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Board Report #01-12

2001-03 Biennial Budget Talking Points

 

2001-03 BIENNIAL BUDGET REQUEST

Summary:
Financial need of Wisconsin college students continues to grow. The need to expand Wisconsin's trained workforce continues to grow. In order to provide access for Wisconsin residents to a college education or training beyond high school, financial assistance programs administered by the Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB) for postsecondary education should become a priority. See background information below and Attachment A, which summarizes HEAB's 2001-03 Biennial Budget request.

Background:
The Higher Educational Aids Board administers need based undergraduate grant programs, the Academic Excellence Scholarship Program, tuition capitation programs for dental and medical students, the MN-WI Reciprocity and other interstate reciprocal tuition programs, as well as several undergraduate loan forgiveness programs. The Higher Educational Aids Board administered $52,003,149 in need-based undergraduate student grants and loans used in Wisconsin in 1999-00. This amounted to 5.21% of the total college costs needy Wisconsin families faced in 1999-00 compared to meeting 5.39% in 1995-96. After family resources and federal, institutional, community, and state resources were taken into consideration, $215,388,030 remained in unmet need. This reflects a 40.82% increase in financial need when compared to the level of financial need found in 1995-96. The financial assistance taken into consideration for this calculation includes need-based employment, loans, and grants. 175,430 needy Wisconsin students applied for State assistance in 1999-00. 47,221 awards based on financial need were made to those applicants. Wisconsin has, in the past, ranked between 12th and 14th in the country in terms of providing undergraduate need-based assistance to residents. However, Minnesota, a neighboring state which has a comparable number of applicants as Wisconsin, had in 1998-99 18% more awards and 113% more in state funded aid for college students. The average award for a Wisconsin undergraduate aid recipient in 1998-99 was $1,032. This was 158% less than Illinois ($2,662), 69% less than Michigan ($1,743), and 128% less than Minnesota ($2,356).

Request:

  1. Due to substantial and increasing unmet financial need, need based undergraduate grant program funding increases are necessary.

  2. Additional funding is required to maintain the same level of funding that college students in Wisconsin received ten or more years ago.

  3. In order to provide program statutory award maximums under the Talent Incentive Program Grant and the Wisconsin Higher Education Grant Program, additional funding is necessary.

  4. The maximum grant statutory language under the Wisconsin Tuition Grant Program must be eliminated in order to assist the neediest students.

  5. Funding is necessary for programs focused on specific State needs:

    1. The Indian Student Assistance Grant Program must be expanded and the maximum award increased in order to provide access and to assist the ever-growing financial need of Wisconsin Native American college students.

    2. The Minority Undergraduate Grant Program must be expanded in order to include not just continuing students but to also include first year, minority, college students. Additional funding would also provide access and assistance to the ever-growing financial need of Wisconsin minority college students.

    3. The Minority Teacher Loan Program must be expanded and the maximum award increased in order to meet the growing need for minority teachers in Wisconsin as well as to provide access and to assist the ever-growing financial need of Wisconsin minority college students.

  6. Due to a projected severe shortage of dentists in Wisconsin, the Dental Capitation Program must be expanded.

  7. To address the "brain drain and/or labor force deficit" concerns in Wisconsin, the Academic Excellence Scholarship Program that keeps the best and the brightest in the State must be expanded.

Attachment A

 

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