Financial Aid

Quick Links

Application Procedures                                        More Information and Questions
Notification Dates                                               Scholarships, Awards, and Short Term Loans
Academic Progress Standard                                 Benefits for Veterans and Veterans' Dependents
Financial Aid Programs

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse offers a wide array of merit-based, need-based and non-need based financial assistant for graduate students.

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 Direct Subsidized Loans, Federal Perkins Loans, Federal Work-Study, 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, go to

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 license or certificate. 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 “Withdrawal from University” for additional requirements. Awards are subject to change at any time pursuant to changes in state or federal funding levels or regulatory mandates.

Application Procedures

Financial aid applicants must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the Federal Central Processing System. File the FAFSA by March 15 for priority consideration. Nevertheless, applications are accepted throughout the academic year. The FAFSA is available at

Notification Dates

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 Program

Information concerning the various types of financial aid is available at

Satisfactory Academic Progress Standard

Information regarding UW-L’s satisfactory academic progress policy is available at 

More Information and Questions

For more information regarding student financial aid programs, visit the Student Financial Aid Office Web site at
Questions regarding student financial aid programs should be directed to the Student Financial Aid Office (215 Graff Main
   Hall) at (608) 785-8604 or
• For more information about graduate scholarships, visit the UWL Foundation Web site at
• Questions regarding graduate scholarships should be directed to the UWL Foundation (Cleary Alumni and Friends Center)
   at (608) 785-8489 or
• For more information about graduate assistantships, contact the director of graduate studies or the graduate program

Scholarships, Awards, and Short Term Loans

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 paid for the academic year in two payments, the first half in the fall semester and the other half in the spring semester.

Scholarship criteria and application are available here.

A scholarship application is also available to currently enrolled students at the UW-L 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 UW-L 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 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.

The Foundation also administers a number of individual funds, which provide 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.

Benefits for Veterans and Veterans' Dependents

The university is fully approved for the education of veterans and veterans’ dependents under both federal and state programs. New students who may qualify for benefits should report to the veterans’ benefits coordinator in the Records and Registration Office, 117 Graff Main Hall, after class registration. After this initial contact, registered students must keep the coordinator apprised of their status and needs.

If you receive support from veteran programs, you are required to report to the veteran’s benefits coordinator after registering for classes each semester to complete an enrollment certification form. The university must certify your attendance and credit load to the Veterans Administration. Payments of veterans’ benefits depend on the number of credits carried. Graduate students should carry at least nine credits to receive full benefits under most programs. Payment will be awarded according to the schedule below:

Graduate Credits Enrollment/Benefits Status
9+ Full-time
7-8 3/4 time
5-6 1/2 time

Click here for additional information on veterans benefits.