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Wisconsin Scholarships and Financial Aid

Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships

Wisconsin is home to the University of Wisconsin System, which is made up of 13 four-year campuses and 13 two-year campuses. There are also a number of Wisconsin Technical Colleges and private schools. These campuses provide post-secondary education for hundreds of thousands of students. Whether you are a high school senior or a graduate student at a Wisconsin post-secondary institution, you may be able to find financial assistance while you pursue your goals.

What Kinds of Scholarships and Financial Aid Are There In Wisconsin?

  • Federal financial aid – grants and low-interest loans
  • Wisconsin state financial aid – grants, scholarships, and loans
  • Wisconsin university and college scholarships
  • Other scholarships from Wisconsin corporations, foundations, and professional organizations

Federal Financial Aid – Grants and Low-Interest Loans

Wisconsin students who have financial need may qualify for federal financial aid. All students who would like to receive federal financial aid should submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA applications are usually available online on January 1, the year before the year you request aid for. The national deadline for the FAFSA is usually June 30, but many states and individual universities and colleges have their own FAFSA deadlines. Wisconsin, however, does not have a state deadline, so you should check with your school to see what your school’s FAFSA deadline is.

If you do qualify for federal financial aid, your financial aid office will determine how much assistance you need. You will be offered grants, which do not need to be paid back, and/or loans, which do need to be paid back. It is up to you how much you want to accept.

Wisconsin State Financial Aid – Grants, Scholarships, and Loans

Residents of the state of Wisconsin are eligible to receive state financial aid. Wisconsin financial aid comes in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans. Here is a list of available programs:

Academic Excellence Scholarship
High school seniors who have the top GPA at their school may be eligible for this Wisconsin scholarship worth up to $2,250. Students must be planning to attend an accredited post-secondary institution the following fall term.

Talent Incentive Program Grant
This Wisconsin financial aid program offers assistance to students who have the most financial need and are the most disadvantaged. Students may receive between $600 and $1,800. To receive this grant students must be nominated by their financial aid office or their Wisconsin Educational Opportunity Program. File a FAFSA to apply.

Wisconsin Higher Education Grant
Undergraduates in the University of Wisconsin System (UW System), at Wisconsin Technical Colleges, and at Tribal colleges are eligible to participate in this Wisconsin financial aid program. This program awards between $250 and $3,000. File a FAFSA to apply.

Wisconsin Tuition Grant
Undergraduates attending Wisconsin independent colleges or universities are eligible for this Wisconsin financial aid program, in which the minimum amount a student may receive is $250.

Minority Undergraduate Retention grant
Students of Hispanic, African American, American Indian, or Southeast Asian (Vietnam, Laos, or Cambodia) may qualify for this Wisconsin financial aid program. Students must sophomores, juniors, or seniors attending a Wisconsin Technical College, Independent College or University, or Tribal college. Students interested in this program must be nominated by their financial aid office and must file a FAFSA.

Indian Student Assistance Grant
Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at an accredited post-secondary institution in Wisconsin are eligible to receive this grant. Students with at least 25% Native American blood can apply. File a FAFSA and click here for an Indian Student Assistance Grant application.

Hearing and Visually Handicapped Student Grant
Wisconsin residents attending accredited post-secondary institutions in Wisconsin or attending participating institutions out of state may qualify for this $250 to $1,800 a year grant. Qualified students must prove financial need and have a hearing or visual handicap. File a FAFSA and click here to download a Hearing and Visually Handicapped Student Grant application.

Minority Teacher Loan
Minority juniors, seniors, or graduate students with at least half-time enrollment in teacher certification programs in Wisconsin are eligible to participate in this Wisconsin financial aid program. The loan will be forgiven if students agree to teach in a Wisconsin school, where 29% or more of the students are minority students. One year of service will be awarded 25% loan forgiveness. Speak with your financial aid office.

Teacher Education Loan
Students studying at the Milwaukee Teacher Education Center (MTEC) are eligible for this loan. This loan may be forgiven for service after certification. For more details click here.

Teacher of the Visually Impaired Loan
Undergraduates or graduates with at least half-time enrollment in Wisconsin teaching programs that prepare teachers to teach the visually impaired are eligible to participate in this Wisconsin financial aid program. The first two years a student is employed as a teacher or orientation and mobility instructor in Wisconsin, the loan may be forgiven 25% each year. The rest of the loan has to be repaid with a 5% interest rate. File a FAFSA and talk to your financial aid office.

Nursing Student Loan
Undergraduates or graduates with at least half-time enrollment in nursing programs in Wisconsin are eligible to participate in this Wisconsin financial aid program. The first two years a student is employed as a nurse or nurse educator in Wisconsin, the loan may be forgiven 25% each year. The rest of the loan has to be repaid with a 5% interest rate. File a FAFSA and talk to your financial aid office.

Wisconsin University and College Scholarships

Wisconsin university and college scholarships are given to students based on academic achievement, financial need, community involvement, major, special talent, and a combination of these and more. Application procedures usually differ at individual universities and colleges. Some institutions require one general application for all scholarships, while others require separate applications for each scholarship. Check with your school’s financial aid or scholarship office to see what it requires.

Other Scholarships from Wisconsin Corporations, Foundations, and Professional Organizations

Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin
There are more than 120 scholarships awarded by the foundation. Scholarships vary in amount and requirements. Learn more about the scholarships and download an application here. Or you contact the foundation at foundation@cfcwi.org or (715) 342-4454.

Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin
This foundation offers a large number of scholarships to students from different areas in north central Wisconsin. Application procedures and deadlines differ for each individual scholarship. For more information, click here.

Wisconsin Association for Food Protection
The WAFP offers the E.H. Marth Food and Environmental Scholarship to a student pursuing a degree related to food protection. The WAFP also offers the WAFP Memorial Scholarship to children and spouses of WAFP members. The deadline for these scholarships is usually in July. Click here to download applications.

Wisconsin Environmental Health Association, Inc.
The WEHA offers two scholarships to students. The WEHA Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 is available to students studying any program. The Robert R. Nelson/WEHA Environmental Health Scholarship in the amount of $1,000 is available to junior or senior students at the University of Eau Claire who are studying public health or environmental science. Students must be studying full-time to qualify. Click here for more information.

Wisconsin Lab Association
The WLA offers three scholarships in the amount of $500 to students who are pursuing careers that use non-medical laboratory methods. Students must have a minimum 3.0 GPA to qualify. Click here for details and the application process. The deadline is October 1, 2009.

A Few Tips to Keep Handy When Researching Wisconsin Scholarships and Financial Aid

  • Because Wisconsin doesn’t have a state FAFSA deadline, make sure you check with your school’s financial aid office for your school’s deadline as soon as possible after January 1.
  • Wisconsin offers several financial aid programs to help students finance their education. Check to see if you qualify for any of them.
  • Try to search locally before applying for national scholarships. You may have a better chance at winning local scholarships.

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