To be eligible for Wisconsin state financial aid, a student must:
Eligibility for need-based state financial aid programs is determined using the data from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA may be filled-out and submitted online at https://studentaid.gov. Paper copies of the FAFSA are available from college and university financial aid offices or high school guidance offices.
State statutes prohibit students from receiving state financial aid who are:
See the individual program descriptions below for specific exceptions.
Grants are "gift" aid; they do not have to be repaid. Eligibility for grants is based primarily on financial need, and each grant program has specific eligibility requirements.
|Grant||University of Wisconsin System||Wisconsin Technical Colleges||Independent Colleges & Universities||Tribal Colleges||For-Profit Schools||Out-of-State Schools|
WG-UW, WG-TC, WG-TR
|Talent Incentive Program Grant||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Indian Student Assistance Grant||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Minority Undergraduate Retention Grant||✔||✔||✔|
|Hearing/Visually Impaired Student Grant||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
The Wisconsin Grant Program provides grant assistance to undergraduate, Wisconsin residents enrolled at least half-time in degree or certificate programs at University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Technical College, and Tribal institutions. Awards are based on financial need. Eligibility cannot exceed ten semesters.
The Wisconsin Grant (WG-PNP) Program provides grant assistance to undergraduate, Wisconsin residents enrolled at least half-time in degree or certificate programs at non-profit, independent colleges or universities based in Wisconsin. Awards are based on financial need and partially based on that portion of tuition in excess of UW - Madison tuition. The maximum award amount is established annually by HEAB. Eligibility cannot exceed ten semesters.
The Talent Incentive Program (TIP) Grant provides grant assistance to the most financially needy and educationally disadvantaged Wisconsin resident students attending colleges and universities in the State of Wisconsin. First-time freshmen students are nominated for the TIP Grant by the school financial aid offices or by counselors of the Wisconsin Educational Opportunity Programs (WEOP). To continue to receive the TIP Grant, students must continue to show financial need. Eligibility cannot exceed ten semesters. Funding for the TIP Grant is provided by the State of Wisconsin.
Awards under this program are made to Wisconsin residents who are at least 25% Native American and are undergraduate or graduate students enrolled in degree or certificate programs at University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Technical College, independent colleges and universities, tribal colleges, or proprietary institutions based in Wisconsin. Awards are based on financial need with a limit of ten semesters of eligibility. HEAB has an informal matching arrangement with grant funds awarded by the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs and Wisconsin Tribal governments.
Awards under this program are made to Wisconsin resident minority undergraduates, excluding first year students, enrolled at least half-time in independent, tribal, or Wisconsin Technical College institutions. According to the statutes, a minority student is defined as a student who is either an African American; American Indian; Hispanic; or Southeast Asian from Laos, Cambodia, or Vietnam admitted to the U. S. after December 31, 1975. Awards are based on financial need with a maximum grant of $2,500 per year for up to eight semesters or twelve quarters.
Hearing/Visually Impaired Student Grant Program was established to provide funding for undergraduate Wisconsin residents, enrolled at in-state or eligible out-of-state public or independent institutions who show financial need and have a severe or profound hearing or visual impairment. Students are eligible to receive up to $1,800 per year for up to ten semesters.
Scholarships are "gift" aid; they do not have to be repaid. Unlike grants, eligibility for scholarships is usually based on merit or achievement, rather than financial need.
Academic Excellence Scholarships (AES) are awarded to Wisconsin high school seniors who have the highest grade point average in each public and private high school throughout the State of Wisconsin. The number of scholarships each high school is eligible for is based on total student enrollment. In order to receive a scholarship, a student must be enrolled on a full-time basis by September 30th of the academic year following the academic year in which he or she was designated as a scholar, at a participating University of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Technical College, or independent institution in the state. The value of the scholarship is $2,250 per year, to be applied towards tuition. Half of the scholarship is funded by the state, while the other half is matched by the institution. Eligibility must not exceed 8 semesters.
