MADISON, WI -- Veterans and members of the U.S. armed forces will have greater access to Wisconsin’s public higher education institutions - and incentive to keep their skills in the state - under legislation waiving their application fees, which cleared the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities today in a unanimous vote.
State Rep. James Edming (R-Glen Flora) and state Sen. André Jacque (R-De Pere), who introduced the bipartisan measure, said removing barriers to higher education for veterans is another recruiting tool that gives Wisconsin a veteran-friendly reputation and helps the state compete for these trained workers.
“As our men and women in the armed forces transition from the military back to civilian life, many look at continuing their education at one of our state’s outstanding public universities or technical colleges,” said Rep. Edming. “While the cost of a college application fee may not seem like a big deal, for a veteran struggling financially it could be the difference that keeps them from applying to a Wisconsin educational institution, and remaining here afterwards.”
“In addition to being a sign of gratitude for their service, waiving the application fee will help bolster the recruitment of veterans to our state’s colleges and universities,” Sen. Jacque said. “By encouraging our veterans to attend college in Wisconsin, it increases the likelihood that they stay in our state after they complete their education and help fill our state’s workforce needs.”
This proposal would apply to University of Wisconsin System and Wisconsin Technical College System schools for all veterans and service members who apply to any associate or bachelor’s degree program, certificate or technical diploma.
“After finishing their education, students often remain in the state where they completed their education, “Sen. Jacque said. “This bill is another way to help attract qualified, dedicated candidates to the thousands of jobs Wisconsin employers have available.”
“Many employers find themselves struggling to find skilled workers to meet their needs,” said Rep. Edming. “Encouraging our veterans to further their education in Wisconsin will also hopefully lead to them becoming part of our state’s workforce upon graduation.”
The measure (Assembly Bill 91) now heads for a vote in the full Assembly.