MENOMONIE, Wis. — A University of Wisconsin System regents subcommittee signed off Thursday on a plan to eliminate a surcharge for most system students who accumulate too many credits.

The regents established a policy in 2002 that imposes a surcharge on students who accumulate 165 credits or 30 credits more than required to graduate from their program, whichever is greater. The fee is equal to 100% of resident tuition.

UW schools collect about $100,000 in revenue from the surcharge annually, with most of the money coming from UW-Milwaukee and UW-Whitewater, system officials wrote in a memo to regents.

But memo cites a 2018 study that found such surcharges don't improve graduation outcomes and increase student debt, creating a substantial financial burden for students.

The regents' Education Committee approved a plan that calls for eliminating the surcharge at all campuses except UW-Madison with a voice vote during a meeting at UW-Stout. The full Board of Regents will take up the proposal Friday.

The plan allows UW-Madison to continue charging the fee. Officials at the state's flagship university feel the surcharge helps push students to complete their degrees as quickly as possible, the system memo said.