Government Relations

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

Pending Legislation

AB 780

Higher Education Aid Grants

Full Description

(Parisi/Risser)  Changes the formula used to calculate the amounts appropriated for higher education grants for UW System students and for Lawton grants. Requires HEAB to use the new formula for technical college and tribal college students.

Referred to:  Committee on Colleges and Universities

UW System Position

SUPPORT – Under current law, financial aid awards increase by the same percentage as tuition. Because financial aid is a fundamentally smaller base, the net cost of college attendance continues to increase. This bill would provide a “hold harmless” alternative to the current system, ensuring that appropriations financial aid increases for individual students would match the real-dollar amount of future tuition increases. This will be especially important as the UW System seeks to enroll more students from low-income families and under-represented populations from across the state.

Had the proposed calculation been in place for the 2007-08 academic year, appropriations for WHEG-UW would have increased by $8.146 million (compared to a $2.16 million increase required under current law) and funding for the Lawton program would have increased by $1.080 million (compared to $304,200 under current law).

Need-based financial aid is essential to the success of the Growth Agenda – UW’s efforts to build a stronger Wisconsin economy by increasing the number of working-age residents with four-year degrees. The success of this effort depends on the university’s ability to recruit, enroll and graduate a deeper, broader segment of the state’s population – including students whose intellectual potential may exceed their financial capacity.