At UW–Madison, scholarships are not a major source of tuition aid for first-year students. This may be very different from other universities that you are considering, and it is certainly not a reflection of any student’s accomplishments or potential to flourish here. Instead, our Office of Student Financial Aid aims to coordinate sustainable, ongoing financial support as needed.
Do this | For U.S. citizens and eligible noncitizens, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) and talk with a counselor in the Office of Student Financial Aid
No application for most new students
There is no general College of Letters & Science (L&S) scholarship application for incoming first-year students — and therefore, no deadline. Information already collected by UW–Madison from the Admissions application and the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) is used for scholarship eligibility.
Most scholarships at UW–Madison are designed for students after they complete their first year (see: scholarships for continuing students). The majority of students admitted into the College of Letters & Science will not be offered scholarships in their first year: any needed financial aid may come from other sources.
- A very small number of L&S scholarships are available for first-year students who are considered Wisconsin Residents for Tuition Purposes.
- Even fewer scholarships are available for first-year students who are not Wisconsin Residents, which includes students approved for Minnesota Reciprocity.
- No first-year International students, studying here on an F-1 or J-1 visa, are eligible for L&S scholarships.
Some L&S first-year scholarships are intended for students with specific qualifications or in specific campus programs: such students are directly notified of their eligibility.
Do this | Log into the Wisconsin Scholarship Hub (WiSH), the campus tool for coordinating most scholarship applications. Complete the brief “General Application” questions to set up your WiSH account.
Notifications to students: March 1 to April 15
The small number of admitted first-year students who match criteria and are offered an L&S scholarship will be notified between March 1 and April 15. This could be through the email address provided when the student applied to UW–Madison, or to their new campus “wisc.edu” email address.
Students who are not offered scholarships do not get a notification.
Other eligibility requirements
L&S first-year scholarships are awarded only to students who have been admitted into the College of Letters & Science as their academic home, and intend to declare an L&S major. Students must be full-time (enroll in between 12 and 18 credits worth of classes) for the semester(s) in which their scholarship applies.
First-year students who are awarded an L&S scholarship will learn about any additional specific eligibility requirements for that specific scholarship.
How much money?
L&S first-year scholarship amounts typically range from $500 to $8,000. Some are a one-time amount and some are spread over multiple academic years (as long as the recipient continues to meet eligibility requirements).
Scholarships outside L&S: find them in WiSH
Scholarships are usually given out by the UW–Madison unit that “owns” the source of the funds. The L&S Scholarship Program (this website) offers only the scholarships based on funds donated to the College of Letters & Science for broad distribution across our whole undergraduate student community.
There are dozens of units offering scholarships: each UW–Madison school/college awards scholarships, academic departments award scholarships, and so on. The Wisconsin Scholarship Hub is the main campus tool for finding scholarships based on a student’s eligibility. WiSH is administered by the Office of Student Financial Aid, who can answer questions about using this tool.
Do this | Find more scholarships (often called “opportunities”) in WiSH.