MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A new Legislative Fiscal Bureau report shows the University of Wisconsin System finished fiscal year 2012 with nearly $650 million sitting in reserve, including $414.1 million in surplus tuition dollars.
The bureau released a memo Friday saying the tuition surplus was $212.8 million as of mid-2009 and $393 million as of mid-2011. Base tuition across the system's four-year schools has gone up 5.5 percent annually between mid-2009 and mid-2012.
Republican legislative leaders issued a statement blasting system administrators. They questioned how the system could justify raising tuition in light of the surplus and vowed to include a two-year tuition freeze in the 2013-15 state budget.
A spokesman says the system's cash balances have grown because of rising enrollment and the surpluses give the system a safety net in volatile times.