Financial Aid

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Financial assistance for graduate students

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 contact or download a copy.

When completing the UW System application, simply skip the application fee payment section.  Completed fee forms should be emailed directly to UWL Graduate Admissions or mailed to the address below.  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

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 be sent by late March. Contact Graduate & Extended Learning for more information.

Graduate Assistantships (GAs) are a type of campus employment that are available only for graduate students. Most GAs are 9-month positions, scheduled for 20 or 14 hours a week.

Salaries are set at approximately $15,000 for a half-time (20-hour per week) position, $9,900 for a one-third time (~14-hour per week) position, and adjusted accordingly for shorter work assignments. In general, GA positions do not include a fee remission.

GAs working 14+ hours a week are eligible for health insurance benefits; for details, visit the UWL Employee Resources website. In addition to the GA positions offered by your program (see information below), GA positions are also available in some other campus offices. Email for more information.

Approximately one-third of students accepted into the program receive graduate assistantships. These involve working in the La Crosse Exercise and Health Program (LEHP), or the student may be assigned in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science (teaching undergraduate laboratories, CPR, activity classes, etc.).

If a student receives a graduate assistantship with the La Crosse Exercise and Health Program, they are required to work in our on-campus Cardiac Rehabilitation Program, which meets on Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 8:30-11:00am.  Since our programs go year-round, this is a full 12-month commitment. This responsibility will be discussed during the orientation week. There is no Summer Semester compensation from the Department. We usually can arrange for GAs to get some time off around the holiday periods. Also, because the graduate assistantships are funded through the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, each GA is required to teach two one-credit course during both the fall and spring semesters. The courses taught are usually CPR or some skill-related course (e.g., fitness walking, volleyball, etc.) that are in line with the previous experience or interest of the individual student.

All students are automatically considered for the GA positions that are available. See the section above for more general information about GA positions at UWL.

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

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.

UWL has a dedicated office for veteran services to help navigate the process of transitioning from military to university life.  This office is also a great resource for financial information related to veteran educational benefits. Visit the Veteran Services website for more detailed information.

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

Graduate students may have eligibility 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.  While UWL encourages students to only borrow ‘what they need’, loans are available to ease the burden of paying for graduate education and can be a worthwhile investment. Visit the Financial Aid website for more detailed information.

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.

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.