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New sources of financial aid help keep college affordable (Feb 5, 2009)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 5, 2009

New sources of financial aid help keep college affordable

MADISON, Wis. – With families wondering if they can afford college, new private and public investments are providing additional financial aid for students.

In a presentation to the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents today, President Kevin P. Reilly discussed significant progress being made to increase need-based student aid. 

Reilly announced that nearly 2,000 UW students received $1.76 million in new need-based assistance from the Fund for Wisconsin Scholars (FFWS) during the Fall 2008 semester. That private, non-profit fund was established through a $175-million gift from John and Tashia Morgridge.

Fall 2008
Semester
Grant Recipients
Grants
Stipend recipients
Stipends
Total Aid
UW-Colleges
100
$90,000
147
$73,809
$163,809
UW-Eau Claire
33
$57,750
146
$45,500
$103,250
UW-Green-Bay
24
$42,000
42
$30,980
$72,980
UW-La Crosse
46
$80,500
68
$33,486
$113,986
UW-Madison
37
$64,750
82
$78,833
$143,583
UW-Milwaukee
92
$161,000
272
$136,423
$297,423
UW-Oshkosh
79
$138,250
121
$60,317
$198,567
UW-Parkside
40
$70,000
75
$37,274
$107,274
UW-Platteville
42
$73,500
70
$35,648
$109,148
UW-River Falls
18
$31,500
46
$22,786
$54,286
UW-Stevens Point
47
$82,250
111
$55,156
$137,406
UW-Stout
31
$54,250
37
$36,862
$91,112
UW-Superior
12
$21,000
28
$15,352
$36,352
UW-Whitewater
44
$77,000
103
$51,311
$128,311
Total:
645
$1,043,750
1,348
$713,737
$1,757,487

The first FFWS grants went to 645 students, who can continue receiving FFWS grants for up to 10 college semesters. In its first semester of operation, the Fund also provided stipends to 1,348 eligible UW students. The UW System expects that a similar number of FFWS grants and stipends will be awarded in the current Spring 2009 semester.
 
“Wisconsin is doing a good job of keeping costs down, and these significant private investments in financial aid are making a big difference, but we have more work to do,” said Reilly. “There is good news on the Federal front, with serious discussions about increasing Pell grants and other aid. At the State level, we’re working closely with the Governor and the Legislature to provide adequate need-based aid for our hardworking students.”

At the national level, lawmakers in Washington have proposed major new investments in financial aid for college students. Provisions of the stimulus bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee would increase financial aid to college students. Noteworthy elements include $15.6 billion for Pell Grants, increasing the maximum grant by $500, to $5,350. The bill would raise the limit on unsubsidized Stafford loans by $2,000, providing aid to middle-income families. Total funding for work-study programs would grow by $490 million.

In the 2007-08 academic year, 35 percent of all University of Wisconsin System students received outright grants and scholarships totaling more than $269 million, a 12 percent increase over the previous year.

# # #

Fund for Wisconsin Scholars: http://www.ffws.org

UW System:  http://www.wisconsin.edu

 

Media Contact:
David Giroux
University of Wisconsin System
(608) 262-4464
Mary Gulbrandsen
Fund for Wisconsin Scholars
(608) 238-2400