UW Board of Trustees Extends State Undergraduate Tuition Freeze | local government

Wisconsin residents will no longer pay next year to attend universities in the state.

The University of Wisconsin System Board of Trustees on Thursday approved a tuition freeze for state undergraduates as part of the 2022-23 operating budget.

Newly appointed system chairman Jay Rothman recommended extending the freeze for a ninth straight year, saying it would be funded using a $25 million allocation of federal pandemic relief funds .

Last year, Republican lawmakers relinquished power to set tuition to regents for the first time since a tuition freeze in 2013.

Rothman said he wants to address affordability and enrollment numbers, attract more students from underrepresented groups, strengthen the system’s relationship with the legislature and the business community, and address lingering concerns about diversity, equity and inclusion on campus.

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“We appreciate the Legislature’s recognition of the Council as the tuition-setting authority for the UW system,” Regent Chairman Edmund Manydeeds III said in a statement. “The affordability review requested by Chairman Rothman will give us the data we need to make decisions going forward.”


Researchers from the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum wrote in an April report that state spending on grants, loans, and scholarships for undergraduates grew rapidly from 2000 to 2011, but has stagnated since then.

Students in the UW system eligible for a Wisconsin scholarship, the most common form of state financial aid awarded based on financial need, received an average of $2,163 in 2010 but only $2,037 in 2021 — without adjustment for inflation.

The report also found that Wisconsin’s financial aid funding lags far behind other states. This may be the result of a political focus on maintaining the state’s undergraduate tuition freeze as a way to keep UW tuition affordable.