Well, here we are. Back again for another semester at the University of Wisconsin, and back again are the thoughts, or should I say concerns, of how we’re all going to afford this crazy thing called college.
But if you weren’t already aware, students this year aren’t the only ones worried about the price of an education at UW or any of the other UW System schools.
Flashback to last spring: The country was feeling the Bern of the democratic socialist, then-potential presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., with his prophecies of free post secondary education. Our boy Gov. Scott Walker had hopped on the bandwagon by signing a bunch of college affordability bills into laws with hopes to keep prices of school reasonable.
These are the college affordability bills Walker just signed into lawGov. Scott Walker signed most of his college affordability package into law Monday. The first law will increase funding for grants Read…
Nowadays, as the state biennial budget deadline rolls in, UW System Board of Regents President Ray Cross has also had college affordability on his mind, among several other topics.
The new 2020FWD: Moving Wisconsin and the World Forward plan Cross and company have developed partially focuses on the idea that the less time a student spends at a university, the less debt they will inevitably accrue.
If this theme of less time as a student means less student debt seems familiar — it is. This same idea was part of Walker’s game plan last spring when he was signing his college affordability package into law
So it appears both Cross and Walker want just about the same thing: To make the UW System a place where students can find affordable post secondary education by turning it into somewhat of a workforce assembly line, pumping out employees to fill the jobs powering the Wisconsin economy.
Now why anyone would want to create an education system with the purpose of serving the economy rather than create leaders of tomorrow is beyond me. But the fact of the matter is that Cross and Walker seem to be butting heads when it comes to achieving this goal.
It’s no secret that Walker hasn’t been the most generous governor when it comes to the education spending. Apart from continuing his tuition freeze for the next couple years, he also has declared that he will not be providing any extra funding to the UW System throughout the 2017-19 state budget.
On the other hand, Cross is asking for a measly $42 million to fund his 2020FWD plan as well as calling for an end to Walker’s iron-fisted grip on tuition.
In all honesty, I’m a little miffed as to what Walker’s big game plan is here. He’s going to keep in-state tuition at a standstill, but at the same time, not help the UW System make up for the money they lose in the freeze? Now don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty cool that I don’t have to worry about my tuition rising for the next couple years, but this frozen tuition is going to have to thaw eventually.
Regents approve $42.5 million budget focused on developing workforce, college affordabilityAmid a series of power outages, the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents unanimously approved a plan to help Read…
Remember that thrilling movie starring Al Gore that came out a few years ago? Well it’s not too hard to imagine that when this tuition freeze finally gets removed, the “Inconvenient Truth” will be that students will be drowning in the flood as tuition levels rise in order to make up for these past few years. This tuition freeze can only be a temporary solution to the question of college affordability, and when it finally expires, it does not bode well for the students who will be forced to pick up the slack.
Walker cannot rely on the tuition freeze alone to make colleges in UW System schools affordable. He has to do something to make up for all the lost funds that would have come from the tuition levels fluctuating if he wants to protect students for when the tuition freeze ends.
Phil Michaelson ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in biomedical engineering.