UW Regents OK Graduate Tuition Increases At 9 Schools

Resident Undergraduate Tuition Has Been Frozen Since 2013

Van Hise Hall, home of University of Wisconsin System offices.
Van Hise Hall, home of University of Wisconsin System offices. James Steakley (CC BY-SA)

University of Wisconsin System regents have approved raising graduate tuition at nine schools and out-of-state undergraduate tuition at six schools.

Resident graduate tuition will increase at Eau Claire, Green Bay, La Crosse, Oshkosh, Parkside, Stevens Point, Stout and Whitewater. Green Bay will see the biggest increase, from $7,793 to $7,996.

Nonresident graduate tuition will increase at all those schools except La Crosse. Green Bay will see the largest jump, from $17,106 to $17,551. Tuition for some specialty graduate programs, such as Doctor of Physical Therapy and Masters of Business, at La Crosse, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, Parkside and Whitewater also will increase.

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“Graduate programing is our faster growing area on campus, with annual enrollment increases of around 20% over the last several years,” said Matthew Dornbush, UW-Green Bay’s director of graduate studies and associate vice chancellor. “Clearly, it is always a difficult decision to increase tuition at any level, we recognize the implications of our pricing on our students, but tuition is the main source of funding for our institution and we have to invest in ourselves to maintain quality and to expand the opportunities available for the citizens of NE Wisconsin.”

“The reason that we needed to raise that tuition is because it’s been rather low in comparison to peers,” said Joe Gow, chancellor of UW-La Crosse. “We wanted to be sure that we get the resources that we need to continue delivering high quality programs.”

At UW-Eau Claire, the increase in graduate tuition will go toward additional fellowships and graduate assistantships, said Darrell Newton, dean of graduate studies and associate vice chancellor for academic affairs. He also said leaders are considering the possibility of offsetting costs for specific graduate programs, especially in the humanities.

The humanities departments could use additional funds, and the skills developed in history and English are in high demand, Newton said.

“Good communicators, good writers, people who can do good public history research, those kinds of things come up a lot,” Newton said. “We want to encourage students to give that a serious thought.”

Nonresident undergraduate tuition, meanwhile, will increase between 1 percent and 2.92 percent at Green Bay, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Parkside, Stevens Point and Whitewater.

The regents approved the increases Friday.

“Just looking at the comparable data that we received, it’s appropriate that we go ahead and make sure that the UW is competitive and we’re getting the appropriate revenues from different sources,” said Scott Beightol.

Former Gov. Scott Walker appointed Beightol in December to replace Republican U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil, who left after winning former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s congressional seat.

When asked about the freeze on resident undergraduate tuition, Beightol said: “I think it’s important. It may be looked at in the future, but right now, that’s the policy and that’s where we’re going.”

Resident undergraduate tuition has been frozen since 2013.