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Wisconsin lags the country when investing in college financial aid

Wisconsin’s stagnant — and in some cases declining — investment in state financial aid has led to college students and their families having to pay for a larger portion of the cost of a degree, according to a new report by the Wisconsin Policy Forum.

The policy forum’s report, issued Tuesday, is the latest in a series of analyzes by the forum that have sought to dive into the challenges the state’s colleges and universities face in preparing the workforce of tomorrow amid declining taxpayer support and, in many cases, declining enrollment trends.

The nonpartisan research center found that state lawmakers have not prioritized financial aid in recent state budgets. Instead — in the University of Wisconsin System’s case — they took the approach of freezing tuition for in-state undergraduates for nearly a decade.

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