Rep. August: Creation of Wisconsin Merit Scholarship passes state Assembly

Contact: Representative Tyler August 608-266-1190

MADISON…Today, State Representative Tyler August (R-Lake Geneva) announced that legislation he authored along with State Senator Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) to create a Wisconsin Merit Scholarship passed the State Assembly. The scholarships, set at $5,000, will be available based solely on merit to Wisconsin residents to attend UW System schools.

“This new scholarship will give the UW System a new tool to ensure we are keeping our best and brightest students right here in Wisconsin,” said August. “The scholarship will help our system of colleges compete with other schools across the nation.”

The scholarship will be determined by the UW Board of Regents based on university admission test scores (i.e. ACT, SAT) and high school GPA. August pointed out that students already have access to billions in need-based aid. The only other state-funded merit based program is the Wisconsin Excellence Scholarship, set at around $2,000 and is available to the top graduate in each high school.

“Studies have shown once these students leave Wisconsin it is very difficult to get them to come back,” said August. “These kids are the top leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow, and this bill will help ensure they will remain Wisconsin residents.”

The scholarships will come from the Normal School Fund (NSF), which is constitutionally required to benefit the UW System. The NSF generates earnings on principal, which gets distributed to the UW System.

“Rather than simply give the UW a blank check, we wanted to give them a tool to keep our best and brightest students right here in Wisconsin,” said August. “Other top colleges across the nation are offering significant financial incentives to prospective students and now with this bill the UW System can now compete.”