Learn to reciprocate

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker wants to end tuition reciprocity subsidies.

Daily Editorial Board

More than 10,000 Wisconsin students studying in Minnesota âÄî the majority of whom attend the University of Minnesota âÄî could be paying more for college next year. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker wants to end the stateâÄôs 43-year-old tuition reciprocity agreement.

Under reciprocity, Wisconsin subsidizes the difference between Wisconsin in-state tuition and the higher cost of Minnesota in-state tuition for its students attending MinnesotaâÄôs public universities. The end of this agreement will mean thousands of University of Minnesota students will pay significantly higher tuition.

This is a disturbing sign from Walker. It shows that he is not willing to cooperate with his neighbors and is willing to make them into enemies.

Tuition reciprocity is mutually beneficial for Minnesota and Wisconsin. Students are able to have more choice: They can find the best fit for them in either state without being penalized for leaving their home state.

Reciprocity also increases the regional diversity on each campus. It allows students on each campus to meet other students who did not grow up within 100 miles of them.

And with the University of Wisconsin-MadisonâÄôs tuition forecasted to go up as much as 20 percent next year due to budget cuts, Walker may soon be in the reverse position, with Minnesota refusing to subsidize the tuition difference.

Walker wants to turn a cooperative system that benefits both his state and Minnesota âÄî and their students âÄî into a zero-sum game that pits the two states against each other. Any short-term savings Wisconsin might gain are earned at the direct expense of those who can least afford it: its own students studying in Minnesota.