New Graduate Tax Credit
Reducing Student Loan Debt
Like many parents, Scott Walker wants to keep our graduates here in Wisconsin. Part of that means making college more affordable for students and their families. That is why he froze undergraduate University of Wisconsin tuition for state residents for six years in a row – and why he wants to continue the tuition freeze for four more years.
In addition, Governor Walker wants to provide graduates with up to $5,000 if they stay and work in the State of Wisconsin. Specifically, he proposes a New Graduate Tax Credit of up to $1,000 per year for five years to graduates who work here.
The tax credit is targeted toward graduates who have completed at least a two-year degree who will live and work in Wisconsin – to keep our grown children close to home and to help build our workforce. To be eligible for this refundable tax credit, individuals need to:
- Complete their postsecondary education at a Wisconsin institution that is a part of the University of Wisconsin or Wisconsin Technical College systems or a private college or university, and
- Receive at least a two-year degree, and
- Maintain their residence in Wisconsin for one year before they claim the credit – up to five years after graduation, and
- Have earned income in Wisconsin.
Individuals may also be eligible for the New Graduate Tax Credit if they attend an accredited out-of-state school, maintain their Wisconsin residency during their postsecondary education, and complete at least a two-year degree.
The New Graduate Tax Credit ensures Wisconsin’s graduates and Wisconsin residents receiving their postsecondary education out of state have an incentive to stay in Wisconsin, or return home to Wisconsin upon graduation.
- The New Graduate Tax Credit is refundable.
- New graduates are eligible for up to $5,000 over five years – regardless of whether they have student loan debt. This means students who work their way through school and graduate without student debt will have the same incentive to stay in Wisconsin or come home to Wisconsin.
- The New Graduate Tax Credit can only be claimed for one continuous five-year time period.
- Individuals who meet the eligibility requirements and are seeking a postgraduate degree can claim the New Graduate Tax Credit if they have not previously claimed it.
- Individuals across Wisconsin carrying student loan debt will continue to have the option to refinance their loans through a financial institution. The student loan tax credit is another tool in the toolbox for setting Wisconsin’s graduates up for success.
Governor Walker’s Record of Making College Affordable:
During the decade before Governor Walker and the Wisconsin State Legislature froze University of Wisconsin tuition, tuition had actually increased by 118%. Since tuition has been frozen, the average University of Wisconsin student has saved more than $6,300 over four years.
In addition to freezing tuition, Governor Walker:
- Worked with the UW System to start and expand the UW Flexible Option degree program for non-traditional students, as well as provided need-based financial aid for Flexible Option students;
- Funded emergency grants for UW and Technical College students experiencing a financial emergency;
- Required higher education institutions in Wisconsin to be transparent with their students on debt and cost of attendance;
- Increased need-based state financial aid by $15 million, making it the highest total need-based aid in state history;
- Created incentives for the UW System to ensure students graduate in four years and find a job in the industry they received their degree; and
- Funded UW System enrollment initiatives for high-demand fields.