Let’s face it. Paying for college is expensive.
UW-Madison may be one of the best values in public education, but here’s a list of must-do steps to make sure you’re tapping into all possible avenues of assistance.
1.Know your costs. The Office of Student Financial Aid provides annual cost estimates for undergraduate tuition, fees, & living expenses.
2. Fill out the FAFSA. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid will allow you access to federal funds to help with your education. Additionally, many campus scholarships require that the FAFSA be filled out along with their scholarship application. The Office of Student Financial Aid also offers a breakdown of the various types of aid you might be offered as a result of submitting the FAFSA.
3. Match with UW-Madison Scholarships. You are eligible to apply for UW-Madison scholarships as soon as you’ve submitted an application. Log into the centralized Scholarships database to be matched with upcoming scholarship opportunities for which you’re eligible. Then be sure to submit the Common Scholarship Application and all supporting materials by the deadlines. Sometimes deadlines occur before you receive an admission decision, so it’s best to be on top of them.
4. Research other funding sources. The UW-Madison Libraries have put together a great research guide on funding for undergraduate students. It contains lists of books that can help you search for aid, free websites you can search for scholarships, and also links to subscription databases available to UW-Madison students.
5. Go Local. Big databases of funcing are great sources of information, but if it feels overwhelming, you also might want to try looking to your community for help. Many local service clubs (e.g. Rotary, Kiwanis, Lions, Jaycees, etc.) or associations like the Better Business Bureau may have small grants available for students. You can also research any relevant identity-based groups in your community.
6. Find a job. UW-Madison’s Student Job Center has listings for both on- and off- campus jobs in a variety of fields. Working part-time can give you excellent professional development, help you learn skills you will need for your career, and can also help you balance your schedule and stay on track with your studies.
7. Check your eligibility for public assistance funds. Although Wisconsin’s public assistance funds can’t be used to defray the cost of tuition, you may be eligible for assistance with the cost of food, health care, child care, prescription drugs, or energy bills. Visit Wisconsin’s Access website to check your eligibility for assistance, and to apply for benefits.
If you are eligible for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Access Program) funds, known as Foodshare in Wisconsin, you may also qualify for low-cost internet service through AT&T.