Fighting the war for talent
By Katelyn Voorhies/Kris Leonhardt
STEVENS POINT – UW System President Jay Rothman joined UW-Stevens Point Chancellor Thomas Gibson on Aug. 16 at UWSP to announce a new initiative to make college education more affordable in Wisconsin.
Gibson called the “Wisconsin Tuition Promise” a game changer.
“In fall 2023, the Wisconsin Tuition Promise will be launched. Ensuring new and transferring students from Wisconsin can attend any UW System institution without paying tuition or fees,” Gibson explained.
“The program is modeled after Bucky’s Promise at UW-Madison and is for students at all UW institutions. The goal of the program is to increase the number of state residents who graduate with a bachelor’s degree and therefore have greater potential to improve their lives, their family lives, and their respective communities. This program is especially aimed at first generation students and those from low to moderate income families throughout Wisconsin.
“About 47 percent of UW-Stevens Point students are the first in their families to attend college – one-third are Pell eligible, indicating exceptional financial need. The Wisconsin Tuition Promise will provide up to four years of tuition and fees and it will also support students whose families earn less than $62,000 annually.
“Those eligible will be first-time enrollees or transfers who attend a UW institution full time; this includes our campuses in Stevens Point, Wausau, and Marshfield.
“Wisconsin Tuition Promise is also a step forward toward driving economic and social mobility for Wisconsin residents, because 92 percent of UW-Stevens Point graduates live in Wisconsin at least three years after graduation. We know our communities in our state benefit from a strong workforce, and certainly an educated citizenry. The timing aligns well for those planning for fall 2023. The admissions application for next fall just opened on Aug.1 for UW Stevens Point.”
Rothman said that the state is in a “war for talent.”
“We know we see that in the media. But more importantly, we’re seeing that from employers,” he stated.
“We live in a global market for talent. And if Wisconsin succeeds, in graduating more people with undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees, we’re going to be able to fill that gap that currently exists that our employers are desperately looking for more employees with those credentials. If we succeed, Wisconsin wins. If we don’t succeed in filling that gap, we all lose.
“The UW system is moving now to try to address those workforce needs of the future. That Tuition Promise, quite frankly, is an investment in our future in our state.
“In the same way that we invest in infrastructure and we build bridges and roads and sewers and water lines. This is an investment in human capital, that we will all benefit from throughout society.”
The Tuition Promise is designed to provide “last dollar financial support,” after federal and state grant aid is taken into account.
For more information, visit wisconsin.edu/tuition-promise.