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UW System raises tuition

For the 6th year in a row, tuition at the University of Wisconsin's four-year campuses will go up by the state's legal maximum of 5.5%.

The U-W Board of Regents voted 17-to-1 in Milwaukee June 7 to approve the tuition hike, which System President Kevin Reilly said was necessary to partially make up for cuts in state aid. Regent Charles Pruitt said it's better than cutting even more UW spending, which he said would lead to larger class sizes and students needing an extra year to get their diplomas.

But Regent John Drew said he could not support a tuition hike, considering that average family incomes in Wisconsin have not been going up. Students at the four-year campuses can plan on budgeting an extra $400 for their tuition during the coming year, with no increase in financial aid.

Regent Gerald Whitburn suggested a lower tuition hike of four-percent. But the panel voted it down 15-to-3.

"If I were king for a day, we wouldn't have any tuition," said UW System President Kevin Reilly just before the vote.

He also asked chancellors to create over 660 schedules for majors and minors guaranteed to take four years to complete. He said it would save students $15,000.

The tuition hike will put the flagship Madison campus in about the middle of the pack among schools in the Big Ten Conference, but critics said that doesn't reflect that fact that Wisconsin is last in financial aid.