WisconsinWisconsin

State Summary Report Card (PDF)
Complete State Report Card (PDF)

Performance Categories

Preparation

B

Not Improved

Wisconsin performs fairly well in preparing its young people for college, but there are large gaps by ethnicity.

  • Small proportions of high school students score well on Advanced Placement tests, but large proportions score well on college entrance exams.
  • Only 80% of blacks have a high school credential, compared with 94% of whites.

Participation

C+

Improved

College opportunities for Wisconsin residents are only fair.

  • The likelihood of enrolling in college by age 19 is high, but a low percentage of working-age adults are enrolled in higher education.
  • Twenty-one percent of black young adults are enrolled in college, compared with 44% of whites—one of the largest gaps in the nation.

Affordability

F

Not Improved

Higher education has become less affordable for students and their families.

  • Poor and working-class families must devote 44% of their income, even after aid, to pay for costs at public four-year colleges.
  • Financial aid to low-income students is fairly low compared with top states. For every dollar in Pell Grant aid to students, the state spends 62 cents.

Completion

A-

Improved

Wisconsin performs very well in awarding certificates and degrees.

  • Fifty-eight percent of college students complete a bachelor's degree within six years.
  • However, only 33% of blacks graduate within six years, compared with 60% of whites—one of the largest gaps in the nation.

Benefits

C

Improved

Only a fair proportion of residents have a bachelor's degree, and this weakens the state economy.

  • Twelve percent of blacks have a bachelor's degree, compared with 30% of whites.
  • If all racial/ethnic groups had the same educational attainment and earnings as whites, total annual personal income in the state would be about $4 billion higher.

Learning

I

Like all states, Wisconsin receives an "Incomplete" in Learning because there is not sufficient data to allow meaningful state-by-state comparisons.

 

Change Over Time: Key Indicators

The following reflects Wisconsin’s performance and progress since the early 1990s on several key indicators.

Preparation

The percentage of young adults in Wisconsin who earn a high school diploma has decreased since the early 1990s. High school completion is slightly above the U.S. average but below the top-performing states.

Participation

College enrollment of young adults in Wisconsin has improved since the early 1990s. The state is above the national average but below the top states in the percentage of young adults enrolled.

The enrollment of working-age adults, relative to the number of residents without a bachelor’s degree, has declined in Wisconsin—as it has nationally and in the best-performing states. The percentage attending college in Wisconsin is slightly below the U.S. average and below the top states.

Affordability

The share of family income, even after financial aid, needed to pay for college has risen substantially. To attend public two-year colleges in Wisconsin, students and families pay less than the U.S. average but more than those in the best-performing states. To attend public four-year colleges, students and families pay more than the national average.

Completion

The number of undergraduate credentials and degrees awarded in Wisconsin, relative to the number of students enrolled, has increased since the early 1990s. Wisconsin surpasses the U.S. average but is slightly below the top states on this measure.

Benefits

The percentage of residents who have a bachelor’s degree has increased in Wisconsin, but is slightly below the U.S. average and below the top states.