Skip to main content

Accessibility menu

Skip to main content Skip to footer

Financial aid

A page within Graduate Education

Wondering where to start?

Financial assistance for graduate students

Financial Aid options

Application Fee Assistance for McNair Scholars

UWL will pay the graduate school application fee for McNair Scholars.  To receive this benefit, request an application fee payment form from your undergraduate McNair Scholars office, or download a copy. Email your completed form directly to or mail it to the address below.

Then, when completing the UW System application, simply skip the application fee payment section.  Once we receive your form, your application will be updated in our system to confirm the payment requirement has been completed.

Graduate Admissions Office
1725 State Street
La Crosse, WI 54601

Advanced Opportunity Program (AOP)

AOP Grants recognize strong academic achievement and potential among newly admitted or continuing students who show financial need. These grants provide graduate tuition support for eligible Wisconsin residents for tuition purposes from traditionally underrepresented minority and non-minority groups (African American, American Indian, Latinx, designated Southeast Asian) and/or economically disadvantaged students in advanced degree programs.  Award recipients must be US citizens or permanent residents. Finally, AOP awards are competitive and need-based (FAFSA required). 

Receiving an AOP award will require Wisconsin residency for tuition purposes, so please be sure to answer the eApp questions related to residency very carefully if you intend to apply for AOP. 

AOP applications will be accepted starting in October of each academic year and evaluated in March; notifications of awards will typically be sent by late March, although any delays in the FAFSA system will delay this timeline. Contact Graduate & Extended Learning for more information.

Graduate Assistantships

Graduate Assistantships are available for students in many UWL graduate programs. They recognize strong academic and scholarly achievement or potential, relative to the expectations in the discipline and/or demonstrated leadership potential. Teaching, project, and research assistantships provide funding to support full-time studies and assist with healthcare costs. Contact your program director for more information.

Non-Resident Tuition Waivers

Non-resident tuition waivers are available for students in many UWL graduate programs. They recognize strong academic achievement and potential among newly admitted or continuing graduate students who are non-residents for tuition purposes.  If you are considering applying to UWL, please contact your program's graduate program director ASAP for more information.

All students, including those who receive non-resident tuition waivers, must pay in-state tuition and fees.

Note: Minnesota residents may qualify for lower than regular non-resident tuition rates at UW-La Crosse, due to the reciprocity agreement between Minnesota and Wisconsin. Information about how to apply is available on the Financial Aid Office's Minnesota reciprocity webpage. If you are starting in the summer, apply for reciprocity for both the current and the upcoming school year. 


You can explore scholarship resources linked below. You must complete the FAFSA to be considered for some of these scholarships.

Veteran Benefits

Student veterans and students who are the dependents of veterans (child or spouse) may be eligible for veteran educational benefits. These can provide significant financial assistance towards educational expenses. The UWL Veteran Services office can help you with educational benefits, as well as with other aspects of the transition from military to university life.

Some veteran educational benefits require Wisconsin residency for tuition purposes, so be sure to answer eApp questions related to residency very carefully if you intend to use veteran benefits to help fund your graduate studies. 

Federal Education Loans

Graduate students may be eligible to borrow under the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan and/or the Federal Graduate PLUS Loan programs to assist with the cost of their attendance. Both programs require a completed FAFSA. Students who anticipate working in health, education, public service and/or non-profit fields should also understand options for Student Loan Forgiveness

While UWL encourages students to borrow only ‘what they need,’ loans can ease the burden of paying for graduate education and may be a worthwhile investment. Connect with the Financial Aid Office to learn more.

Private Student Loans

Students who need additional funds for education, beyond what was awarded on their financial aid award letter, might consider a private student loan. These loans are private educational loans from a lender and are not guaranteed by the federal government. Approval of a private student loan is based on creditworthiness. Most students will require a co-signer.

Student Employment

Graduate students are eligible for part-time employment as student workers, the same as undergraduate students. Graduate students are encouraged to carefully consider the timing and workload of employment, to ensure their academic success.

Student Employment does not make you eligible for health insurance through the university. Student employment positions are paid hourly, and the rate of pay differs across positions. Open positions are listed online in Handshake

Employee Educational Assistance Program

UWL employees should inquire about the possibility of the Employee Educational Assistance Program covering parts of tuition. Employees must be in at least 0.50 FTE positions. Graduate assistants are not covered by this policy. 

Emergency Resources

The Office of Student Life has compiled a wide range of resources related to supporting students facing financial difficulties and other challenges. Many of these apply most directly to on-campus students. There are also emergency funds available to support students impacted by COVID-19, whether they are enrolled in on-campus, online, or hybrid programs.