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Green Bay ranked most affordable

Chris Johnson , News Writer
November 14, 2013
Filed under News, Top Stories

Recent data released on the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics web site shows that UW-Green Bay’s tuition ranks as the best among four-year colleges within the UW-system.

However, while UWGB’s tuition costs are lowest in the state, a number of other factors come into play when determining a school’s overall affordability.

Deborah Furlong, policy and planning analyst at UWGB, says that while our tuition may be the lowest in the state, students need to be cautious and aware that everybody’s cost experience is going to differ.

“Where you live has a huge impact on your final cost,” Furlong said.

Furlong said the final cost depends on if the student lives on campus or at home.

UWGB’s tuition is also coming in lower right now than other four-year schools because its not adding a differential tuition.

That’s an additional amount designated for a special purpose such as improving advising or career planning and placement.

Furlong says UWGB doesn’t add that extra tuition amount

is because much of those costs fall under the required student fees, which also helps support the non-academic part of a student’s experience.

“UWGB has high segregated fees compared to many of the other schools. Schools that are smaller have higher rates, because to support the same kinds of services that a larger school does like a union and sports and recreation center we have to spread those costs over fewer students,” Furlong said.

When UWGB built the Kress Events Center, the students voted to increase the segregated fees for several years, Furlong said, but in recent years those fees have not been raised very much and many other UW schools have caught up with us with those fees.

“The tuition amount is not really all that different across the comprehensive schools,” Furlong said. “The research-oriented schools like UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee do tend to have higher tuition because they’re supporting a broader array of student experiences based on their research mission.”

Other costs that students incur are housing and room and board. Students have a lot of control over how they confront those costs, Furlong said, and then there are also other miscellaneous costs like deciding whether or not to have a car.

“Maintaining a car is very expensive with insurance and gas,” Furlong said, “so those are the kinds of choices students have control over. Also, Green Bay is an area where students have been able to get part-time jobs and not incur so much student loan debt. Students who graduate from UWGB tend to graduate with slightly less loan debt on average.”

Jen Jones is the assistant director for admissions for marketing, media, and recruitment.

“That is why we are publicizing that information,” Jones said. “We want students to realize the value of our education because financing it is a big deal.”

Another dynamic within this equation is the population that is coming to UWGB and receiving financial aid, Jones said.

“We have a lot of first-generation, lower-income people that are choosing us,” Jones said, “so then the price comes down because of the grants that the federal and state government give us. So it’s the population we serve that also helps us get that recognition.”

Laurie Rentmeester, Bursar for UWGB, does not see any drastic changes in costs coming anytime in the near future.

“Tuition has been frozen by Governor Walker for the current budget period we’re in,” Rentmeester said.

The only thing that may change might be the segregated fees, Rentmeester said.

Those are determined by a committee that looks at the various activities that it supports, and these fee changes are also approved by the student government.

In other words, students have a say in whether or not that number goes up, Rentmeester said.