Press Release: UW Students Respond to Apparent Public Higher Education Divestment in State of State

January 13, 2015                                                                   Contact: Lamonté Moore

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                           Phone: (414) 520-0540


UW Students Respond to Apparent Public Higher Education Divestment


Madison, WI: Today, in Governor Scott Walker’s State of the State address, the UW System, one of the primary economic drivers of the state, was not directly mentioned. In response, Lamonté Moore, United Council Senior Legislative Liaison, and former UW-Fond du Lac and UW-Milwaukee student, says that, “For this biennium it is imperative to reinvest in students to improve Wisconsin’s economic future. Prioritization of public higher education will provide opportunity for citizens to access education and have a more fulfilling life after graduation.”


United Council anticipates that the State Legislature will push for a large cut in the UW System budget, which would be devastating to the affordability and accessibility of public higher education in Wisconsin. Just last academic year, 41,000 students around the state--nearly the total enrolled student population at the UW flagship in Madison--were eligible for funding but were subsequently denied access to state financial aid due to lack of state funds (Fiscal Bureau).


UW students have responded with the following priorities:

  • Funding for UW, particularly to make up for the lack of funding revenue that would otherwise come from tuition, given that an additional tuition freeze is to be anticipated;

  • Support for Shared Governance ideals, a unique state-sanctioned communal forum for staff, faculty, and students to promote a culture of shared decision making;

  • Wisconsin Higher Ed. Grant, with crippling loan debt, the needs of UW students could easily be met with direct and minimal support from state funds;

  • Higher Ed., Lower Debt Bill, passing of this bill would liken the debt to home mortgages and give students better information before entering loan agreements.


Investment now in the UW System and its students is an investment in the economy of the state. Amanda McGovern, United Council President, an alumna of UW-Sheboygan and current student at UW-Stevens Point, states that, “Last year I was denied a grant due to lack of available state funds. I was told to simply get a summer job. But students need full and part-time employment each semester in order to afford the cost of college. Students are year-round taxpayers and stakeholders in the state budget process.”


In light of the over $1.2 trillion dollar student loan debt nationwide, United Council hopes that the Wisconsin state legislature is prepared to synchronize with the President’s new initiative for tuition-free two-year college opportunities.