Tuition freeze could raze college costs

A graphic illustration of the cost of tuition.

According to the estimates given by UW-Parkside’s website since 2014, tuition cost has generally remained the same for the past three years. This is largely due to the tuition freeze Governor Walker placed on the UW System in 2013.

Current tuition costs

Currently, tuition is estimated at $7,368, while in the previous two school years–the 2014-2015 year and the 2015-2016 year–the cost had been fixed at $7,316. This increase of 0.7% doesn’t even keep up with the inflation rate.

For comparison, Ranger News looked at the tuition increases at Carthage College and the University of Chicago. According to the official Carthage website since 2012, Carthage’s estimated tuition cost has increased 27.1%–from $33,000 to $41,950–at an average rate of 4.9% per year. According to the University of Chicago’s website, it is estimated tuition cost has increased 21.9%–from $37,692 to $45,963–at an average rate of 4.0% since 2011.

The national average for public schools has only increased 5.6% in the last three years, from $9,139 to $9,650. However, its increase has shown no signs of stopping.

Looking at the numbers above and comparing the increase in tuition to the rate of inflation, it is actually cheaper to go to UW-Parkside this year than it was in 2014. If you calculate the inflation, the cost for a year’s tuition currently should be $7,528.22, based on the 2014 cost of $7,316. With this inflation we are actually saving about $212.22 this year alone.

Implications of the tuition freeze

This tuition freeze may seem like a positive thing, but according to the 2015-2017 budget plan, there were $250 million dollars cut from the UW System’s budget, meaning that with no increase in tuition–not even an increase to keep up with inflation–there has been no way for the schools to keep up with the budget cuts aside from the supposed of nearly $1 billion, which sparked the freeze in the first place. This freeze cost the UW System an estimated $28 million, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In the fiscal year of 2017-2018 there will be a 5% decrease in tuition costs. This means the projected cost of tuition for UW-Parkside should be around a flat $7,000 in the year of 2017-2018.


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