The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

UW System tuition to increase for the 2024-25 academic year

The Board of Regents voted unanimously to increase tuition for the second straight year
Photo by Madison Moris
Students hope money from the increase will be used to help science majors and the construction of the new Science building.

The Wisconsin Board of Regents voted unanimously on Thursday, April 4 to increase resident undergraduate tuition rates by 3.75% for the 2024-2025 academic year. This is the second year tuition costs have increased after a 10-year tuition freeze. 

Tuition increases for graduate and non-resident undergraduate students were also approved, however, the rates will vary by university according to the Universities of Wisconsin.

The tuition hike comes at the same time UW-Eau Claire approved an increase in housing costs for the upcoming academic year. UW System President Jay Rothman said the tuition increase was needed to combat rising inflation and economic challenges.

“To maintain the excellent education our universities provide, I will be asking regents to approve a tuition increase similar to recent levels of inflation,” Rothman said. “Our universities are facing challenging economic realities, and students and parents should know that we plan to be good financial stewards.” 

First-year student Nora McGowen hopes the UW System and its president will use the money to benefit students. 

“I would like to think the money is being used to improve students’ education, like going to the new science building which I will be spending a lot of time in as a biology major,” McGowen said. “I hope it is also used to offer more financial aid to those who need it.” 

McGowen said it can feel like the UW System, and specifically UW-Eau Claire, pour more money into student recruitment rather than retainment.

“With the competition between colleges to increase their enrollment numbers, I feel like more money is being used to attract students to Eau Claire, but not to make them want to stay here for the duration of their education,” McGowen said. 

While the whole system is subject to the new 3.75% rate, seven universities are proposing an increase on top of this to fund academic advising, financial aid and faculty hiring, among other departmental needs. 

Regent Ashok Rai, chair of the Business & Finance Committee, recommended the increase to combat rising inflation and to maintain a high-caliber staff. 

“[The increase] for resident students is in line with recent levels of inflation, which continue to reduce purchasing power at the universities,” Rai said. “The pay plan enacted in the state budget also adds additional expenses to the universities.” 

The system’s report explains the state just doesn’t provide all the necessary funding for costs like maintaining high-quality faculty and students, increasing pressure on campus budgets. 

For UW-Eau Claire resident undergraduate students, this means the cost of tuition and segregated fees will rise to $9,783. This is approximately 5.5% higher than it was for the 2023-2024 academic year.

McGowen is not a fan of the increase, which will be higher for her as a Minnesota resident. 

“While I understand the impacts of inflation, I think the constant increase we’ve been seeing has gotten to a point that it is limiting who can complete their degree and who can try to pursue a college education,” McGowen said.

Moris can be reached at [email protected]

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