Student Loan Voter Scorecard

Wisconsin State Legislature, 2015–2016


One Wisconsin Institute supports affordable higher education and common sense solutions to the student debt crisis. No bills passed by the Wisconsin State Legislature and signed by Governor Scott Walker do anything to alleviate high interest rates and large monthly payments that Wisconsin borrowers face for doing the right thing by getting an education or job training.

Scorecard Key

Supported student loan borrowers
Opposed student loan borrowers
Did not vote on this bill

Higher Ed, Lower Debt

The "Higher Ed, Lower Debt" bill would help Wisconsin borrowers to refinance their student loans, just like you can with a mortgage. The plan would also extend an existing state tax deduction to include student loan payments and provide additional information and loan counseling to borrowers.

2015 AB 739

This bill denies any help to 97 percent of Wisconsinites with student loan debt, proposing a tax break restricted to only those borrowers with high student loan interest costs in excess of $2,500 a year.

2015 AB 740

According to the Wisconsin Technical College System, in the 2014-15 school year 34,725 eligible students were denied financial aid because of funding shortfalls. Based on program funding of a mere $500,000 annually for grants to technical college students, only approximately 1,000 additional students would receive a grant. This bill would therefore deny any help to over 97% of students who were eligible but denied grants.

2015 AB 741

Because of insufficient funding, every year an average of 40,000 or more Wisconsin students have been denied any financial aid for which they were eligible. This bill would allow students to apply for an emergency grant of up to $500 to help them stay in school. Based on the program funding, if the maximum grants were awarded only 900 students could participate.

2015 AB 742

The bill allocates funds from an existing appropriation to support two new internship coordinator positions at the state Department of Workforce Development. These employees are tasked with increasing the number of students working at internships with businesses, with no guarantee of any wages. The bill therefore does nothing to directly reduce student loan burdens or college costs.

2015 AB 743

Instead of reducing student debt this bill would provide funding for internship coordinator positions at the UW System. The fiscal estimate from the UW System indicates they could create 9 positions to help the over 80,000 students on 26 campuses across the state find internships that do not include any guarantee of wages. The bill does nothing to directly reduce student loan burdens or college costs.

2015 AB 744

Instead of reducing student debt, this bill creates an unfunded mandate that requires Wisconsin higher education institutions to annually provide their students with a letter providing information about their student loans and the cost of attendance. The bill also requires the institution to provide information on financial literacy during the student's first semester of enrollment.

State Senate Scorecard

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State Assembly Scorecard

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Legislator Score