UW System President to Propose 5% Tuition Increase

University of Wisconsin System President Jay Rothman will propose a 5% tuition increase for the next academic year, he told the state Assembly’s higher education committee Thursday.

Rothman will present the idea later this month to members of the Board of Regents, who will weigh whether to implement the change. If passed, it would be the first time the UW System has raised tuition for in-state undergraduates since 2013.

Republican lawmakers passed legislation a decade ago freezing tuition for UW System state students. While the Legislature returned tuition-setting authority to the regents in 2021, the board chose to keep the freeze in place for the 2022-23 school year, instead relying on federal pandemic relief funds to cover costs.

A tuition increase would bring in about $38 million per year in revenue, Rothman estimated.

The 5% increase would be under last year’s inflation rate, Rothman said. He added that he’s “extraordinarily sensitive” to ensuring that UW System tuition remains affordable, citing the new Wisconsin Tuition Promise, which will waive the costs of tuition and fees that remain after receiving financial aid for in-state students from low-income families.

It currently costs in-state undergraduates about $8,000 to $11,000 to attend a four-year UW System school, without accounting for additional fees and living expenses. UW-Madison has the highest resident tuition among the system’s 13 universities.