UW System funding ranks 43rd nationally, report finds | Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin funds UW System and technical colleges differently: One ranks 43rd nationally, the other ranks 5th

Funding for Wisconsin’s public higher education systems is a tale of two stories, one that is funded eighth worst in the country and another that is fifth best, according to a new report.

The report found that the University of Wisconsin System ranked 43rd nationally for per-pupil funding in 2021. Conversely, only four other states funded their two-year community or technical colleges better than Wisconsin.

The report by the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum was released Thursday, a few weeks before the Legislature decides how much money to allocate to the Wisconsin Technical College System and the UW System for the next two years.

Enrollment declines outpacing rest of country

Wisconsin’s four-year campuses increased enrollment about 2% from 2019 to 2021, ranking eighth nationally. But the gains were offset by losses at two-year campuses. A 19% drop during this time period was third-worst in the country.

For both systems, enrollments are at their lowest point since 2000.

The UW System is trying a variety of strategies to fill more seats, Rothman said. UW-Green Bay is piloting direct admissions, which will automatically accept local high school students into college, no application needed beforehand. Other campuses are expanding dual-enrollment programs through which high school students can simultaneously earn high school and college credits.

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Source: UW System funding ranks 43rd nationally, report finds

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