With the rise of rumors circling around a new piece of legislation that would allow institution-wide differential tuition that could increase the base rate currently paid by students, the University of Wisconsin student government is taking preemptive action.
If voted into law, the bill would allow institution-wide differential tuition programs to add to the base amount of tuition currently set by the Board of Regents, according to 2011 Assembly Bill 241.
This would allow tuition to increase above 5.5 percent from the previous year – a limit that had been placed by the Board of Regents, according to statement from the Associated Students of Madison.
While UW is not currently included in the legislation, students’ elected representatives want to make sure it stays off the list.
Currently on the list are UW-Stevens Point, UW-Green Bay and Madison Colleges, none of which currently allow differential tuition, according to the bill.
UW already has a differential tuition program set up through the Madison Initiative for Undergraduates tuition stipend, which launched under former Chancellor Biddy Martin.
MIU places a 3 percent cap on tuition increases for students whose households report an annual income of $80,000 or more, according to the MIU website.
If UW were added to the proposed legislation, additional forms of differential tuition could exist and increase tuition rates significantly, according to the statement.
ASM Chair Allie Gardner said there were alternate revenue sources other than student’s pockets in a press conference held Tuesday, citing state aid, federal aid and donors to the university as more viable options.
Gardner added all actions at this point in the legislative process are proactive and would include public statements and conversation with public administration to demonstrate student opposition to the bill.
“I think it is extremely important that students make it clear to our administration that we cannot afford any more tuition increases,” she said.