A Gateway to Higher Education

Four years ago, UW–Madison announced a free-tuition initiative so straightforward that it required just two things for students to qualify: live in Wisconsin and come from a household in the state’s lower half for income. No small print. No strings attached.

“The beauty was in its simplicity,” says Chancellor Rebecca Blank, who greenlit the idea. “Financial aid can be confusing to prospective students. We stripped away the complexity.”

The initiative, known as Bucky’s Tuition Promise, guarantees four years of tuition and segregated fees for any incoming freshman who is a Wisconsin resident and whose family’s annual household adjusted gross income is $60,000 or less. (The figure was $56,000 the first year, the state’s median household income at the time.) Transfer students from Wisconsin can qualify for up to two years of funding.

Already, the program has created an affordable gateway to higher education for thousands of families.

“We know that some high-achieving students from lower- to moderate-income Wisconsin families might not even apply to UW–Madison because they assume they can’t afford it,” says Derek Kindle, vice provost for enrollment management. “Bucky’s Tuition Promise is our pledge to these students that if they do the hard work to get admitted, we’ll find the money.”

Read the full article online – https://onwisconsin.uwalumni.com/features/a-gateway-to-higher-education/