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Richard, George (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 59, Number 2 (Oct. 1957)

How well does Wisconsin support higher education?,   pp. 5-6


Page 5


SECOND IN A SERIES
   How Well Does-
Wisconsin Support
Higher Education?
   Committee report indicates
   that other midwestern states
         do somewhat better
H   OW   DOES WISCONSIN stack up
     ---educationally and economically
-with other states of the Union?
  A staff report of the Coordinating
Committee on Higher Education re-
cently tried to answer this question, and
came up with these general observa-
tions:
  1. While Wisconsin's economic posi-
tion is not as favorable as some of the
more industrialized regions, it is not in
an unfortunate position. Strength in
some areas is offset by weaknesses in
others, but the state is economically
sound.
   2. Existing evidence seems to indicate
that higher education as a whole receives
stronger support in most other midwest-
ern states than it does in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Alumnus, October, 1957
  Statistics-not personal  opinion--
were offered to back up these views.
  As a starting point, it was pointed out
that in 1956 Wisconsin had two and
one-quarter per cent (2.25%7) of the
nation's population. This percentage was
then compared with the state's attain-
ments in a variety of fields.
  In some of these areas, Wisconsin
figures bettered par for the course. In
farm marketing, in manufacturing and
in retail sales, Wisconsin was doing
better than might be expected. In per-
sonal income and in insurance-in-force
the state was slightly below the 2.25
figure.
  Only where bank assets (1.74) and
internal revenue collections (1.81) were
concerned did Wisconsin fall much be-
low the par figure.
  When the Wisconsin figures were
compared with similar records in six
neighboring midwestern states, it ap-
peared that Inidiana was most similar
economically speaking. Ohio rated high
in all categories, particularly in manu-
facturing. So did Michigan, which was
highest in internal revenue collections,
and Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa out-
stripped Wisconsin in receipts from
agriculture. Illinois was the most popul-
ous state.
  The same sort of comparisons were
made in the field of higher education.
  About 2.20 per cent of U.S. youth
aged 18-24 lived in Wisconsin. How-
ever, the 1955 fall enrollment in Wis-
consin colleges was considerably below
par, standing at 2.05 per cent of total
national enrollment. Also low was the
number of bachelor's degrees granted-
2.01 per cent of the national figure.
There were even fewer master's degrees,
proportionally, although Ph.D. degrees
exceeded the expected.
  Only in two other areas did Wiscon-
sin surpass par.
  First, the state's 37 colleges comprised
2.78 per cent of all degree-granting in-
stitutions in the U.S., and
  Second, support of public higher edu-
cation was pegged at 3.01 per cent of
the national figure.
  On the other hand, private education
expenditures were very low (1.02) and
the loss here brought total Wisconsin
expenditures below the norm. The com-
bined private-public expenditure was
2.14 per cent of the national total.
  And further, when Wisconsin's sup-
port of higher education was compared
to that in neighboring states, the situa-
tion took on an even darker complexion.
  Only Ohio shared with Wisconsin in
the dubious distinction of failing to
meet the expected support level for over-
all higher education. The states of Mich-
igan, Minnesota, Iowa and     Indiana
rated high in support of both public and
private education. Illinois fell below its
expected norm in public school financ-
ing, but support of private education
was very high and this brought com-
bined public-private support up beyond
the par figure there.
   On the facts presented, it appeared
that-from   the economic standpoint-
Wisconsin could afford to do better by
its colleges.
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