ICYMI: Scott Walker Guts Promising College Affordability Program

Aug 26, 2014

Summer is almost over, and as college-aged students prepare to head back to school, there is one less way to finance their college education thanks to Scott Walker’s poor, short-sighted decisions. 
In 2011, Scott Walker cut the Wisconsin Covenant Program, a scholarship program passed in 2007 with bipartisan support that sought to motivate students to succeed academically in order to receive financial aid to pursue a college degree. 

The program also came with a $25 million annual permanent appropriation to support students in need. But as soon as the first grants were given out to the first wave of students who entered the program in the eighth grade, the program — along with $38 million in state tuition financial assistance — was cut by Scott Walker in 2011. 

Only students who signed onto the program before Sept. 30, 2011, will be ensured their grants through four years after high school.

More than 750,000 people in our state hold federal student loan debt, but college affordability hasn’t been a priority for Scott Walker. In his first term, Walker drastically reduced state aid to the UW System by $250 million and reduced technical college funding by 30 percent. 

Democrats have proposed common-sense solutions, like the Higher Ed, Lower Debt bill, to help control tuition costs and increase affordability for all Wisconsin citizens — but those solutions continue to be ignored by Scott Walker and his rubber-stamp legislature.

“A reality where cutting funding for financial aid programs actually makes college more affordable simply doesn’t exist,” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Mike Tate said Tuesday. “Everyone in Wisconsin should have the opportunity to succeed, and in November, voters’ values will compel them to choose Mary Burke and make college affordability a priority again.”