Be it the Vikings and Packers or the Gophers and Badgers, a rivalry has always existed between Minnesota and Wisconsin. When the choice of selecting higher education rolls around, some residents from both states forgo the soil of their homeland for the pursuit of education across the border. Currently, the Minnesota and Wisconsin systems vie for the brightest and best students of the Midwest with their tuition reciprocity agreement. While the reciprocity agreement faces an uncertain fate, other less mentioned characteristics in both states could sway perspective students.
One must consider all options when choosing a college. One of the most important deciding factors is the overall cost of earning a degree. There is a reciprocity agreement between both Minnesota and Wisconsin. In other words, currently students from Minnesota who choose to attend college in Wisconsin are treated similarly to Wisconsin residents by paying in-state tuition and vice versa. This agreement has existed since 1965 allowing thousands of Wisconsinites and Minnesotans alike take advantage of reciprocity to attend both states. In other words, I am not alone in my decision to go to a neighboring state to attend college.
Now let’s see how the two largest universities of each state, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and UW-Madison, match up against each other.
According to people on both campuses, there are major differences between being an engineering undergraduate at UW–Madison as opposed to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities houses its engineering degrees in the College of Science and Engineering. Basically, in the College of Science and Engineering, all of the majors offered in the UW–Madison’s College of Engineering are found — plus the physics, mathematics, chemistry and statistics disciplines. Those listed majors are in the College of Letters and Sciences here at UW–Madison.
Another difference is the campus size; the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities’ campus is more spread out than UW–Madison’s. The University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus is separated by the Mississippi River, having buildings in both St. Paul and Minneapolis. At UW–Madison, a walk from the social science building to a civil engineering class is manageable, but at the U of M it is more difficult. Look at it this way; the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus is 1,150 acres while UW-Madison’s campus is 936 acres. Keep that in mind, fellow Badgers, as this makes your walk from Engineering Hall to Van Vleck in 15 minutes a little less painful.
In short, Minnesotans choosing to attend school at UW-Madison is common. In fact, for some families, it is a tradition. Each Minnesotan has their respective reasons for coming here and should rejoice in the fact that they will touch Paul Bunyan’s axe before they graduate. I feel a sense of pride to be able to go here.