Student Voice


May 23, 2022



Differential tuition refreshes campus

October 3, 2013

Assistant Professor Sooh-Rhee Ryu teaches in an updated classroom in the Kleinpell Fine Arts building.
Assistant Professor Sooh-Rhee Ryu teaches in an updated classroom in the Kleinpell Fine Arts building. Differential tuition allows for classroom renovations in buildings that are dated. (Desi Danforth/Student Voice)

Every student attending UW-River Falls has to pay differential tuition. Differential tuition is a student investment to help create a successful college experience.

“The Executive Board worked with the Chancellor to figure out our priorities,” said Director of Student Life Paul Shepherd.

UWRF students pay a small allotment in differential tuition each year. This amount is added to each student’s base tuition price.

Other schools in the UW System pay differential tuition, which is a significantly greater amount than UWRF students.

Differential tuition is not instated for the sole means of raising tuition. It is part of the Falcon Promise. “It is absolutely necessary,” Shepherd said.

The Falcon Promise is a partnership between students and the University, according to the UWRF website. The goal of the Falcon Promise is to increase student retention and success, especially for students having significant financial need and to enhance the learning environment at UWRF.

There are four initiatives that are included in the Falcon Promise, with the disbursement of the differential tuition. Enhanced learning space is one of them.

UWRF was founded in 1874. Many buildings on campus were created early on in the University’s history. North Hall was built in 1914 in response to a growing student enrollment.

Nearly 40 years after the establishment of North Hall, UWRF took on more students and expanded the entire campus. The Kleinpell Fine Arts (KFA) building and Centennial Science Hall (CSH) were then created.

Now, several decades later, UWRF is in immediate need of an update. Classrooms are outdated due to their age. Differential tuition is allocated to the enhancement of such buildings.

Recently, several rooms in CSH, North Hall and KFA were updated.

“You can see a full listing of the updates on the University website,” Shepherd said.
“The University has done a good job of updating,” said senior MollyEllen Busker in response to the work done on KFA.  “I don’t think our campus is that out of date.”

The Falcon Promise guarantees that UWRF is able to upgrade classrooms and other academic learning spaces on a regular basis. Technology, audiovisual devices, chairs, tables, lighting, paint and carpeting are all aspects that are taken into consideration during a classroom update.

Differential tuition is not the sole means of funding the enhancement of learning spaces on campus. UWRF matches the student investment from differential tuition to successfully fund the updating process.

“You can see the Falcon Promise pledge information off the Budget Office website,” Shepherd pointed out.

With the recent tuition freeze on the UW System, differential tuition will not raise.
“Potentially, this freeze is a real threat to aging buildings on our campus,” Shepherd said.

Projects are still scheduled to take place on campus to enhance even more classrooms, including CSH and KFA during 2013.

For more information and to see the projects in place for the 2013-2104 school year, Shepherd urges students to visit the UWRF website,