Commentary on Growing University of Wisconsin Student Fees

Kelly Meyerhofer:

The changes would make it difficult to construct buildings funded by student fees, according to a UW-Madison student leader familiar with the approval process, which has attracted scrutiny from Republicans who say the fees are making college less affordable.

UW students will pay between roughly $1,000 and $1,600 in annual fees for bus transportation, student organizations and services such as mental health counseling. A portion of those fees may go to pay for construction of buildings such as student unions or sports recreation centers if a majority of students voting in a referendum approve such a move.

Starting in the fall, for example, each UW-Madison student will pay an additional $173 to help fund major upgrades to recreational facilities. About 87% of students approved the increase in a 2014 referendum that brought a third of campus to the polls.