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New chancellor proposes tuition break for some high school students

MADISON, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News)  The new U-W president wants to give free tuition to high school students who take university courses in a dual-enrollment program at their schools.

Ray Cross said yesterday he would ask for a $1-million in the next U-W budget to cover the program's costs for the next year. It's aimed at giving public high school youngsters an early start toward college educations. The program is being expanded under an umbrella called "Course Options," which lets high school youngsters enroll in up to two courses from a host of eligible educational institutions -- including tech colleges. Cross said that by taking classes with both high school and college credits, they'll reduce the cost of their eventual college degrees, and they'll earn those degrees sooner.

School districts are supposed to pick up their share of the program's costs -- and some have wondered how they'll do it. The university's assistance would only apply to students taking U-W courses. The Board of Regents will consider Cross' request in two weeks. Governor Scott Walker says he'll work with the U-W on a permanent funding source for the new program.