A new University of Wisconsin (UW) System initiative is launching in Fall 2023 to offer some low income students free tuition at all UW schools.
UW System President Jay Rothman announced the creation of the Wisconsin Tuition Promise at a news conference Monday at UWM. The Wisconsin Tuition Promise will provide up to four years of tuition and fee funding for students coming from families earning less than $62,000 annually.
Eligible students will be Wisconsin residents, first-time enrollees or transfers, and attending full-time. They will need to make sufficient academic progress each year and attest that they were employed at some point during the previous year.
The program is modeled after UW Madison’s tuition promise, called Bucky’s Tuition Promise, for low-income students which launched in 2018. The main difference between the programs is how they receive funding. Bucky’s Tuition Promise is funded through a mix of private money and institutional resources including tuition revenue whereas the UW System program would be funded by taxpayers.
UWM reports the plans call for about 8,000 students to be supported through the program once fully implemented over four years. Eligible students will be awarded an average of $4,500 over four years.
Additionally, the UW System intends to fund the first year of the program in academic year 2023-24 at $13.8 million and seek state investment for subsequent years.
Currently, Rothman is asking for about $25 million to cover the first two years of the program.