UW System launches tuition promise to ease education costs

MADISON, Wis. — The UW System will give tuition assistance to students in an attempt to give thousands of students better access to affordable education.

UW System President Jay Rothman announced the Wisconsin Tuition Promise on Monday; the program is designed to help underserved Wisconsin students attend college without having to pay for tuition and other fees.

“A college degree needs to be within reach for every Wisconsin citizen,” Rothman said. “The Wisconsin Tuition Promise will provide these opportunities.”

The program will start in the fall of 2023, and about 8,000 students are expected to receive benefits through the first four years. Students in the program will get about $4,500 over four years. The system plans to set aside nearly $14 million to fund the program’s first year and will ask for funding from the state for the following years.

The funds would serve as “last dollar” financial support, and would be given to students after all federal and state grant aid was taken into account.

The new program is modeled after Bucky’s Tuition Promise, which covers tuition costs for UW-Madison students whose household adjusted gross income is $60,000 or less. The UW System plans for the Wisconsin Tuition Promise to eventually fund four years of tuition and fees for students at any of the system’s 12 schools whose families earn less than $62,000 a year.

Wisconsin residents who are first-time enrollees or transfers and are attending college for the first time would be eligible for the new program, though they would still have to meet academic and employment benchmarks.