Gov. Doyle Announces $44 Million Increase in Financial Aid

FITCHBURG – Governor Jim Doyle announced today that he will propose a $44 million increase in financial aid – a 21 percent increase over the last biennium – in his budget next week to begin preparing for the first Wisconsin Covenant scholars.  The Governor made the announcement while discussing the importance of going to college with eighth-graders at Savanna Oaks Middle School in Fitchburg.  This year’s eighth-graders will be the first to sign the Wisconsin Covenant.


I don’t want any high school kid to think college isn’t for them, or that it’s only for rich people,” Governor Doyle said.  “I want every student to know, with the Wisconsin Covenant, college is within their grasp.”


In his State of the State, Governor Doyle said he would provide funding for the Office of the Wisconsin Covenant, as well as a major increase in financial aid, to prepare for the day when the first Covenant scholars walk through the doors of Wisconsin‘s universities and technical colleges.  The Governor pledged a $225 million investment, including financial aid, in the University system to expand enrollment and produce more graduates.


Students who choose to participate in the Wisconsin Covenant will sign a pledge in eighth grade affirming that they will earn a high school diploma, participate in their community and be good citizens, take a high school curriculum that prepares them for higher education, maintain a B average in high school, and apply in a timely manner for state and federal financial aid. 


In return for signing the Covenant pledge, each one of the Wisconsin Covenant Scholars will have a spot in either the University of Wisconsin system, the Wisconsin Technical Colleges, or at one of the state’s 20 private, nonprofit and independent colleges.


The Wisconsin Covenant program will be open to every eighth grade student across the state regardless of income.  As students enter college, those families in most need of financial aid will receive grants to pay the costs of education, and other students will receive a mix of loans, grants, and work study opportunities through the Wisconsin Covenant Program.


This initiative builds on the progress the Governor has made in the last four years – including doubling funding for financial aid – to make college more accessible and affordable for Wisconsin‘s working families.