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UW Regents may boost tuition to cover cost of veterans program

The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents will likely increase tuition by 5.5 percent when it meets later this week.

The tuition hike mirrors the 5.5 percent increase the board approved for this past school year

For a student at UW-Madison, it translates to $348 more.

At UW-Milwaukee, the increase will be $340.

At the University's 11 other four-year campuses, tuition will go up by $265.

UW System spokesman David Giroux says a variety of factors led to the increase. For example, energy costs are growing rapidly and the University will have to absorb some funding cuts to help the state cope with its budget shortfall.

He says if the system were only facing one of these financial challenges, life would be a lot simpler, but he says they're facing multiple financial hurdles.

On top of that Giroux says the state is not fully funding the new veterans' tuition remission, leaving it up to the University to cover most of that tuition benefit.

Giroux says that program accounts for more than half of this tuition increase.

He says until something is done to fill that gap, they university is going to be "pinched severely" and that is ultimately going to effect their ability to run a major university system.

If the 5.5 percent increase is approved, annual tuition at UW-Madison would be nearly $6,700 for the coming school year, which would be second-lowest among all Big 10 schools.

All told, the tuition increases will affect 110,000 students.

Tuition would stay the same for the 12,500 students at the UW's two-year schools.