System News Releases

System President's Statement on College Affordability Legislation

January 11, 2016 | Conor Smyth

MADISON, Wis. – Governor Scott Walker is visiting a number of technical colleges this week to unveil a series of bills with the potential to affect thousands of current and future technical college students throughout Wisconsin.

One bill will provide additional support for the existing “Wisconsin Grant” program for technical college students who demonstrate financial need, while another will create emergency grants for technical college students at risk of not completing their program because of short-term financial hardship.

“These are proven strategies. This new investment will make a real difference in the lives of our students, who quickly apply their talent after course or program completion,” said Dr. Morna Foy, president of the Wisconsin Technical College System. “Employers in every sector and region rely on that talent for the success of their businesses, so this pays dividends for Wisconsin’s economy and communities.”

Last year, almost 37,000 technical college students who were eligible for a need-based “Wisconsin Grant” did not receive one because of insufficient funding. The Governor’s plan calls for an additional $1.0 million in funding for this program. With an average grant award of $1,000 historically, the program could meet the needs of as many as 1,000 additional students.

Two additional bills will affect current and future technical college students by eliminating the cap on the tax deduction for student loan interest, and by developing additional financial literacy measures to better ensure that prospective students have ready access to the type of information – including the long-term costs of student loan debt – that supports well-informed education choices.

“We’re looking forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to implement these proposals,” Foy said.