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Wisconsin's Commitment to College Student Financial Aid Remains Strong

May 9, 2002

Madison - The National Center for Public Policy Study and Higher Education has just published a study called "Losing Ground." The study examines the affordability of higher education in America today. The study identified five national trends:

  1. Increases in tuition have made colleges and universities less affordable for most American families.
  2. Federal and state financial aid to students has not kept pace with increases in tuition.
  3. More students and families at all income levels are borrowing more than ever to pay for college.
  4. The steepest increases in public college tuition have been imposed during times of greatest economic hardship.
  5. State financial support of public higher education has increased, but tuition has increased more.

A survey recently published by the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs (NASSGAP) shows that Wisconsin ranked 13th in the country in aggregate dollars of awards for undergraduate need-based grant programs in 2000-01. This is up from 15th in 1999-00. In addition, Wisconsin ranked 12th in estimated grant dollars per resident population, an improvement from 15th in 1999-00.

"Wisconsin has not lost ground when compared to other states throughout the country. Current data shows that Wisconsin continues to be committed to assisting its residents in obtaining a college education," said Executive Secretary Hojan-Clark. "There is the reality that tuition has continued to increase at a faster rate than family financial strength combined with available financial aid. However, Governor Scott McCallum showed his understanding of this issue as well as strong leadership by proposing an increase in financial aid for needy students in the most recent budget adjustment bill when tuition increases were also being considered."

"Wisconsin legislators strongly supported additional aid for needy college students in the last budget and have supported the adjustment proposal to provide additional funding to these students. It is this type of support and continued commitment to college financial aid that is critical as we move into the 21st century," said Secretary Hojan-Clark, "if Wisconsin is to remain strong. We must be able to provide the opportunity of a college education to Wisconsin students."


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