Boots & Sabers

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Everything but tech support.

1529, 11 Jan 16

Walker Advances College Affordability Package

It’s nice to see Walker back engaged in Wisconsin politics. Here’re his ideas for helping folks better afford college:

·         Deducting All Student Loan Interest – authored by Representative John Macco and Senator Howard Marklein, this legislation would eliminate any cap on the tax deduction for student loan interest, which would save student loan debt payers $5.2 million annually when it is fully phased in.  This tax deduction would be the most generous of any state in the Midwest with an income tax and benefit roughly 32,000 Wisconsin taxpayers paying off student loans.  This deduction also directly benefits middle class Wisconsinites with an average benefit of more than $200 annually for those making between $30,000 and $70,000;

·         Increasing Wisconsin Grants for Technical Colleges – authored by Representative Dave Heaton and Senator Sheila Harsdorf, this legislation would increase needs-based Wisconsin Grants by $1 million for technical college students in the biennium or $500,000 annually.  This would benefit over 1,000 students throughout the state;

·         Creating Grants for Students in Emergency Financial Need – authored by Representative David Murphy and Senator Howard Marklein, this legislation would provide $130,000 to UW System colleges and $320,000 to technical colleges to provide emergency grants to students.  This approach has been credited with increasing the likelihood a student finishes his or her degree in these unfortunate situations by increasing student retention;

·         Increasing Internships – authored by Representative David Murphy and Senator Howard Marklein, these two pieces of legislation would enhance internships, creating more pathways to employment by funding two positions within the Office of Skills Development at the Department of Workforce Development (DWD), as well as additional UW System positions.  These new positions would work with employers and institutions throughout the state to build and grow relationships between higher education institutions and employers, so students can gain job skills, which will assist in filling open positions and connecting our graduating students to employers in Wisconsin;

·         Helping Students and Families to Make Informed Decisions – authored by Representative David Murphy and Senator Howard Marklein, this legislation would require all state institutions of higher education to provide financial literacy to their students within the first semester of their instruction.  It would also require all institutions of higher education offering an associate’s degree or higher to annually mail cost, loan, and other financial information to students.  This is modeled after an Indiana law that has been credited with reducing the amount of loans taken out by students.

There’s nothing earth-shattering here, but it’s a solid list of good ideas. On the last item, while it is a good idea, I think it comes too late. I would like to see some mandatory financial literacy education prior to graduating high school.


1529, 11 January 2016


  1. Dan

    Here’s an idea about state colleges and universities:
    1. Stop the text book scandal- huge prices with tiny buy back rates.
    2. Lower the budgets of the colleges by getting rid of useless programs and bureaucracy. Make professors and TA’s teach more. Get rid of useless degrees.
    3. Contract some services out like janitorial, library, grounds keeping,
    4. Privatize the dorms.
    5. Close a campus or 2, especially Eau Claire, or Menomonie or Stout.

  2. old baldy


    I agree with the text book proposal. Stevens Point has text book rental as part of student fees and it works great. It was in place when I was there in the ’60’s and is still in use.

    I don’t agree with your singling out any locations. I am puzzled with why you chose those two (Stout is in Menominie). EC is a top producer of Med tech grads that are in high demand, also produces a lot of teachers. Stout in nationally renowned as a producer of highly skilled technical grads in manufacturing, hospitality, tech ed, etc. Placement rates at both schools is very high.

  3. Mark Maley

    I agree with OB

    In addition, our extensions like UWWC are part of the solution for ridiculous college costs students and parents are faced with

    On the other hand , UMW produced our Kev
    That does give me pause for thought :)

  4. old baldy


    One other thing. Who decides what is a “useless” program or degree? What makes it useless? That you have no interest in the subject matter? We can’t all be engineers or rocket scientists, so there is still room for a philosophy major out there.


    True, Kev said he didn’t learn anything at UW-M. But they put out a lot of employable engineers, PhDs and water science folks, so it probably wasn’t the fault of the institution, but rather the student.

  5. Kevin Scheunemann


    Yeah, that 25% UWM graduation rate is something to brag about…and that I was in the 25% is the problem :-)

    What we need is to not talk about the other 75%…

  6. old baldy


    From all the available online info the graduation rate from UW-M is almost double your claim. Wasn’t data analysis part of your course work for a finance degree at UW-M? Or are you just making stuff up again to fit your bogus argument? Isn’t there a commandment against that?

  7. Kevin Scheunemann


    It has gotten better because UW-Milwaukee now graduates more illiterate social promotion MPS grads. It looked bad when they were only graduating 25% back in my day, when they had some standards.

  8. old baldy


    So when caught in yet another act of deceit you make a feeble attempt to place the blame on the innocent. You will spend some time in a bad place for your lies. If they had any standards you would have been expelled.

    PS: The data went back a long time. Can you prove there was ever a 25% graduation rate?

  9. Northern Pike

    Back to the main issue. To take the interest deduction on student loans, does a filer need to itemize? If so, it won’t help many people because most of us (myself included) take the standard deduction.

  10. Kevin Scheunemann


    I was commenting on graduation rate when I was there. “Deceit” is hardly the appropriate term. “Truth” of the pathetic liberal waste of public education dollars is more appropriate.

    Liberal radicals did try to expel me…for daring to exercise free speech outside the liberal lexicon.

    Liberals on campus and outside of campus are essentially the same. Shutting speech and debate down through perpetual offense and victimization.

  11. old baldy


    Well now you try to qualify your lack of truthiness. If you give us the years you were attending UW-M we will check out the factualness of your latest claim. My bet is they were never in the 25% range. Maybe you could provide the proof (with citations, of course).

    You are playing the victim card again. Nothing unusual there.

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