The University of Wisconsin System is trying to help transfer students get a degree quicker and cheaper as part of its effort to increase the number of college graduates in the state.
Transferring credits from one school to another often means wasted time and money because course requirements don't match. With some 17,000 students - the equivalent of two small UW universities - transferring into and within the UW system each year, making the process more efficient could have a dramatic effect on retention and graduation rates.
Such a step might not seem like an economic driver, but boosting the percentage of Wisconsin residents who have a college degree could help lure companies to the state, system officials reason. That, in turn, could stimulate the economy.
Many college students today aren't dropped off at one school as freshmen and picked up at the same school four years later with a degree, said UW System President Kevin Reilly. It's more of a "swirl," he said, with students leaving college for a number of reasons, then returning to school somewhere else with credits to transfer.