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As I See It

Who can afford college anymore?



These are tough times for colleges. Many are seeing declining enrollment, while some campuses are closing altogether. In Wisconsin, the University System President Jay Rothman is sounding warning alarms about declining enrollment and increased debts at many campuses in the system. Meanwhile, the UW System says its tuition rates will rise starting with the new school year. The Board of Regents approved a 3.5% tuition hike after years of tuition freezes, coupled with declining state support, have led many schools in the system to develop deficits. At UWL, the price of tuition will rise by about $350 per student. Campus leaders call that a modest hike, but combining tuition with room and board means it costs about $18,000 per year to attend UW La Crosse. That is an astronomical figure, even though they point out the rate is less than tuition costs at other Midwest universities. Maybe so. But it is still a lot of money. No wonder today’s college students are racking up so much debt. It is also no surprise that college enrollment is declining, given the hefty pricetag just to spend one year at an institution of higher learning.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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  1. LG

    April 18, 2024 at 7:11 am

    What do you think happens when government promotes student loan borrowing, offers low interest, prints money out of thin air, and then transfers student debt to taxpayers? High college tuition costs.

    Another example of government help causing adverse, unintended consequences.

  2. Theresa

    April 18, 2024 at 9:47 am

    The custodian suffers the most. 2% Pay raise. 6% for new top boss from England. $16.00 not a living wage. 2 times I could of lost my life,because there is no safety in place of simple stuff. Imagine a 17 inch piece of glass almost beheading you. Stuff standing on end that at best could of cause me at least 10 stitches.

  3. waldenhuthut

    April 18, 2024 at 10:43 am

    We can afford college; we just can’t afford the mismanagement of the administrators.

    UWL has gone from 1 phy ed building to three; one science building to 3; 1 student union to 2; all with the same number of students as 40 years ago (hypes of “record” enrollment are untrue; they are only records if you only look back a limited number of years).

    During this time the administrative headcount has doubled and entire floors of buildings have been converted to offices to support administrative bloat.

  4. Be Specific

    April 18, 2024 at 10:58 am

    Tuition may have been frozen but they get around that by imposing “fees.” Take for example the new $20 million parking ramp, to be paid for by fees. To use round numbers, that is at least $2,000 for each of the 10,000 students. This will be paid for over a number of years but it is also heaped on top of “fees” for the new student union and other assessments in addition to published tuition.

    The constant local lobbying for yet another new Phase II Prairie Springs science building…apparently these idiots think this stuff is free. They chose a new student union and a new indoor sports practice facility that is better than the Green Bay Packers indoor facility ahead of these other projects, and now they have tantrums about not getting their way. It’s irresponsible. Thank goodness we have a Republican legislature to counter-balance the spenders.

  5. rcjnwalk

    April 18, 2024 at 2:43 pm

    Funny, everyone complains about paying back student loans and how expensive college is but no one ever asks why. Well the UWL Chancellor makes over $200K a year and the professors are also compensated well.
    When times get tough and the enrollment is down, no one loses their jobs except maybe the janitors.
    Most jobs in the private sector lay off employees or don’t hire more staff when someone retires to meet the ever changing work force.
    The university has tenure so no one loses their jobs.
    People argue that the original abortion laws from the 1820’s are outdated and antiquated so could you not make the same argument when it comes to professors with tenure?
    Some private universities have over a billon dollars in endowments!
    EXAMPLE: Harvard University, with a $49.495 billion. Let me guess, it’s all about the students (LOL)!

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