UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls

Tuition Differential

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UW-River Falls - Executive Summary

BACKGROUND

In its Study of the UW System in the 21st Century , the Board of Regents approved flexibilities for tuition setting. UW-River Falls proposes an undergraduate differential tuition in order to begin implementation of the Campus Connections for Success program that will help students connect to the university when they arrive on campus, throughout their undergraduate career and as they transition to their post-graduation lives.

REQUESTED ACTION

The Board is asked to approve a differential tuition for all undergraduate students at UW-River Falls beginning in the 2007-08 academic year. Tuition will increase $36 per semester ($72 per year). The differential will be prorated for part-time students. This rate will remain flat for four academic years and will then be reviewed for reauthorization by a campus oversight committee made up of an equal representation of students, faculty and staff.

DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

UW-River Falls recently engaged in a campus-wide strategic planning process which resulted in planning goals for the institution. One of the identified goals is to “create a culture of learning.” To that end, the university proposes to charge a differential tuition that will begin to bolster the culture of learning for undergraduate students by providing the resources the institution needs to expand and enhance support services for undergraduate students. These services will enhance connections between each student and the institution, which will increase the potential for student success, throughout both their undergraduate and post-graduation careers. Students who are more connected to their institution are more likely to remain at that institution, graduate and remain active and involved with the institution as alumni.

This differential tuition proposal expands on UW-River Falls ' Excellence in the First Year Experience 2007-09 biennial budget request and initiates a program that focuses on the connections students make with the university. UW-River Falls proposes to increase undergraduate tuition by $36 per semester ($72 per year). This rate will remain flat for four academic years and will then be reviewed for re-authorization by a campus oversight committee. The estimated differential tuition revenue that will be generated in the first year of implementation is $387,300. UW-River Falls does not expect any decrease in enrollment as a result of this differential tuition. Rather, the campus expects its enrollment to increase as a result of the proposed areas of funding and their impact on student retention.

Three areas have been identified that will improve student success:

  1. Enhanced Library Services

    Strong library collections and a library facility that meets the needs of students are essential for a successful transition through college and on to a fulfilling career. Currently, UW-River Falls students have indicated dissatisfaction with the hours that they are able to access the Chalmer Davee Library. Revenue from the differential tuition will provide extended library hours as well as extended access to a computer lab within the library. Differential tuition revenue will also make available additional online journals and reference sources, which will provide 24/7 access to key resources that all students can use anytime, anywhere.

  2. Testing and Tutoring Center

    Differential tuition revenue will allow UW-River Falls to create a centralized, dedicated space to provide testing and tutoring services. The Center will provide a central location for students to take exams (i.e. make-up exams, quizzes and placement exams) and receive test proctoring and diagnostic testing for students with disabilities. The Center will also provide an area for students to take the GRE, GMAT, and other pre-professional exams, which will help students transition to life-long learning. In addition to testing, the Center will house the institution's tutoring services and will provide services and programs for students who speak English as a second language (ESL). Differential tuition revenue will also be used to hire a Learning Disability Specialist licensed to diagnose common learning disabilities. Adding these services and locating them in one area will further assist in the academic success of students, particularly those with disabilities.

  3. Undergraduate Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activities (RSCA)

    Students have designated additional funding for undergraduate research, scholarly, and creative activities (RSCA) as a priority. Differential tuition revenue will provide additional RSCA project opportunities for students and additional resources for student travel to conferences. This experience is a great opportunity for students to work closely with faculty and gain critical RSCA and presentation skills, not only for those students who seek graduate degrees but also for students seeking a career after the completion of their bachelor's degree. This is an important component of a student's transition to lifelong learning.

Additional areas identified by the campus and students may also be funded with differential tuition revenue.

On March 6, 2007 the UW-River Falls Student Senate passed a motion to approve the proposed differential tuition initiative. Students were involved in the development of this proposal from the beginning and a Student Senate representative was a member of the working group that crafted the final proposal. This differential tuition initiative is a reflection of the priorities of UW-River Falls students and their commitment to enhancing the student experience. UW-River Falls will create an oversight committee with equal representation of students, faculty, and staff who will allocate the differential tuition revenue, review progress toward goals, and ensure the funding is being spent appropriately. In addition, this oversight committee will lead a reauthorization review of the differential tuition initiative after four academic years.

RESOLUTION

That, upon the recommendation of the President of the University of Wisconsin System and the students and Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, the Board of Regents approves differential tuition for all UW-River Falls undergraduate students beginning in the Fall Semester of 2007-08. Tuition will increase $36 per semester ($72 per year). The differential will be prorated for part-time students.

RELATED REGENT POLICIES

Study of the UW System in the 21st Century (June 1996)

For additional information on differential tuition, please contact Brenda Irvin, Budget and Policy Analyst, at 715/425-3737.

Contact Us

Student Billing Office
billing@uwrf.edu
715-425-3145
215 North Hall