In these unprecedented times, we need the support of others, and we need to support others. That is exactly what the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point at Wausau brings to our area. It provides support for the success of local higher education students. In turn, those students contribute their skills and talents to our area workforce while attending college and upon graduation.

A student’s college years are often some of the best years of their life. UW-Stevens Point at Wausau offers an opportunity for personal and academic growth and the freedom to explore career opportunities without overwhelming financial obligations. Three of the biggest challenges facing college-bound students are financial obligations, academic preparedness and managing commitments.

Financial obligations. From 2008 to 2018, the average tuition at four-year public universities increased an average of 37 percent in all 50 states. In addition, the cost of living has steadily increased over the past several years. The anxiety of paying for college and the prospect of overwhelming student loans is almost universal. Tuition has remained unchanged for the past seven years at UW campuses for Wisconsin residents. Including tuition and fees, UW-Stevens Point at Wausau offers a top-notch education for just over $5,000 per year. 

Without overwhelming debt, our students can learn while serving our community and gain valuable experience through a variety of internships, including the Boys and Girls Club, United Way of Marathon County and the Wausau Police Department.

Academic preparedness. Beyond financial concerns, many students find they are not as prepared academically for college as they thought. I can attest to the quality of the coursework at UW-Stevens Point at Wausau. It is true that “if you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.” The support of the professors and smaller class sizes are incredibly helpful in the transition from high school to college. After earning your associate degree in Wausau, if you choose to transfer to the Stevens Point campus or to another university to continue your education, you will have a great foundation, ensuring a smoother transition. 

Managing commitments. I was born and raised in this area. I went into college courses with no idea what I wanted to do for a career. As a student at the then UW Marathon County campus, with the support and encouragement of Professor Angela Burger, I participated in a local internship with the Marathon County State Public Defender’s Office. I had no prior experience in criminal justice, but my professor took notice of my obvious interest. Without the constraints of mounting debt, I was able to participate in this public service opportunity as a volunteer. My experience in this internship directed my life’s path, steering me to a rewarding career in law. My internship experience was a guide to my chosen degree of criminology and law studies and was the inspiration for my admissions essay to law school. 

Now, as Marathon County’s top prosecutor, I have the opportunity to assist other UW-Stevens Point at Wausau students as they blaze their own educational paths. To learn more about a career in criminal justice and possible internships in my office, please feel free to call our office at 715-261-1111.

As an alumna of the university, I can attest to the solid footing an education at UW-Stevens Point at Wausau provides. Give yourself a chance to explore your passion and discover your purpose with the support of outstanding professors and community internships without accruing overwhelming debt. UW-Stevens Point at Wausau is your local, affordable option for a high-quality education that will benefit your career and community for years to come.

Theresa Wetzsteon is Marathon County District Attorney.