Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Disparity for non-residents grows as regents boost tuition again

University of Wisconsin’s board of regents decided Monday how it would raise tuition each semester of the 2002-03 school year: just under 8 percent for residents and 13 percent for out-of-staters, as prescribed by state legislature.

After the increase, undergraduates at UW’s Madison campus will pay $2,212 or $9,188 in tuition and fees for the fall semester, depending on Wisconsin residency — by far the largest gap between in-state and out-of-state students in the Big Ten, and the numbers are widening. Resident tuition will raise $143 per semester next year, compared with $1,027 for non-residents.

The regents had originally planned an 8.2 percent boost for residents but a budget repair bill approved the same day by the state Assembly established the 8 percent cap, forcing UW to shave the extra two tenths. The proposal also includes a measure to tie financial aid to the ever-rising tuition costs, but Gov. Scott McCallum can veto that part of the budget.

University officials were dealing with $44 million in system cuts legislated by the bill.

“It had a very direct impact on the eight percent limitation,” said Charles Hoslet, state relations officer for Chancellor John Wiley.

Regardless, state law requires an addition 5 percent increase for non-residents on top of any increase for students from Wisconsin. That provision was part of the original budget submitted last year.

UW did not push out-of-state tuition higher than the extra 5 percent mandated by the state, despite the restraint on in-state costs, Hoslet said.

The school announced its tuition increase as the lowest among public Big Ten universities, many of which are also strapped under tightening budgets. Not all of them have to contend with tuition caps.

Ohio State and Purdue bumped numbers by ghastly amounts in attempts to controvert funding cuts.

Purdue will charge resident freshman 25 percent more ($2,790) than last fall but is “grandfathering” its continuing students, who have to pay about $500 less than those incoming. Ohio’s legislature tried to set a 9 percent cap on tuition increases after its governor balked at an Ohio State plan to hike costs 35 percent. But the limitation failed and OSU students will pay about 19 percent more ($2,832 or $7,544) than last year.

Hoslet suggested schools battle these problems all the time.

“The level of tuition increase in any given year is in direct response to the amount of state funds given to the institution,” he said.

Two other schools UW cited for increasing tuition at higher rates than itself, Michigan State (8.5 percent) and Minnesota (17 percent), distributed the increases levelly between residents and non-residents.

Even at Purdue, nonresident tuition rose “only” 15 percent (from $6,936 to $8,130), or close to the same scale as Wisconsin’s.

Students coming to Madison from out of the state already bear a heavier burden of tuition revenue, per individual, than other Big Ten schools.

UW’s latest increase pushed the non-resident rate up to 4.2 times the rate for residents.

By contrast, non-Minnesotans pay a 3-1 ratio in the Twin Cities, and out-of-staters pay just 2.7 times that of students from Ohio and Michigan who go to OSU and MSU.

Students who went to the University of Michigan, which has not yet announced tuition increases for next year but falls under the same 8.5 percent cap as MSU, paid 3.3 times the amount non-residents did last semester.

Universities charge higher out-of-state tuition because the parents of residents pay taxes that contribute to the institution’s revenue. Wisconsin taxpayers accounted for $7,970 in subsidies per student in the 2001-02 school year, according to UW.

Since the extra 5 percent bump applies to an already greater cost, the difference non-residents will pay is 7.2 times the tuition increase for residents.

“If the legislature were able to provide more funding so we would be able to meet our goals of maintaining and improving quality, we wouldn’t have to increase tuition,” Hoslet said.

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