The Badger Promise program is a new action of financial support put forth by the University of Wisconsin this year. It provides opportunities for students reliant on financial aid to gain a quality education without having to pay off all of their tuition costs.

The targeted students for this program are lower-income Wisconsin residents with a desire to transfer into UW from other two-year schools. The eligible students are qualified, driven and deserving of such monetary support. Therefore, it is a very commendable program. Hopefully, it will create a greater attitude of inclusion into the Badger community.

No 18 or early 20-year-old should have to struggle with financial stress. They should be focused on more important values and goals, such as pursuing an education, following their passions, enjoying friends and family and living a healthy, happy life.

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Coursework, student organizations, clubs, sporting events and studying should take up more of a college student’s time than constantly laboring to pay off debt. There are way more important things to worry about, such as not getting ripped off when buying football tickets off Facebook, surviving the Sahara desert conditions of AEPi’s basement and maybe even studying for that Chem exam you are certain you’ll fail.

It is beneficial for both the student and the school administration to put more funds towards helping ambitious students reach their academic goals.

Badger Promise is funded through the institution, state funds and private sources, therefore it is not taxing other students who are capable of paying their tuition in full. The great part about this motion is that it’s easy. Students will be notified once they are deemed eligible to receive this financial aid as long as they have completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank and UW Colleges and Extension Chancellor, Cathy Sandeen, have teamed up for the greater good. “As a first generation college student myself, I know firsthand the critical difference a program like this will make in the lives of students,” Sandeen says. This personal connection she holds with current young students, and the implementation of this financial aid opportunity, shows that she is determined to make a difference on campus.

When it came to Badger Promise specifically, Blank and Sandeen had transfer students eager to attend UW in mind. This year, “the financial aid package is being provided this semester to 139 new transfer students.” This will clearly make a difference in the overall mood and well-being of students on campus.

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There is quite a broad range of different schools in which students can transfer from, making this program accessible to more than just a super specific few. “Students can transfer from any of the two-year UW Colleges (including UW Colleges online) or from liberal arts associate degree programs at Madison College (Madison Area Technical College), Milwaukee Area Technical College, Nicolet College, the College of Menominee Nation, and the Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwa Community College.”

Every Badger can agree that UW is the best school in the country. Therefore, expanding our community through financially inclusive programs seems to pose no downsides for the rest of the Badger family. No one should feel discouraged from pursuing their dreams or attending their dream school due to monetary setbacks. Having one’s tuition paid for can really lift a heavy weight off of their shoulders and the entire campus community will reap the reward.

Jill Kazlow ([email protected]) is a sophomore intending to major in journalism.