Government Relations

UW System Position on Bills Introduced in the Legislature During the 2007-2008 Session

Pending Legislation

AB 658

Academic Excellence Higher Education Scholarships

Full Description

(Ballweg/Miller/Gronemus) Under current law, the Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB) administers the Academic Excellence Higher Education Scholarships Program.  HEAB awards scholarships to certain designated scholars who enroll on a full-time basis in a participating public or private institution of higher education.  Under current law, when two or more seniors from the same high school have the same grade point average, there is a mechanism to award the scholarship using a tie-breaker requiring high schools to weigh courses differently.

This bill would permit a senior with the next highest grade point, 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 weighs its courses.

Referred to Committee on Education

UW System Position

SUPPORT: This bill expands minimally, those persons eligible to compete for the Academic Excellence Higher Education Scholarship program. 

The scholarship, funded half by GPR and half by the participating Wisconsin higher education institution, is up to $2,250 per year. It is estimated this bill may increase those eligible statewide by up to 90 people, increasing state GPR support by about $110,000, and support at the institutional level by $110,000.

UW System supports efforts to provide high performing students financial incentives to stay in Wisconsin schools.  However, with limited state resources available for financial aid, UW System prefers expansion of need-based financial aid programs first.