The new policy by the University of Wisconsin System will force schools to ask applicants for a $2,500 scholarship to cover the cost of living in Wisconsin and $3,000 for the cost to live in another state.
Schools must also ask applicants about their income.
The policy comes as Wisconsin’s population ages and the number of public school students grows.
Under the current policy, the average family earns about $50,000 a year, according to the state Department of Administration.
“The average Wisconsin family earns $54,000 annually.
This new policy will reduce that gap by 20 percent,” said Jason Ralston, director of the Center for Education Policy at the University at Buffalo.
He said the policy could have an impact on the number and type of jobs available in Wisconsin.
In the next five years, about 25 percent of the jobs being created in Wisconsin will be in technology-related occupations, he said.
Ralston also said the new policy could help to address the problem of students who drop out of high school.
The university’s policy, which takes effect in 2020, requires students to submit a college application, which can be completed online, and a college transcript to the university.
The application is also sent to the college.
Students who are admitted must pay $1,500 for their tuition and fees.
The school also requires applicants to submit two references, one from their parents and the other from an adult who has graduated from high school, a university spokesman said.
The deadline for applications is Sept. 1, 2020.
Students are allowed to drop out for a year and apply for a scholarship through the scholarship office, but they must be accepted before Sept. 15, 2020, if they haven’t applied for the scholarship in the past three years.
The system has about 4,600 students enrolled in about 1,500 high schools, and about 2,600 in about 600 middle schools, according the UW System.
The University at Albany, where about 50 percent of students qualify for scholarships, has about 5,000 students enrolled.
The state’s average high school graduation rate is about 66 percent, according a study from the Wisconsin Center for Higher Education.
The new policy comes after a recent wave of student protests in the Wisconsin school system.
About 1,000 people marched in Madison and about 500 more in Milwaukee, chanting “free tuition, free education” and “we want more money, we want more students.”
A bill to create a state-run student financial aid agency was introduced in the state Senate last month.
The bill would have created a system to provide financial aid to students who have been accepted to Wisconsin’s universities and colleges.
The legislation passed the Assembly Education Committee last month, but it has yet to go to the full Assembly.
The UW System had previously required schools to give students a choice between applying for a cash scholarship or an online application.
Students had the option to apply for the cash scholarship by phone, email or online, but the university said it would not allow applicants to choose whether to accept the scholarship or pay the $2.8 million fee.
A committee of the Assembly education committee approved the bill on Tuesday, but Senate President Tom Bakk has said he will not bring it to a vote this year.