If you’ve made the big decision to attend college at the University of Wisconsin, then your next step is to figure out how you’re going to pay for it all. Tuition costs and fees add up quickly, and with an estimated cost of attendance for out-of-state students topping out at $54,289 for the 2019-20 year, you’ll need all the help you can get.
To help you connect the dots, and cover the cost of attendance at the University of Wisconsin, we created this guide that goes over all of the different financial aid and student loan options available to you. Using this guide, you should be well on your way towards making a sound decision on which financial aid options are right for you.
Programs Eligible for Financial Aid at The University of Wisconsin
Before getting into what financial aid and loan options are available at the University of Wisconsin, you need to determine if your intended major is eligible for financial aid.
Some of the programs currently eligible for financial aid at the University of Wisconsin include:
- Biomedical Sciences: Diagnostic Imaging (BS) Degree (UW-Milwaukee)
- Information Science & Technology (BS) Degree (UW-Milwaukee)
- Nursing (RN to BSN) Degree (UW-Milwaukee)
- Associate of Arts & Science Degree (UW-Milwaukee, formerly offered by UW Colleges)
Programs noted as not currently eligible for financial aid on the UWM website include:
- Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (UW-Parkside)
- Substance Use Disorders Counseling Certificate (UW-Madison)
- Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences: Health Sciences (UW-Milwaukee)
- Business & Technical Communications Certificate (UW-Milwaukee)
- Project Management Certificate (UW-Parkside)
If you intended to enroll in one of the programs currently ineligible for financial aid, there is still the UW Flexible Option Tuition Grant available to students with a demonstrated financial need, to help make attendance at the University of Wisconsin more affordable.
Eligibility requirements for this grant vary by program. For more specific information, see the following:
- UW-Parkside Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
- UW-Milwaukee Bachelor of Sciences in Biomedical Science: Health Sciences
- UW Flexible Option Programs
Scholarships Available to University of Wisconsin Students
The best options available to help pay down the cost of attendance at the University of Wisconsin are scholarships. Scholarships are a form of gift aid, which students are not required to pay back.
Scholarships are available from all over the place, including the University of Wisconsin, the local community, local businesses, nonprofit organizations, and churches.
For students interested in applying for the College of Nursing at UWM, there are several scholarship opportunities available to apply to. Award amounts vary by the year, but you can expect awards ranging from $500 to $6,000.
The University doesn’t specifically endorse any outside scholarships but offers the following resources to make finding outside, or private scholarships, easier:
Grants Available to University of Wisconsin Students
As an alternate form of gift aid, to help make attendance at the University of Wisconsin more affordable, many grants are available through the Federal government and the Wisconsin Grant Program.
Federal Grants for the University of Wisconsin Students
Federal grants are the most commonly utilized grants for college students. Before being considered for one of these grants, you first have to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). After filling out the FAFSA, it will be determined whether you have a financial need for assistance, at which point a federal grant may be offered to you.
For more information about the federal grants available to University of Wisconsin students, click here.
Wisconsin Grant Programs
Aside from the grants available from the federal government, another option available to University of Wisconsin students is a grant from the Wisconsin Grant Program. To be eligible for one of these grants, you must be a Wisconsin resident who is enrolled at least half-time in an undergraduate degree or certificate program. Awards are handed out based on financial need, as determined when filing the FAFSA.
For further information, click here.
Federal Work-Study at the University of Wisconsin
Work-study is a bit different from the previous financial aid options mentioned in that you have to work to earn the money awarded. Through the Work-Study Program at the University of Wisconsin, students work part-time jobs to earn money to help pay for college expenses.
To get started with the Work-Study Program, you must first fill out the FAFSA and select that you are interested in applying for the Federal Work-Study Program. If you have a financial need for assistance, you may be awarded the opportunity to pursue a work-study job on or off-campus.
At the University of Wisconsin, any job offered on campus is eligible to be a work-study job, with no additional paperwork needing to be filed.
For off-campus jobs to be eligible for the work-study program, they must be with either a non-profit or not-for-profit organization, and additional paperwork will have to be filled out. For any questions about taking a work-study position off campus, reach out to the Student Employment team.
University of Wisconsin Student Loans
If you still need help paying for the cost of attendance at the University of Wisconsin, there are several student loan options at your disposal. Student loans from the federal government are the most appealing, with the lowest interest rates available. Some federal loans even offer paid interest during your time in school.
If you aren’t eligible for federal student loans, alternative student loan options are available.
Direct Subsidized Loans
Direct Subsidized Loans are available from the U.S. Department of Education (DoE) to undergraduate students with a demonstrated financial need.
Interest rates are currently set at 4.54%, but you do not have to pay any that accrues during your time in college, as the DoE covers it.
Awards for Direct Subsidized Loans vary and can be up to $5,500 depending on grade level and dependency status.
Direct Unsubsidized Loans
Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to students pursuing undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees. Financial need isn’t a requirement with these, though you’ll have to pay interest on them as it accrues, beginning from the date of disbursal.
Interest rates for undergraduate students are set at 4.53%, and 6.08% for graduate students.
Awards for Direct Subsidized Loans vary and can be up to $20,500 (minus any subsidized loans you receive during the same period) depending on grade level and dependency status.
Direct PLUS Loans
The final student loan option available from the federal government is a Direct PLUS Loan. Direct PLUS Loans are open to both the parents of undergraduate students and graduate students themselves, with no financial need requirement.
Interest rates on these are set at 7.08% currently, and any interest that accrues is your responsibility from the date of disbursal.
Awards for Direct PLUS Loans vary, with the maximum being the full cost of attendance, minus any other financial aid received.
Alternative Student Loans
After exhausting all other student loan options, your last resort should be alternative, or private, student loans. These have higher interest rates than the student loans offered by the federal government, with more stringent credit requirements.
Before applying for and taking out a private loan, be sure you’ve reviewed all other options available from the federal government.
For help picking the right loan and lender for you, UW recommends the following tools: