Financial Aid and Student Loans in Wisconsin

Attending college in Wisconsin is a great choice. With an average total cost of attendance of $27,926, Wisconsin ranks 23rd in the nation, and has a number of excellent schools. 

You need to start planning finances well in advance so you can afford tuition fees, rent, study materials, books, and daily living expenses.

In this article, we’ll go through your options for scholarships and grants. From there, we’ll look at student loan options available to you. We’ll round the article off with the important dates that you need to know and loan forgiveness options.

What Scholarship Programs Does Wisconsin Have?

Most scholarships are merit-based, but others take financial need into account.

You’ll need to check the eligibility requirements carefully. Some of these scholarships are open to most students, while others are aimed at specific demographic groups. As a general benchmark, you’ll need to have achieved decent grades and maintained steady progress. Some scholarships are only open to students in Wisconsin.

To help you search for scholarships, the University of Wisconsin-Madison created the Wisconsin Scholarship Hub (WiSH).

You can find award values, deadlines, and eligibility on various scholarships in Wisconsin if you go here.

Here is a brief overview of some scholarships that might interest you.

Wisconsin Academic Excellence Scholarship

This scholarship is awarded to students with exceptionally high grades at high schools throughout Wisconsin.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be registered as a full-time student by the end of September in the year after you graduate high school
  • Attend one of the participating schools – the school pays half the scholarship and the state pays the rest
  • Be a resident of Wisconsin

Students can get $2,250 towards tuition costs per year. They’re allowed funding for up to eight semesters.

Technical Excellence Scholarship

The Technical Excellence Scholarship is available for high school senior students at Wisconsin Technical Colleges with the best grades in technical subjects.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Demonstrate high acuity for technical subjects
  • Attend one of the participating schools
  • Be a resident of Wisconsin

Awards can go up to $2,250 a year to help cover tuition fees. Students can receive the award for a maximum of six semesters in total.

Students need to be nominated by their school to be eligible. 

Bucky’s Promise Scholarship

UW–Madison guarantees scholarships and grants to pay for tuition & segregated fees for students whose household adjusted gross income (AGI) is $60,000 or less. Incoming freshmen will receive eight (8) consecutive semesters (4 years) of free tuition & segregated fees and transfer students will receive four (4) semesters (2 years).

What Grant Programs Does Wisconsin Have?

Some grant programs are designed for those in financial need, while others take factors like ethnic background, gender, and religion into account. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

Wisconsin Grant

For students enrolled in independent Wisconsin Universities and Colleges, this grant is based on financial need. Students must be residents of Wisconsin. You’ll apply through FAFSA.

Grants vary from $250 to $3,150 a year.

Wisconsin Grant – Private Non-Profit

This grant is based on financial need. It’s intended for students studying degree or certificate programs at a University of Wisconsin Institution, Technical College, or Tribal College.

Award amounts vary. The minimum amount is $250. The board determines the maximum. You’ll apply through FAFSA.

Talent Incentive Program Grant

The Talent Incentive Program Grant, or TIP Grant, is needs-based and targeted at students in financial need.

The TIP Grant is funded by the State of Wisconsin as well as the Federal Government. It’s open to first-year students. You’ll apply through FAFSA.

Awards range from $600-$1,800. Application is made by completing the FAFSA.

What Student Loan Programs Does Wisconsin Have?

Wisconsin doesn’t have any unique student loan programs specific to residents of its state, so it’s best for students in Wisconsin to consider the following options for student loans. 

Federal student loans

Prospective students in Wisconsin can receive federal financial aid assistance by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA). 

Private co-signed student loans

There are many private student loan opportunities for those who need additional assistance on top of federal student loans. Many banks, credit unions, and dedicated lending companies offer private student loans, but almost all require a co-signer.

No co-signer student loans in Wisconsin

Funding U began because we identified thousands of students who were unable to qualify for a private student loan because they didn’t have an eligible co-signer. While we’re no longer the only provider of such loans, we offer no co-signer student loans to career-focused students currently enrolled full time in college. The requirements for receiving a loan are dependent upon the GPA of the student and the graduation rate of the institution they attend. To learn more about our no co-signer student loans click here.

What Schools Does Funding U Lend To In Wisconsin?

Generally speaking, Funding U’s no co-signer loans are offered to students at eligible four-year, non-profit, undergraduate degree-granting universities (which means we do not lend to for-profit schools, 2-year schools, graduate schools, or trade schools). Our eligibility requirements are based on models that aim to predict how likely a student is to graduate, and because of that we have minimum GPA requirements that students must meet and minimum 6-year graduation rates that schools must reach in order to be eligible. To find out more about how we determine our eligibility, click here.

Below is a table listing all of the schools in Wisconsin that Funding U is currently lending to, with additional details on which grades we are currently lending to, based on the school’s 6-year graduation rate. 

School NameFreshman
6 yr
Grad Rate
Alverno CollegeNoNoNoNo4171
Bellin CollegeNoYesYesYes7486
Beloit CollegeNoYesYesYes7985
Cardinal Stritch UniversityNoNoYesYes5177
Carroll UniversityNoNoYesYes6279
Carthage CollegeNoNoYesYes6478
Columbia College of NursingNoNoNoNo
Concordia University-WisconsinNoNoYesYes5982
East-West UniversityNoNoNoNo42
Edgewood CollegeNoNoYesYes6378
Herzing University-KenoshaNoNoNoNo4350
Lakeland UniversityNoNoNoNo4870
Lawrence UniversityNoYesYesYes8088
Maranatha Baptist UniversityNoNoYesYes5367
Marian University (Indiana)NoNoYesYes5369
Marquette UniversityNoYesYesYes8589
Milwaukee Institute of Art & DesignNoNoYesYes5075
Milwaukee School of EngineeringNoYesYesYes7485
Mount Mary UniversityNoNoYesYes5179
Northland CollegeNoNoYesYes5473
Ripon CollegeNoNoYesYes6871
Saint Norbert CollegeNoYesYesYes7183
Silver Lake College of the Holy FamilyNoNoNoNo3874
University of Wisconsin-Eau ClaireNoNoYesYes6782
University of Wisconsin-Green BayNoNoYesYes5273
University of Wisconsin-La CrosseNoYesYesYes7183
University of Wisconsin-MadisonNoYesYesYes8795
University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeNoNoNoNo4474
University of Wisconsin-OshkoshNoNoYesYes5377
University of Wisconsin-ParksideNoNoNoNo3873
University of Wisconsin-PlattevilleNoNoYesYes5479
University of Wisconsin-River FallsNoNoYesYes5775
University of Wisconsin-Stevens PointNoNoYesYes6274
University of Wisconsin-StoutNoNoYesYes5869
University of Wisconsin-SuperiorNoNoNoNo3672
University of Wisconsin-WhitewaterNoNoYesYes5878
Viterbo UniversityNoNoYesYes6271
Wisconsin Lutheran CollegeNoNoYesYes6379

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