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Addressing Opportunity in Wisconsin's Four-Year Universities: A Comparative Analysis of State College Access Programs

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Abstract:

This brief explores state policies designed to help students and families cope with rising tuition costs at four-year institutions. It evaluates the Wisconsin Covenant, a relatively new state program, in comparison to Indiana's Twenty-first Century Scholars Program and Georgia's HOPE Scholarship Program--two of the first and longest-standing state scholarship programs focused on access to higher education--in terms of efficiency, equity, and political feasibility. We recommend that the state of Wisconsin adopt a hybrid model--one that integrates components of the existing Wisconsin Covenant with state scholarships targeted to low-income students--in order to provide students, families, the higher education system, and the state with the highest levels of efficiency and equity.