Regent Policy Documents

SECTION 32: TUITION/FEES

32-7 STUDENT INVOLVEMENT IN DIFFERENTIAL TUITION INITIATIVES

(Formerly 99-2)

Section 36.27(1), Wis. Stats., restricts the ability of the Board of Regents to set tuition rates for resident undergraduate students. An exception is provided, however, for differential tuition approved by the Board of Regents.

Differential tuition is tuition added to the base tuition level for the purpose of supplementing services and programming for students within an institution.  Differential tuition can be assessed to undergraduate students, graduate students, or both.  Differential tuition can be implemented in a variety of ways, including within an individual program, on an institution-wide basis, or on a systemwide basis. 

The Board has full authority to establish tuition levels for all student groups and classes other than resident undergraduates.  Accordingly, this policy describes the student involvement required for Board approval of institution-wide or program-specific differential tuition for resident undergraduate differential tuition.  It does not apply to other tuition decisions made by the Board of Regents.  It further instructs the UW System President to establish guidelines that address the magnitude of differential tuitions, financial aid components, the number of differential tuitions at a single institution, and the frequency of Board reviews.

I.         Definitions

A.             “Institution-wide differential tuition” means tuition added to an institution’s base tuition level as established by the Board of Regents, for the purpose of supplementing services and programming within the institution beyond existing institutional activities supported by General Purpose Revenue (GPR) and Program Revenue (PR) funding, and other revenue sources.

B.             “Program-specific differential tuition” means tuition added to an institution’s base tuition level as established by the Board of Regents, for the purpose of supplementing academic and other student services for a specific program beyond existing program activities supported by GPR and PR funding, and other revenue sources.

II.        Differential Tuition Procedures

A.             Students shall be advised and consulted, directly or through their student government organizations, of all planned differential tuition initiatives before proposals are submitted to the Board of Regents.

B.             Differential tuition proposals presented to the Board of Regents shall include a description of the student consultation process and outcome, as well as any official position taken by the student government organization, if one has been provided, and the results of any student surveys, referenda, and other solicitations of student input and opinion that were undertaken.  Institutions shall provide adequate time for: 

    1.             The student government organization to review the final proposal in the case of an institution-wide proposal.
    2.             Affected students to review the final proposal in the case of a program specific proposal.

The Board of Regents may ask for additional student consultation before approving a differential tuition proposal.

C.             Differential tuition proposals must clearly state the following information, as established by the institution in consultation with students, when presented to the Board of Regents:

    1.           The purposes of the proposal, including the educational objectives;
    2.           The timing of the proposal;
    3.           The specific uses to which the differential tuition funds will be put, or the process by which such uses will be determined; and
    4.           How and when the success of the proposal in accomplishing its purposes will be evaluated.  Differential tuition proposals must describe any oversight, evaluation, or consultation process for the proposal.  The format of this oversight, evaluation, or consultation process must be discussed with students before the proposal is presented to the Board of Regents for approval.
    5.           A mechanism for periodic review by students of expenditures from the differential tuition.

D.             The Chancellor of the institution is responsible for determining whether the differential tuition will be forwarded to UW System and the President of the UW System will make the final determination whether a differential tuition proposal is submitted to the Board of Regents for approval.

E.             Spending decisions related to the funds generated by an approved differential tuition are the responsibility of the Chancellor of the institution, in accordance with s. 36.09 (3) Wis. Stats, but shall be consistent with the information and procedures described in the proposal submitted to, and approved by, the Board of Regents.  Any substantial change in the purposes for which the funding is expended shall be approved by the Board of Regents.

III.      General Differential Tuition Procedures -- UW System Guidance

A.             The President of the UW System shall develop System guidelines for institutions to use in preparing differential tuition proposals.  The guidelines shall address, at a minimum, the following:

    1.             Factors an institution should consider when determining the magnitude of a differential tuition proposal;
    2.             How to assure that the differential tuition is affordable for all students, including whether the proposal should include a financial aid component and, if so, the appropriate level of that component;
    3.             Whether the number of institution-wide and program-specific differential tuitions at a single institution should be limited;
    4.             The frequency of Board review of differential tuition initiatives.

B.              Guidelines developed pursuant to this section shall be provided to the Board of Regents. 

History: Res. 7904 adopted 5/7/99; repealed and recreated by Res. 9755,4/9/10


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The Regent Policy Documents were adopted and are maintained pursuant to the policy-making authority vested in the Board of Regents by Wis. Stats. § 36. The Regent Policy Documents manifest significant policies approved by the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents. This document is a ready reference for those charged with carrying out these policies. Unless noted otherwise, associated documents and reports may be obtained from the Office of the Secretary of the Board of Regents, 1860 Van Hise Hall, 1220 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706, ph 608-262-2324. http://www.uwsa.edu/bor/policies/