Out-of-state enrollment at the University of Wisconsin at Madison increased by 29 percent in the three years after the state government removed a cap on nonresidents in 2015, according to a new working paper from researchers published by Brown University’s school of education.
Tuition revenue also rose significantly, by 47 percent. The researchers found that this revenue largely went back into financial aid for low-income resident students.
UW Madison had a nonresident enrollment cap of 27.5 percent before it was lifted in 2015. The results were so promising that, in 2019, the university issued a new policy: rather than put a cap on out-of-state students, it would establish a minimum enrollment quota for Wisconsin residents of 5,200 new students each year.
Researchers concluded that other public higher education institutions could benefit from lifting or eliminating similar caps, which are in place in a number of states. Just last week the University of North Carolina at Wilmington was fined $4 million for exceeding its state-imposed 18 percent nonresident enrollment cap.