Walker’s motives.

The tuition cut is to be funded by a $35 million increase in expected revenue. The UW system will also be seeing an increase in funding by $100 million with 42.5 percent of the increase allocated to programs based on performance metrics, which means that programs that are more affordable show greater workforce success of graduates and have higher administrative efficiency are likely to benefit more from the budget increase.

Programs that are easily adapted to a three-year program are also likely to benefit more from the budget increase.

The new budget proposal will also allow students to opt out of paying segregated fees. Walker claims this change would let students “make the decisions on what they do and do not want to fund.”

Could this be the end for some clubs?

However, concerns have been raised that the cuts will lead to organizations on campus not getting the funding they require to provide opportunities that often help students gain admittance into graduate programs.  

Student organizations play a key role in creating well rounded graduates by providing volunteer opportunities, free or low cost training programs for certifications, and leadership positions on campus.

Walker has placed more emphasis on the importance of work experience and internships and will require students to have one or the other in order to graduate from a UW school.

State representative, Cory Mason urges all students to tell friends and family to speak up and get involved in the political process if they want to see change. To get involved, contact your state representative at (888) 534-0066 or at Rep.Mason@legis.wi.gov.


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