The University of Wisconsin System is about to roll out its Flexible Option degree program that will allow working adults and other non-traditional college students a chance to earn a college degree online. Although an online program, the fees for the Flexible Option program could still run more than $20,000 according to an article in the Tuesday January 7th edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
But because the program is so unique it doesn’t meet the requirements for federal financial aid. Very few of the students who will find this program useful would be able to afford it without financial assistance. The UW System is confident that they can work out the details with the feds pretty soon…but in the meantime they intend to divert some of the money set aside to launch the degree program for their own financial aid program.
I am not sure how successful this program will be…but it is a fairly bold initiative on the part of the UW System…and it will be a shame if it fails from lack of financial aid for its prospective students…which brings us to:
Another article from JSOnline discussing the quandary over at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and their problem of what to do with the surplus funds they have on hand for economic development.
Lawmakers are delaying their decision on a new private fundraising arm for the state’s jobs agency and instead focusing on what to do with a more than $34 million surplus in the state’s economic development programs.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. has sought the approval from the Legislature’s budget committee for both the creation of a charitable foundation and the release of some of its surplus funds.
At the end of June, the agency had a surplus of 55% of its total funding in its main account.
I don’t know what to make of all of this…but maybe we could allow WEDC to spur some economic development by investing in education loans and financial aid for Wisconsin’s future workforce? I am not sure exactly what their charter says, but I don’t think this is that far out of reach!!