The University of Wisconsin’s 2026 freshman class broke several records this year.
UW hit a record enrollment this year, admitting 8,628 students from over 60,000 applicants. Students of color comprise 31.2% of the freshman class, up from 25.2% last year, and 16% of the new class self-identified as first-generation college students, according to UW News.
While the increase in diversity of student enrollment reflects success in UW-Madison’s “REEL Change” plan and Diversity Framework, the estimated cost of attendance increased for students across the board.
In-state students saw their estimated total cost increase by close to $400, while out-of-state students saw a $2,000 increase. Minnesota students saw a change of about $600, according to the UW Office of Financial Aid website.
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Close to 800 members of UW’s freshman class received tuition assistance through the university’s “Bucky’s Tuition Promise” program, according to UW News.
Tuition assistance is just one of the university’s goals, along with the new Engineering Hall and a 4% pay increase for faculty and staff, according to a statement made by UW Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin on Aug. 19.
Bucky’s Tuition Promise is one of the programs mentioned in the UW Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s “Diversity & Inclusion Programs.”
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The UW-System requested a $262 million dollar increase from the state legislature for the 2023-2025 period — in part to keep tuition affordable for low-income students, according to Mnookin’s statement.