Financial Aid

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Wondering where to start?

Note: In addition to tuition, students in the program will incur additional expenses for the following:
            - books
            - lab fees
            - housing
            - housing and travel during clinical internships

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.

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.

UW-La Crosse Foundation scholarships are available for full-time students enrolled in the DPT program and in the process of completing their first or second years. 

*Please note: Polek Scholarships have a different deadline than the other foundation scholarships available.

Scholarships eb

In October of each academic year, both first and second year DPT students may apply for the Polek scholarships.  The number of scholarships awarded depends on the availability of funds.  Typically six full-tuition (for a calendar year) scholarships are awarded to both the first year and second year DPT students.  The online application is available through the UWL Foundation.  The Scholarship committee obtains input from all full-time and part-time PT faculty and obtains the necessary financial aid information from the Financial Aid Office on campus to aid in the selection process. Winners are announced during the annual PT Family and Friends weekend. Selection of recipients is based on the following criteria:

  • Priority one is attitude and character
  • Person who views PT as a calling - not a job
  • Individual who is more concerned about seeking and absorbing knowledge as opposed to being concerned about a grade on a test
  • Person who is patient-oriented and has demonstrated compassion
  • Person who has devoted time to helping their peers
  • Evidence of Community Service Involvement
  • Person who is willing to share treatment ideas or skills with peers
  • Individual who is selfless and totally professional
  • In summary - looking for a giving person - not a taker.

The person or persons who most satisfy these traits should be awarded the scholarship. In the event that superior candidates can not be identified based on attitude and character then financial need (based on information from financial aids office) and scholastic ability will be considered.

The application deadline each academic year for all other UWL Foundation scholarships for DPT students is February 1.  The PT program scholarship selection committee will be reviewing applications, obtaining recommendation from other PT faculty, and selecting the scholarship recipients.  Scholarship recipients will be announced at the Honors Reception set for the last Monday in April in Valhalla.  Applications are available at the UWL Foundation office.  At the time of application, you must be enrolled in the DPT program and completing your first or second year at UWL.  One application will place you into consideration for the following scholarships:

  • Carsten & Zedona Christiansen Memorial Scholarship for Physical Therapy
  • Gwyneth Straker Clinical Excellence Award Fund
  • James A. and Deborah K. Gould Scholarship Fund in Physical Therapy
  • James A. Gould Memorial Scholarship Fund in Physical Therapy
  • Jean and William Gilles Scholarship Fund for Third Year PT Internships
  • Erin Lindsay Melin Scholarship
  • Physical Therapy Program Minority Scholarship
  • Lillian Smith Scholarship in Physical Therapy
  • Thorman Family "Pay It Forward" Scholarship for Physical Therapy
  • Robert & Judy Strzelczyk Scholarship in Physical Therapy
  • Tony and Rick Palmer Memorial Scholarship
  • UWL Physical Therapy Alumni & Friends Scholarships
  • Wisconsin Physical Therapy Association West Central District Scholarship

For more information please visit UW-La Crosse Foundation Scholarships

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.