Just remember these tidbits when they jack up your kid’s tuition and whine about being poor.
After a year of spending cuts driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, fund balances at University of Wisconsin System campuses have grown significantly. Tuition reserves, in particular, have increased by more than 46 percent following years of sustained decreases that put some campuses in financial jeopardy.
Tuition fund balances are revenues left over after expenses are paid in a prior campus budget year and used to safeguard against unexpected costs or revenue losses.
According to a new UW System report on a variety of balances, unrestricted tuition fund balances in fiscal year 2021 increased to $333.2 million, which works out to an increase of more than 46 percent compared to the $227.3 million held at the end of the 2020 fiscal year. That’s the highest tuition balances have been since 2015. The increase follows years of consistent tuition fund balance declines driven by anger from Republican lawmakers over the size of balances held by system campuses nearly a decade ago.
In addition, the UW System got around $575 million in federal stimulus funds during the pandemic. Half of that is slated for student emergency aid. The UW System reports spending about $265 million in federal stimulus funds.