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Media Memo: Clarification of facts about UW-Eau Claire's Blugold Commitment

TO: News Editors and Directors

FROM: Julie Poquette

DATE: Jan. 24, 2011

SUBJECT: Clarification of facts about UW-Eau Claire's Blugold Commitment

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Student Senate will vote tonight on the allocation of Blugold Commitment differential tuition funds for the university's 2011-12 fiscal year.

Given how important this initiative is to UW-Eau Claire's current and future students, we want to ensure that the numbers and other information you share with your readers and viewers about the Blugold Commitment are accurate. Toward that end, we are providing the following corrections and clarifications regarding misinformation that was included in a front-page story that appeared in the Jan. 22 issue of the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.

  • Under the Blugold Commitment, differential tuition — a separate tuition above the tuition set annually by the Board of Regents — will total $1,200 per year, when fully phased in over four years. (This is half the annual amount reported in the Leader-Telegram.) To assure that UW-Eau Claire continues to maintain access for low- and middle-income families, up to 40 percent of the tuition increase will be used to provide grants for students with need.
  • For the 2010-11 academic year, students will pay a total of $300 ($150 per semester) in Blugold Commitment differential tuition, plus $163 ($81.50 per semester) in differential tuition that students pay under a plan originally instituted in 1998. The Blugold Commitment portion of students' differential tuition payments will increase by $300 per year over the next three years. The original $163 in differential tuition will not increase.
  • Contrary to the Leader-Telegram headline, the university is not delaying spending of Blugold Commitment differential tuition dollars. The university started receiving Blugold Commitment funds at the beginning of the fall 2010 semester — and has been allocating those funds for 2010-11 programs approved last spring. It was always the intention that proposals for 2011-12 Blugold Commitment funds would undergo a thorough review process before implementation. Tonight's Student Senate deliberation is an important part of that review process. The Blugold Commitment budget plan being considered tonight will be implemented beginning July 1, 2011.

For additional information or to confirm numbers and other facts relating to the Blugold Commitment, contact David Gessner, UW-Eau Claire's assistant chancellor for budget and finance, at 715-836-5182 or gessnedp@uwec.edu.

Detailed information about the Blugold Commitment also can be found at http://www.uwec.edu/bc/index.htm.

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