Addressing Opportunity in Wisconsin Four Year Universities

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


Elizabeth Stransky

Policy Analyst, WISCAPE
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Annalee Good

Doctoral Candidate, Department of Educational Policy Studies
University of Wisconsin-Madison


This brief explores three examples of state policies designed to help students and families cope with rising tuition costs at four-year institutions: the Wisconsin Covenant, the Georgia HOPE Scholarship Program, and the Indiana Twenty-first Century Scholars Program. The authors evaluate the Covenant, a relatively new state program, in comparison to Twenty-first Century Scholars and HOPE—two of the first and longest-standing state scholarship programs focused on access to higher education—in terms of efficiency, equity, and political feasibility. The authors 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.


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