Possible tuition freeze impending for the next two years

By Lauren Offner

Precisely a year ago, the Stout Student Association released a formal report to the Board of Regents expressing their concerns for a possible tuition freeze that Gov. Scott Walker proposed. After researching and understanding the implications of a statewide tuition freeze, it appears that it might be imminent in the University of Wisconsin—Stout’s future.

With an extra $1.1 billion left over in the UW System’s reserve, Walker approves of a tuition freeze that looks appealing from the outside for students and parents. If Walker is re-elected in November for the 2015 to 2017 years, he will propose a tuition freeze in his state budget.

However, last April SSA released a report that reached the desk of the Board of Regents over concerns for a possible tuition freeze. There are implications of a tuition freeze that SSA felt were evident enough to prolong or reject the proposal. Concerns included staff wages, increases in segregated fees and cuts to student resources.

Not only does UW–Stout have its apprehensions, but there are financial issues that are hidden under the surface of the freeze.

The extra $1.1 billion is not in the hands of lawmakers and schools to just to nab and use it for whatever they want. Seventy-five percent is already committed somewhere else and another 22 percent is being held for a different purpose; this leaves only $38 million to be used with no formal plan.

Opposers of the freeze are also troubled with Walker’s authenticity when it comes to the proposal. Elections are coming up, and with the positive outcomes that are associated with a freeze, he may grab more votes from students and parents.

Whatever the outcome is about a tuition freeze, everyone can collectively agree that it should be beneficial for students’ bank accounts, regardless of the intentions of the Wisconsin government.

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