UW-Madison Proposes Year Of Free Tuition For Transfer Students From System Colleges

Plan Would Cover First-Generation Degree Seekers

UW-Madison campus
Jake Pfaffenroth (CC-BY-NC-ND)

University of Wisconsin-Madison officials want to provide at least a year of free tuition to students who transfer from one of several two-year colleges and who would be the first in their family to get a degree.

UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank introduced the proposal, called “Badger Promise,” at a UW System regents meeting Thursday.

“We know that first generation students often need additional support,” Blank said. “They don’t have that family advising (about college), their families are often not high income, they’re more likely to start at a two-year school, to live at home, and they’re more likely to drop out. (They are a) substantial part of the Wisconsin population that needs more skills and we want to provide them the opportunity to come to UW-Madison.”

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The plan would require new funding in the upcoming 2017-2019 state budget to cover at least one year of tuition, Blank said at the Thursday meeting.

The estimated annual price tag is $1.5 million that would need to be included in Walker’s biennial budgets. The funds would be categorized as scholarship funds and dispersed as such to eligible students.

The State Journal reports UW-Madison is also changing the contracts that guarantee admission for students at two-year UW Colleges and certain technical schools. Students would be required to maintain a higher grade point average and provide better information about the classes required to get into the Madison campus.

Editor’s Note: This story was last updated at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2.