Official: Tuition hike for U students in WI an unfortunate consequence

More than 3,800 Minnesota undergraduate and graduate students who study at the University of Wisconsin's Madison and Milwaukee campuses will see their tuition rise an extra $1,300 next year, according to figures from the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.

On Friday, state officials confirmed the scenario I'd posted: The U's decision to roll its $1,300-per-year university fee into its tuition would raise the total amount paid by those studying at those two campuses -- even though U students here won't be affected.

(Click here for the full explanation of why that's the case.)

That, of course, is on top of the regular tuition increase this year.

Around nine in 10 of those students will be undergrads.

Sue Van Voorhis, director of academic support resources for the U, said the restructuring of tutioin and the university fee had "been in the works for some time."

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The U had received a lot of questions from parents and students who wanted to know what the fee was for, and why it wasn't just part of tuition. Combining the two "would be more efficient," she said, but later called the hike for students in Wisconsin "an unfortunate consequence."

When regents and university officials (including former President Bob Bruininks) agreed to roll them into one sum, she told me:

"I don't think they fully understood the impact on Minnesota students. They thought of the (beneficial) change for the students and families here in Minnesota."