UPDATE: UW System responds to Gov. Walker's call for another tui - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: UW System responds to Gov. Walker's call for another tuition freeze

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UPDATE (WKOW) -- The UW System agrees with Gov. Scott Walker that an effort to keep college affordable should be a high priority.

The system sent a news release Friday morning in response to the governor's announcement calling for an additional two-year tuition freeze in the next state budget for students in the UW System. The system released data Thursday showing campuses had a combined $1.61 billion in uncommitted reserves as of March 2014.

“We intend to thoughtfully and judiciously manage and explain our resources. We will continue to work with the Governor and the Legislature to meet our shared goal of delivering value to the state of Wisconsin,” says system President Ray Cross in a statement. “I intend to work vigorously to find a reasonable solution. I am confident that we can get the best budget possible for the university.”

The system says a small portion of unrestricted program revenue-- about $38 million-- are flexible funds without specific documented plans. Cross says the board is focused on strong fiscal management and will work to hold college costs down.

Gov. Walker's most recent budget froze tuition for two years. He says another would go a long way to help working families and students have access to higher education.

"With the UW System continuing to have a surplus that in many ways was generated by tuition increases in years past, the best way to lower that surplus is to use that to keep the cost of tuition in check," says Gov. Walker.

The governor says if the additional two-year tuition freeze is approved in the next state budget, Wisconsin might be the first state to ever freeze tuition for four consecutive years.

Students say they'd be happy to have an extended tuition freeze to make college more affordable.

"I think it's really difficult for a lot of kids who are paying their own ways and it would help make more opportunities to make it better for them to come to school," says UW-Madison sophomore Ruby Martinez.

Gov. Walker says he hopes UW System will put other accountability measures in place to keep its budget on track in the future.


MADISON (WKOW) -- Governor Scott Walker's office on Friday issued a news release saying the governor is calling for an additional two-year tuition freeze for the UW System in the next budget, since recent projections show the University of Wisconsin System will continue to carry a surplus of more than $1 billion.

Governor Walker’s most recent 2013-15 Budget froze tuition for two years.
“After years of tuition hikes, it is important to give our students and their families a break.  Our proposed second two-year tuition freeze will go a long way to helping working families and students have access to higher education,” Governor Walker said via the release.  “This freeze continues our commitment from the last budget to make college more affordable for working families and students across our state.”

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