2016-17 Catalog

Publication date June 2016

Financial Aid & Scholarships - Graduate

Eligibility requirements

Need-Based Aid: Many financial aid programs are based on financial need as demonstrated by the application of a federal need-analysis formula to the student financial information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Need-based programs include Federal Perkins Loans, Advanced Opportunity Program, Non-Resident Tuition Waivers, and Native American Indian Grants.

Non-Need-Based Aid: Exceptions to the financial need requirement include Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans, and alternative private bank loans for higher education. For more information, visit the Financial Aid Office.

Merit-Based Aid: Graduate assistantships are merit-based and do not require the demonstration of financial need. Graduate scholarships are also merit-based and in most cases do not require financial need. International student scholarships are merit-based and subject to a special need analysis administered by the Office of International Education.

Academic Requirements: Admission to the university is a prerequisite to consideration for financial aid. Special non-degree students are not eligible for aid unless they are working for a qualifying, approved teacher certification or certificate. Add-on teaching certifications are not eligible for federal aid. Students must demonstrate satisfactory academic progress in order to receive aid. Full-time status is required for many programs; less-than-half-time status will disqualify the student from all programs. For graduate students, nine credits is considered full-time and five credits is considered half-time for the fall, spring and summer sessions.

Other Federal and State Requirements: These include proper citizenship status, registration with the Selective Service System, and not being in default on any federal student loan. See the withdrawal from the university policy for additional requirements. Awards are subject to change at any time pursuant to changes in state or federal funding levels or regulatory mandates.

Graduate Credit Load Requirements

Graduate financial aid is awarded based on university enrollment status of degree seeking student. Students must be enrolled in at least five credits within a single semester or five credits during the summer to be eligible for financial aid. Students must be enrolled in at least nine credits within a single semester or nine credits during the summer to be considered full-time. Credits must be applicable to the student's declared degree program. Financial aid is reduced accordingly for students enrolled less than full-time, but at least half-time (five credits).

Application procedures

Financial aid applicants must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the Federal Central Processing System.  Applications are accepted throughout the academic year. File the FAFSA by March 15 for priority consideration.

Notification dates

New students who complete their application by the March 15 priority date can expect to receive a financial aid offer between April 15 and June 30. Students who complete this application after March 15 will receive a financial aid offer as soon as possible after June 30. Applications received after July 1 may not be processed in time for students to receive their aid by the start of the fall semester. These students should be prepared to pay their initial expenses from their own resources.

Financial aid programs

Information concerning the various types of financial aid is available underneath "Graduate & professional students" in the Financial Aid Office.

Satisfactory academic progress standard

Information regarding UWL's satisfactory academic progress policy is available in the Financial Aid Office.

Short term loans

The university also administers a short term loan program which provides for interest-free, short term emergency loans to students in need, provided they are enrolled for a full credit load of non-repeat courses. The Financial Aid Office, 215 Graff Main Hall, has more information and application forms.

Scholarships and awards

Many scholarships and awards have been established by alumni, faculty and staff, parents, students, businesses, and organizations. Recipients are selected by scholarship committees on the basis of an application, grade point average, and other materials as deemed appropriate by departmental committees. Scholarships are presented to students whose qualifications best fit the stipulations of the donor. Approximately one-half million dollars is awarded each year. Amounts vary annually based on funding from gifts or investment earnings available from a fund.

Almost all scholarships are contingent upon full-time enrollment both fall and spring semesters at UW-L. Scholarships and awards are usually disbursed in two payments for the academic year, the first half in the fall semester and the other half in the spring semester.

A scholarship application is also available to currently enrolled students at the UWL Foundation Office, Cleary Alumni and Friends Center. This application covers all scholarships unless otherwise stated. Some require specific applications. All applications (unless otherwise indicated) must be submitted to the UWL Foundation Office. Applications are submitted to various offices that offer scholarships based on academic majors. The deadline for scholarship applications is March 1 each year, unless otherwise indicated. Scholarships and awards are announced at the scholarship reception set for the last Monday in April. For more information, call the Advancement Office at 608.785.8489. 

Further resources

  • For more information regarding student financial aid programs, visit the Financial Aid Office (215 Graff Main Hall) or contact Financial Aid at 608.785.8604 or finaid@uwlax.edu.
  • For more information about graduate scholarships, visit the UWL Foundation (Cleary Alumni and Friends Center) or contact the Foundation at 608.785.8489 or foundation@uwlax.edu.
  • For more information about graduate assistantships, contact the Director of Graduate Studies or the graduate program director.
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