UW System Position on Bills Introduced in the Legislature During the 2005-2006 Session
Altering the eligibility for the Academic Excellence grant
(Risser) Permits a senior high school student with the second highest grade point average, but not less than 3.800 or the equivalent, to be certified as an alternate and to receive a scholarship if a senior who is designated as a scholar or an alternate with the same grade point average does not enroll in a participating institution of higher education in all cases, regardless of how the high school weights its courses.
UW System Position
AMEND: The program was initially created to keep the best students in Wisconsin by helping finance his/her public higher education. If the eligibility requirements are lessened, the number of eligible students and the cost of the program expand significantly. The program is currently funded by the state and UW institutions. The students who receive the grant should get more than the $2,500 maximum that is in place now. With the cost of tuition rising, the top students are not taking the grant because they can get a better deal at a private institution in another state. The program is not doing what it was intended to do. Changing the program in this way will not improve the efficacy of the program.
This program should be discussed at a UW System working group meeting on financial aid to determine how best to distribute scarce resources.