UW System Position on Bills Introduced in the Legislature During the 2005-2006 Session
(Towns) Limits eligibility for a Academic Excellence Higher Education Scholarship to pupils who have earned, or who by the time of graduation are expected to have earned at least four credits of mathematics and four credits of science. The bill would take effect beginning with seniors in the 2009-10 school year.
UW System Position
NEUTRAL. The Academic Excellence Scholarship program was designed to keep Wisconsin's best and brightest Technical College and university students attending school in Wisconsin. It was originally designed to cover the full cost of tuition and fees. Over the years it has not kept pace with tuition increases and now covers only about half of the costs. This raises the question of whether the whole program needs to be evaluated to determine if this non-need based aid is achieving its goals.
The Board of Regents supports legislation that would result in the expansion of the pool of high school graduates prepared to pursue post secondary education, and careers. Increased math and science coursework, which nationwide is an area of weakness on the part of high school graduates, would expand that pool, as well as better prepare graduates for employment if that is their decided goal. To the degree that the Academic Excellence Scholarship qualifications are enhanced to require greater math and science rigor, this goal may be enhanced, but not all students will excel in these areas alone. The state needs the best and brightest in all areas of study, to pursue lifelong education and stay and work in Wisconsin.