Technical Excellence Scholarships (TES) are to be awarded by the State of Wisconsin to Wisconsin high school seniors who have the highest demonstrated level of proficiency in technical education subjects.The TES scholarship program is to begin awarding scholarships in the 2015-2016 college academic year. The scholarships are only for use at a school within the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) located within the state. The value of the scholarship is up to $2,250 per year, to be applied towards tuition. Students wishing to be considered for the TES must meet eligibility criteria set by the Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board (HEAB) and must be nominated by their school.
Unlike grants and scholarships, loans must be repaid. The current state loan programs were created to address specific needs in Wisconsin. Some or all of the debt from these loans may be forgiven if the student works in Wisconsin in the specified field after completing their degree.
The Higher Educational Aids Board can not forgive existing federal or private student loans; we can only forgive loans that originate from this agency.
The Minority Teacher Loan Program provides loans to Wisconsin resident, minority, undergraduate sophomores, juniors, or seniors who are enrolled at least half-time at a University of Wisconsin System institution or a non-profit, independent college or university in the state of Wisconsin. Students must be enrolled in programs leading to teacher licensure in a discipline identified as a teacher shortage area for the state of Wisconsin by the United States Department of Education and have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher based on a 4.0 scale. The maximum award per year is $10,000 with an overall maximum of $30,000. According to the Wisconsin Statutes, a minority student is defined as a Black American; American Indian or Alaskan native; Hispanic; person of Asian or Pacific Island origin; or person whose ancestry includes two or more races. Students who participate in this program must agree to teach full-time in a public or private elementary or secondary school, or a tribal school, in a Wisconsin school district with a 40% or higher minority student population. For each year the student meets all forgiveness criteria requirements, 25% of the loan is forgiven. If the student does not meet the forgiveness criteria requirements, the loan must be repaid at an interest rate of 5%.
The Nursing Student Loan Program provides loans to Wisconsin resident undergraduates or graduate students who are enrolled at least half-time at an eligible in-state institution that prepares them to be licensed as nurses, either RN or LPN. The maximum award per year is $3,000 with an overall maximum of $15,000. The student who participates in this program must agree to be employed as a licensed nurse in Wisconsin. For each of the first two years the student works as a nurse or nurse educator and meets the eligibility criteria, 25% of the loan is forgiven. The balance remaining after forgiveness must be repaid at an interest rate of 5%. If the student does not work as a nurse or nurse educator and meet the eligibility criteria, the loan must be repaid at an interest rate of 5%.
The Teacher Loan Program provides loans to Wisconsin resident, undergraduate sophomores, juniors, or seniors who are enrolled at least half-time at a University of Wisconsin System institution or a non-profit, independent college or university in the state of Wisconsin. Students must be enrolled in programs leading to teacher licensure in a discipline identified as a teacher shortage area for the state of Wisconsin by the United States Department of Education and have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher based on a 4.0 scale. The maximum award per year is $10,000 with an overall maximum of $30,000. Students who participate in this program must agree to teach, full-time, in an elementary or secondary school in the city of Milwaukee or in a county defined as "rural" by the statute authorizing this program (link to list and map below). For each year the student meets all forgiveness criteria requirements, 25% of the loan is forgiven. If the student does not meet the forgiveness criteria requirements, the loan must be repaid at an interest rate of 5%. Please see the Teacher Loan Program flier for additional information regarding program eligibility, forgiveness criteria, and loan repayment.
The Teacher of the Visually Impaired Loan Program provides loans to Wisconsin resident undergraduates or graduate students who are enrolled at least half-time at an in-state or eligible out-of-state institution in a program that prepares them to be licensed as teachers of the visually impaired or as orientation and mobility instructors. The maximum award per year is $10,000 with an overall maximum of $40,000. The student who participates in this program must agree to be a licensed teacher or an orientation or mobility instructor in a Wisconsin school district, the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired or a cooperative educational service agency. For each of the first two years the student teaches and meets the eligibility criteria, 25% of the loan is forgiven. For the third year, 50% is forgiven. If the student does not teach and meet the eligibility criteria, the loan must be repaid at an interest rate of 5%.
Tuition reciprocity agreements reduce the cost of out-of-state tuition for Wisconsin residents attending specific schools in other states.
