Friday, December 2, 2022

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Group wants rollbacks of some IA voting restrictions; RSV, Flu, COVID: KY faces "Triple Threat" this winter; Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.

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The Senate passes a bill forcing a labor agreement in an effort to avoid a costly railway worker strike. The House Ways and Means Committee has former President Trump's tax returns in hand. The Agriculture Committee is looking at possible regulations for cryptocurrency following the collapse of cryptocurrency giant FTX. The Supreme Court will be reviewing the legality of Biden s student debt relief program next year. Anti-semitic comments from Ye spark the deletion of tweets from the the House Judiciary Committee GOP's Twitter account.

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The first-ever "trout-safe" certification goes to an Idaho fish farm, the Healthy Housing Initiative helps improve rural communities' livability, and if Oklahoma is calling to you, a new database makes it easier for buyers and builders to find available lots.

Report: Financial Aid Lags Cost of Higher Ed for WI Students

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Friday, April 15, 2022   

Wisconsin offers dozens of financial aid programs for students looking to attend college, but a new report finds funding for those programs has stalled in recent years, and may not cover the true cost of attending college.

The report by the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum said Wisconsin made major investments in financial-aid programs throughout the 2000s, but support in the last decade has stagnated.

Jason Stein, research director for the Forum, said the slowdown means students have shouldered more cost as college fees and inflation have risen.

"We had the Great Recession, and that -- out of both, I think, necessity and then to some extent philosophy -- brought in a range of thinking on the 'more austerity' side on state programs and finances," Stein explained.

The report includes several strategies to make up the lost ground, including streamlining and consolidating the state's smaller aid programs under a single agency, boosting overall investments in financial-aid initiatives, tying financial aid amounts to student costs and offering assistance to complete the Federal Application for Free Student Aid (FAFSA).

Lawmakers have attempted to keep higher-ed affordable by instituting a yearslong tuition freeze in the University of Wisconsin system. While the freeze expired last year, Gov. Tony Evers has used federal funds to revive it through the end of the next academic year. Stein acknowledged the freeze helped in the short-term, but will not address the underlying issues.

"If the tuition freeze comes off, then once again, there's the ability for tuition to start rising," Stein pointed out. "And if there's not going to be an increase in financial aid, that's going to hit students, and it's going to hit students at the bottom of the income scale the hardest."

Stein also noted the tuition freeze only applies to University of Wisconsin system schools, not private or technical colleges. The report also finds students of color could have the most to lose from stagnating financial aid. As of 2018, nearly 60% of Black undergraduates received financial needs-based federal Pell Grants, more than double the rate of their white counterparts.

Support for this reporting was provided by Lumina Foundation.


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