UW System funding ranks No. 43 in the US, far outpaced by tech colleges 

A report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum has found public funding for the UW System ranks as one of the lowest in the nation, according to the Wisconsin State Journal. The System falls below the national four-year university funding level, with $15,079 per student in comparison to the U.S. average of $17,733. 

The report also found a disparity between funding for the UW system, which ranks 43rd in the nation, and technical college system funding, which ranks fifth. In 2021, technical colleges received $17,153 per-student in state, local tax, and tuition funding, compared to the national average of $11,714. State funding for the technical college system ranks closer to the average of other states’ allocations for four-year institutions. 

Between 2011 and 2021, public and tuition funding for the System grew by 11.9%, nearly half of the average growth of 19.4%. Declining System enrollment between 2019 and 2022 — with the exception of UW–Madison and UW–Green Bay enrollment — dropped tuition funds further, and public funding on its own increased by only 2% between 2020 and 2021, which was not enough to make up for existing gaps as compared to nationwide peers.