The MN-WI Tuition Reciprocity Program provides tuition reciprocity for Wisconsin residents who enroll in an eligible Minnesota public institution program on a space available basis. Students who qualify pay for course work at in-state tuition rates. Professional students enrolling in a Doctor of Medicine, a Doctor of Dental Sciences, or a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine program are not eligible for tuition reciprocity under this program.
Under s. 39.42 of the statutes, HEAB, with the approval of the Joint Committee on Finance, or the governing boards of any publicly-supported, postsecondary institution, with the approval of HEAB and the Finance Committee, may enter into reciprocity agreements with appropriate state educational institutions in other states. Under this authority, the state has entered into education reciprocity agreements with community and technical colleges in Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa.
Michigan Reciprocity Agreement
Bay de Noc Community College, Escanaba, MI
Gogebic Community College, Iron Mountain, MI
This agreement, which was established in 1967, is between a two-year UW System campus, UW College - Marinette, and two community colleges in Michigan, Gogebic Community College in Iron Mountain and Bay de Noc Community College in Escanaba. This agreement applies only to those individuals located in Menominee County in Michigan, and in Marinette and Iron Counties in Wisconsin. Under the agreement, a student who has been a resident of Menominee County, Michigan, for at least one year prior to their enrollment date may enroll at UW College - Marinette and pay Wisconsin resident tuition. Similarly, residents of Iron County and Marinette County may enroll at Gogebic Community College and Bay de Noc Community College, respectively, and pay the Michigan resident tuition rate. For admissions purposes, students are treated as residents of the state in which they are enrolled. The agreement provides for automatic renewal unless either state provides written notice terminating the agreement. Such notice must be given at least 12 months prior to the academic year for which the agreement would be terminated.
Michigan Reciprocity Agreement
Bay de Noc Community College, Escanaba, MI
Gogebic Community College, Iron Mountain, MI
The agreement with Michigan, which was first established in 1981, involves three Wisconsin Technical College districts (Nicolet Area, Wisconsin Indianhead, and Northeast Wisconsin) and Bay de Noc Community College and Gogebic Community College. Under the agreement, Michigan residents attending any of the three Wisconsin Technical Colleges pay Wisconsin's resident tuition rate, and Wisconsin residents attending the Michigan colleges pay Michigan's resident tuition rate. In addition, the agreement provides that a resident of one of the states whose employer is located in the other state and whose employer pays his or her tuition, shall be considered a resident of the other state for tuition purposes. The agreement, which is renewed automatically each year, does not specify particular programs in which the student must enroll.
Illinois Reciprocity Agreement
College of Lake County, Grayslake, IL
McHenry County College, Crystal Lake, IL
Rock Valley College, Rockford, IL
Three WTCS districts have reciprocity agreements with colleges in Illinois. Gateway has agreements with the College of Lake County, McHenry County College, and Rock Valley College. Blackhawk and Chippewa Valley also have agreements with Rock Valley. Under the current agreements, participating students from both states are charged Wisconsin resident tuition. While priority for admission is given to residents of the state in which the college is located, after their first semester, students enrolled under the agreement are given the same priority as residents. However, no state resident may be displaced due to an agreement.
Iowa Reciprocity Agreement
Northeast Iowa Community College, Calmar and Peosta, IA
Wisconsin's agreement with Iowa became effective in the 1996-97 academic year. The agreement is between Southwest Wisconsin Technical College in Wisconsin and Northeast Iowa Community College, which has campuses in Calmar and Peosta, Iowa. Under the agreement with Iowa, students are charged the resident tuition rate for the institution in which they are enrolled. Priority for initial admission is given to state residents, and participating students are treated as residents for tuition purposes after their first semester.
Tuition capitation contracts provide fixed tuition subsides for limited numbers of Wisconsin residents at specific graduate-level professional schools.
The Contract for Dental Education allows a finite number of Wisconsin residents to attend the Marquette University School of Dentistry at a "resident" tuition rate. Currently 160 students are able to participate each academic year. Students who meet the program criteria are awarded $8,753 in tuition subsidization.
The Medical College of Wisconsin Capitation Program provides tuition assistance to a finite number of Wisconsin residents enrolled full-time in the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) program at the Medical College of Wisconsin.