University of Wisconsin tuition and reserves are soaring, but the same is true elsewhere

Mike Ivey:

If Gov. Scott Walker and the Legislature move forward with a vow to freeze tuition at the University of Wisconsin for the next two years, they have some numbers to stand on.
Wisconsin has seen the largest percentage tuition increase of Midwestern state universities over the past five years, according to The College Board, with tuition and fees up 23 percent for in-state undergraduate students. UW tuition has risen 5.5 percent each year since 2007 but had jumped even more in previous years — including an 18.7 percent hike in 2003 at some campuses.
But Wisconsin certainly isn’t the only state where the cost of college continues to rise at public colleges. The College Board data show increases of 21 percent in Minnesota and Illinois and 20 percent in Michigan over the past five years, just under Wisconsin’s 23 percent. Nationally, increases since 2007 have ranged from 78 percent in Arizona and 72 percent in California to 2 percent in Maryland and 3 percent in Ohio.
Despite the increases, tuition at the UW remains largely in the middle of the pack compared to other states, as reported by The College Board.