New Grants Will Help Wisconsin Students Prepare for College

$1.8 million is from the US Department of Education.

Information and tools to help Wisconsin students prepare for college just got a lot more accessible, according to a statement from Governor Scott Walker's office.

In a written release today, Jan. 6, Walker announced that the state has $2.8 million available to help kids plan their route to college. $1.8 million is from the US Department of Education's College Access Challenge Grant program, and another $936,000 is from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation, a Wisconsin nonprofit.

“The single largest concern Wisconsin businesses are reporting is having a skilled workforce prepared to fill their job openings. Getting our students the right education and training beyond high school is critical to meeting this need,” said Walker in the statement.

Through Great Lakes, which administers the grant for the Wisconsin Department of Administration, the program offers college prep workshops, help filling out applications for financial aid and admission, prep classes for ACT and SAT tests, and other resources for students and their families. The program is targeted to students who are typically under-represented in college, like minorities and lower income students, but materials and classes are available for all Wisconsin students and their families.

Rep. Cory Mason (D-Racine) applauds these types of programs, but he thinks it's a little disingenuous of Walker to slash funding of state technical schools and the UW system on the one hand while accepting federal funds on the other.

"(Governor Walker) ignores the fact that his biennial budget slashed funds for Wisconsin’s Technical College System by 30 percent and cut more than $250 million from the UW System. His Administration has also recently proposed another $65 million in cuts from the UW System, which, thanks to Governor Walker, now faces a budget reduction twice as large as any in the System’s history," Mason told Patch in an email.

Saying that the biennial budget puts college further out of reach for greater numbers of Wisconsin students, Mason also points out that also means a less educated, less prepared workforce.

"Enabling Wisconsin’s youth to plan for college while simultaneously attacking our nationally-renowned higher education system is not the Wisconsin way. To ensure an excellent Wisconsin workforce in the future, we must do more than distribute federal grants to let Wisconsin’s young people dream of college, we must invest in our technical colleges and UW campuses to allow those college dreams to be realized," he concluded.

Terry January 09, 2012 at 11:08 PM
I have to agree with Mau Heather. How is that any different from the past. I had to work my way through college and supplement with student loans. My parents, both teachers, were upper middle class, but they had obligations of their own. This was back in the early eighties. I believe I valued my education and it's opportunties more because I had to work for it. Have we progressed so far into a entitlement society that we have forgotten where we came from?
Lyle Ruble January 10, 2012 at 01:59 PM
@Denise Lockwood....What you're describing is not that unusual. My youngest is a fourth year at UW-M carrying 15 to 18 hours per semester. Her tuition is at $4320.79 for the Spring Semester. After student loans and scholarships, she will still have to come up with approximately $750.00 plus books, this equates to around $1100.00 this semester. Currently she is maintaining a 3.7 gpa and working one job at 26 hours per week and a paid internship. She has been doing this for three of her four years. The first year she didn't have the internship. Her life consists of school and work and occasionally makes time to have a social life. She is desperate to finish, but her course of study requires some very involved course work. Walker and the legislature's attack on higher education is making a bad situation worse. My son who is in graduate school in San Fransisco out of state tuition is cheaper than my daughter's in-state tuition. If the best and the brightest are having so much trouble, What about the students who are less motivated or available employment is not available? Post secondary education is going to return to a situation that only the wealthiest will be able to pursue it.
Denise Lockwood January 10, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Mr. Denise made the comment the other day that since our property taxes went up $100 and his daughter's tuition went up $700, he sees that as an $800 tax increase on us. We're wealthy by any means, but I'm sure that money is coming from whatever discretionary cash we had...
Denise Lockwood January 10, 2012 at 02:20 PM
not wealthy I mean
mau January 10, 2012 at 07:38 PM
My son, a laid off journeyman plumber, is taking advantage of his time off by taking more classes at the plumbers union training center. The latest course is setting him back upwards of $300. He is laid off, still paying his union dues, can not take a job with a non-union plumber (he's indentured to the union for 5 years, even though they find no jobs for the laid off plumbers), gets no discount on his courses through the union and there are no grants. The 5 years he was getting on the job training and required to put in a specific number of class hours at Gateway and the union training center, this was all out of his pocket. The only thing paid was his work hours (by his employer) that he spent in class during the day. This did not apply to any classes that he had to take in the evenings. What just irked me this morning was seeing a plumbing company from Milton, at the new Texas Roadhouse that is being built. This with all the plumbing business hurting so badly in Racine County. At least I see, so far, all local contractors working on the new Ruud building.


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