The cost of tuition at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse has risen above the national average. UW-L tuition is substantially higher than comparable schools. The current UW-L tuition for in-state students is about $400 more than peer campuses nationally.
Tuition has increased nationally from an average of $8,256 in 2011-12 to an average of $8,655 in 2012-13, a 4.8% increase, for in-state students, including Ph.D. campuses, according to the 2012 edition of the College Board Trends in College Pricing. At UW-L the increase has been larger. The tuition has risen at a rate of 5.2% from $8,324.24 in 2011-12 to $8,754.48, according to the university’s website.
Tuition is increasing across the country due to the decrease in funding from the government in the form of subsidies. In 2002, the government covered 34.93% of UW-L students’ costs and students had to pay 65.07%. Those numbers have grown further apart as the years have passed. This year, the government will pay only 14.28% of UW-L students’ costs while students will be paying 85.72%. To put that in other terms, in 2002, students only had to pay about twice what the government put towards each student’s education. Today, UW-L students pay over six times what the government is paying.
A common misconception would be that students have to carry a larger portion of the college tuition bill because tuition is rising and the government is putting the same amount of money towards education each year. While the statement that tuition is rising is correct, the government isn’t putting the same amount of money into as it was, percentage-wise or pure dollars-wise. In 2002, the state put $41,031,311 towards UW-L students’ college education. Today, that figure has dropped by about ten million dollars to $31,120,471. While the state has decreased its college funding by ten million, the amount paid by students has increased by over 100 million. In 2002, students contributed $76,420,771. Today that number has increased to $186,778,903. These numbers have come from the UW-L Budget and Planning.
The UW-L tuition is above the average in-state tuition in Wisconsin. UW-L’s $8,754.48 is significantly higher the $7,779.47 average in-state tuition in Wisconsin of the other non-Ph.D. granting UW campus schools. The difference is over twelve percent higher. These numbers come from the universities’ individual websites.
The tuition for in-state students at UW-L is higher than the tuition for in-state students at 19 states’ flagship, Ph.D. granting universities. UW-L’s tuition of $8,754.48 falls right in between the $8,705.50 in tuition at the University of Oklahoma and the $8,909 in tuition at the University of Maryland. These numbers come from the universities’ individual websites.
The flagship university with the lowest tuition for in-state students is the University of Wyoming. In-state students at the University of Wyoming pay only $4,278 in tuition for a year (two semesters). This is less than the $4,377 that in-state students at UW-L pay for only one semester. The flagship university with the highest tuition for in-state students is Penn State University. In-state students enrolled at Penn State pay $17,266 in tuition. These numbers come from the 2012 edition of the College Board trends in college pricing.
The typical UW-L student is usually surprised when asked about the difference between UW-L tuition and the tuition of national Ph.D granting schools and other schools in the UW system. “I’m really surprised that we pay more in tuition than a lot of those flagship universities,” one UW-L student said. “I knew we paid a bit more in tuition than some other UW schools, but I had no idea it was over ten percent above average.”
The Wisconsin system comes in with the 21st highest tuition, with Ph.D. Granting schools included, putting them on the more expensive half of the country. The state with the lowest average in-state tuition is Wyoming. The average tuition paid in Wyoming is $2,432. That yearly average tuition is less than $300 over half of UW-L’s semesterly charge. The state with the highest average in-state tuition is New Hampshire. The average New Hampshire college student pays $14,576 in tuition. These numbers come from the 2012 edition of the College Board trends in college pricing.
Over the past five years, Wisconsin has seen fairly average tuition and fee growth. The average tuition paid in Wisconsin by in-state students has grown at about 25% over the past five years. Montana students have seen the least growth in the nation. Montana students have only had their tuition grow by 5% over the past five years. Arizona students have suffered from the most severe spike in tuition. Arizona students have seen tuition grow by 78% in the last five years. These numbers come from the 2012 edition of the College Board trends in college pricing.