Differential Tuition Initiatives
As part of its 21st Century Study, the Board of Regents encouraged institutions to pursue differential tuition
rates for unique programs with strong demand or special operating costs.
Since that time the board has approved
differential tuition rates for a number of programs including Evening MBA and
Pharmacy programs at UW-Madison, Allied Health programs at UW-Milwaukee and
UW-La Crosse and customized instruction programs at UW-Stout.
In addition to those program-specific
initiatives, the Board has approved differential tuition rates for broad categories
of students at four institutions: UW-Eau Claire, UW-Colleges, UW-Stout and, in December 2003, UW-Whitewater. UW-Eau Claire, UW-Colleges, and
UW-Whitewater's differential tuitions are applied to undergraduate students
while the UW-Stout differential is applied to all students.
UW-Eau Claire was the first institution
to get the ball rolling on differential tuition rates at the institution rather
than program level. It set its differential tuition as a flat dollar amount,
and that amount has not increased since that time. The institutions that came
later to the process set their differential as a percentage of traditional tuition
so that the differential tuition amount increases each year as tuition increases
are approved by the board. In this way, they are able to preserve and perhaps
expand on the buying power of the resources generated through their differential
Finally, the Board has approved requests
by 5 institutions to charge graduate enrollments during summer session on a
per credit basis by removing the plateau. This could be considered a "differential
tuition"; as it falls outside of the traditional tuition format.
Chancellors are required to present
all differential tuition initiatives to their fellow chancellors at two separate
Administrative Staff meetings before they may be presented to the Board of Regents.
Student involvement in the process is defined in Board policy and includes the
- Students will be advised through
their student government organizations of all planned differential tuition initiatives
before proposals are submitted to the Board of Regents
- To the extent possible, UW System
institutions will consult with students directly affected by the proposed differential
- Differential tuition initiative
proposals presented to the Board of Regents will include a section on the student
consultation process and outcome, as well as any official stance forwarded by
the student government organization
- The Chancellor of the UW System
institution, in consultation with the President of the UW System, will make
the final determination whether a differential tuition initiative is submitted
to the Board of Regents for approval; student approval is not a requirement
for the initiative to be forwarded to the Board of Regents
- Spending decisions related to
the funds generated by the differential tuition are ultimately the responsibility
of the Chancellor of the UW System institution as indicated in s. 36.09 (3)
Requests to the Board of Regents
should include the following information:
- Proposed Special Tuition Rate.
Expressed as it is intended to be collected: either as a percentage tuition
increase or as a flat dollar increase.
- Expected Resulting Revenue. Provide
this for the first year of the program, based on increase over current tuition
rates; if it is a phased multi-year initiative, make a projection over the life
of the program, cumulating prior year increases.
- Enrollment Assumptions. If the
differential tuition is targeted toward a specific subset of total student enrollments,
please indicate the definition and size of this subset. If the enrollments affected
are expected to vary over the life of the program, please indicate this and
Peer Analysis. For increases
applying to at least one of the standard tuition categories of students (i.e.,
all resident undergraduates, all resident graduates, non-resident undergraduates,
non-resident graduates, Law, Business, Med/Vet students), please include in
the proposal information showing where this will place the institution compared
to peer tuition midpoints (latest midpoints are attached). For other program-specific
initiatives, please indicate where the proposed tuition will put the institution
in comparison with similar programs in the tuition peer group and/or typical
competitors for such programs.
- Market/Student Demand Data. Indicate
how this proposed tuition level would be expected to affect overall student
demand for this program. Please also explain how such changes in demand fit
with the institution's overall enrollment management target and goals.
- Rationale of Use of Funds. Please
describe the specific needs to which these revenues will be applied.
Consideration by the Board
of Regents may require two separate readings, with the first being for information
purposes only and the second for action, or both steps may be taken at the same