Young Wisconsinites are leaving tech schools, colleges, and universities with mountains of debt. The National Center for Educational Statistics reports that average cumulative debt loads for who ever received loans are around $20,000 to nearly $200,000 depending on the degree completion level. Ultimately this debt prevents graduates from purchasing a home. Those in the middle class know that a house is one of the top ways we accumulate wealth. Therefore, it is our responsibility to ensure that those who work hard are rewarded. To equip the young with the American dream, we must address tuition costs and college debt.
The State Superintendent is an automatic member of the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents and can, thereby, influence college policy. Some of the proposed policy changes include:
1) Reduce tuition costs to what they were in the 1940s (adjusted for inflation). If we could have reasonable tuition before we can have reasonable tuition now. Reasonable tuition will help prevent another generation from having a student loan debt crisis.
1940s Tuition = ~$1,200 (2020 Dollars)
2020 Tuition = ~$10,700
2) Eliminate student debt by a proposed Student-Loan-to-Home program. This program ensures all college graduates have eligibility for a home mortgage. In addition, every dollar paid to their mortgage will be matched by public and private funds, which ultimately reduce their student loan debt.
3) Increase the number of research professors. Top researchers may be able to draw in large amounts of funding that could reduce taxes.
4) Raise adjunct professors' income to an appropriate level. Most of these positions are part-time and pay is much lower than other educators. These vital positions deserve to be valued and paid appropriately for their work.
5) Attain R1 status at all University of Wisconsin campuses. This top research status can draw in businesses from across the world to Wisconsin, leading to an improved economy and job growth for our state.