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Governor Scott Walker has pledged to cut tuition for in-state students at the University of Wisconsin system.
He made the announcement in his annual, State of the State Address on Tuesday night.
“I’m pleased to announce our 2017-19 state budget will do more than just freeze tuition,” Walker said. “We will cut – that’s right, actually cut – tuition for all Wisconsin undergraduates throughout the UW system.”
Tuition for in-state students has been frozen for the last four years. Students at UW-Milwaukee said they support the idea in theory, although they want to hear more specifics.
“It sounds good, but I want to see the plan and see how it would affect me in the long run,” said sophomore Akayna Morrison.
Morrison, a finance major, works thirty hours a week to put money towards her degree. She’s still had to take out loans. But Morrison added she’s worried the tuition cuts would be offset with higher taxes.
“Maybe now it might be good, but when I get a full time job that wouldn’t be as beneficial to me,” Morrison said.
Trevor Jung, the Vice President of Student Affairs at the UW-Milwaukee Student Association, also supports lowering tuition.
But he said he wants to see the lost revenue offset with state money.
“It’s so important for students to be able to afford to go to school, but at the same time you want them to get a quality education,” Jung said.
“So at the least, I would love to see that cost offset by state dollars coming back in,” Jung said.
The specifics of Walker's plan will come in his budget address, in which he'll present the State Legislature with his budget proposal for the next two years. The speech is typically given in February.
Following Walker's State of the State, UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank issued this statement:
"Like Governor Walker, our goal is to make UW-Madison affordable and accessible to all Wisconsin students," Blank said.
"It is our hope that the governor and legislature will not only fully fund the proposed tuition reduction but also provide additional investment in the UW System in line with the modest request made by the Board of Regents, which is critical if we are to continue providing an outstanding educational experience to our students,” Blank said.
In a budget request over the summer, the Board of Regents asked for $42.5-million more in state funding over the next two years.
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