Financial Aid & Scholarships - Graduate

Eligibility requirements

Need-Based Aid: Some 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 Advanced Opportunity Program, School Psychology online, and Student Affairs Administration

Non-Need-Based Aid: This includes Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, Federal Direct Graduate PLUS Loans, and private student loans for higher education. For more information, visit the Financial Aid Office.

Merit-Based Aid: All merit-based aid does not require the demonstration of financial need. 

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. 

Other Federal Requirements: These include proper citizenship status 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 to federal funding levels or regulatory mandates.

Credit Load Required for Financial Aid

Graduate financial aid is awarded based on university enrollment status of degree or certificate seeking students. Students must be enrolled in at least five credits within a single enrollment term to be eligible for financial aid. Students must be enrolled in at least nine credits within a single semester term to be considered full-time. Credits must be applicable to the student's declared degree program or certificate 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 Processing System. Applications are available after October 1 each year. File the FAFSA by February 1, for priority consideration although applications are accepted throughout the academic year.

Notification dates

New students who complete their application by the February 1 priority date can usually expect to receive a financial aid offer starting in mid-June. Students who complete this application after February 1 will receive a financial aid offer as soon as possible after June. Applications received after June 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 on each Graduate program's website.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy

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

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 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 UWL. 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.

Scholarship applications are available to currently enrolled students on the UWL Alumni & Friends Foundation Office website. This application (unless otherwise indicated) must be submitted to the UWL Foundation Office. Applications are submitted to various offices that offer scholarships based on academic majors; please refer to the scholarship website. The deadline for scholarship applications is February 1 each year. Scholarships and awards are announced during college and general events the last week in April. Visit the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Foundation, Inc. for information about the scholarships they administer or call 608.785.8760.

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
  • For more information about graduate scholarships, visit the UWL Alumni & Friends Foundation (Cleary Alumni and Friends Center) or contact the Foundation at 608.785.8760 or
  • For more information about graduate assistantships, contact the Dean of Graduate & Extended Learning or the graduate program director.