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Sunday, April 02, 2023

The UW System Board of Regents passed tuition increases at six campuses, affecting non-resident undergraduates and both in-state and out-of-state graduate students. 

UW System Regents approve tuition increases for graduate students, out-of-state undergraduates

The UW System Board of Regents approved tuition increases Friday for both undergraduate and graduate students at six campuses, most going into effect the next academic year.

All increases for undergraduates only affect out-of-state students, due to the tuition freeze for Wisconsin residents in place since 2013. Only three campuses will increase tuition for undergraduates — UW-Whitewater at 0.99 percent, UW-Milwaukee at 1.50 percent and UW-Platteville at 2.97 percent. 

For graduate students, tuition increases cover six campuses — UW-Milwaukee, UW-Oshkosh, UW-Platteville, UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point and UW-Whitewater — and many are degree-specific. The highest tuition hike will take place at UW-Milwaukee: 25 percent for both residents and non-residents studying occupational therapy or communication sciences and disorders. 

The other graduate student increases range from 1.5 percent — all UW-Milwaukee graduate students — to 9.33 percent — all UW-River Falls graduate students studying business administration or computer science. 

Regent Janice Mueller called the 25 percent increase at UW-Milwaukee “an outlier” and something the Business & Finance Committee “discussed at length” when presenting the increases to the full board. 

“That’s a larger increase for the UW-Milwaukee master’s in occupational and communications science, but it relates totally to a reorganization of the credit plateau for that program,” she said. “The increase will bring the tuition better aligned with the program costs.”

With a credit plateau, there is no extra charge for additional credits between a specific range. UW-Milwaukee will phase in a 10-credit plateau for these two master’s programs, beginning with the 2021-’22 academic year.

UW-Milwaukee proposed this restructuring because its master’s of science in occupational therapy requires 75 credits, and its master’s of science in communication sciences and disorders requires 56 credits. The higher number of credits relative to other master’s programs means higher personnel costs for the university, according to Regent documents.

“With the current plateau, students do not pay for over 30 percent of required credits in these programs,” the documents said. 

Other institutions plan to utilize the new tuition revenue for covering instructional costs, investing in recruitment, training and cost recovery, among other uses. 

Students from Minnesota, which has reciprocity with Wisconsin, are counted as residents and will not pay the out-of-state increases, Mueller said. 

The Board of Regents passed the tuition increases unanimously.

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