Citing swelling numbers of Wisconsin college students who are eligible for state aid, but denied because of limited state funding, the University of Wisconsin System, the state association for independent colleges, the state technical college system and the College of Menominee Nation jointly endorsed a commission finding Tuesday calling for increased college aid in the next state budget.
A report issued this week by the Higher Educational Aids Board notes that more than 76,200 eligible college students did not receive need-based grants in 2011-'12 because state funding ran out. In addition, many students had financial need, but weren't eligible for state grants.
State funding for the largest need-based higher education grants was $108.2 million in fiscal 2010-'11; it was $97.99 million in fiscal 2009-'10.
"We only need to look next door to Minnesota - a state with similar climate, traditions and population," said Rolf Wegenke, president of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.