(WFRV) – Student financial aid in Wisconsin is doing less to keep college affordable, according to a recent report.

On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Policy Forum released a report which included data from the Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board, Legislative Fiscal Bureau, University of Wisconsin System, Wisconsin Technical College System, Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs.

Based on the data provided, the Wisconsin Policy Forum claims that total state financial aid offers to students in Wisconsin has decreased in the last decade, leaving students to cover most of the cost of their education.

Depicted below is a graph highlighting the decline in coverage Pell Grants are offering students by the institution.

Graphic provided by the Wisconsin Policy Forum

The steady decline of financial aid grants offered in Wisconsin has reportedly resulted in the state falling below the national average.

Graphic provided by the Wisconsin Policy Forum

Based on the graph, Wisconsin is about $439 below the national average.

This large gap increases the challenges for Wisconsin students, especially students of color, who oftentimes, rely more heavily on financial aid than their counterparts.

The graph below depicts different races and their financial aid necessity.

Graphic provided by the Wisconsin Policy Forum

The Wisconsin Policy Forum is now proposing options to help the state make progress on financial aid without breaking the bank.

Options proposed include:

  • Consolidating small programs
  • Creating a website with information on all public financial aid programs
  • Supporting students and families to ensure they fill out a key form needed to access state and federal financial aid.

For the full study, click here.