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Fostering Success for Independent Scholars

A page within Student Support Services

Fostering Success for Independent Scholars is a program for students who lack the traditional family support afforded to most of their peers. Typically, these students have multiple adverse childhood experiences including, but not limited to:

  • Foster care
  • Orphanhood 
  • Guardianship
  • Unhoused or at risk of being unhoused (homeless)
  • Neglect, abuse, and/or abandonment (FAFSA Dependency Override) 

Fostering Success ensures students have the resources, support, and guidance necessary for their success.This program provides:

  • Scholarship ($500-700/year)
  • Emergency funds
  • Access to a wide variety of personal items & supplies
  • Help in applying for assistance programs like BadgerCare, FoodShare, Affordable Connectivity Program, etc.
  • Logistical help with critical transportation needs (getting to/from work, campus, etc)
  • Financial assistance to attend events related to academic, career, and personal development and cultural activities
  • Help applying for and understanding student financial aid
  • All basic SSS services (advising, tutoring, programming, grant aid, peer mentoring, free printing, and more)

Fostering Success for Independent Scholars is a collaboration between Student Support Services and the Financial Aid Office. It is funded by Universities of Wisconsin Grant. 

SSS participant with tutor (photo credit: Mike Lieurance)


FSIS Campus & Community Resources

Academic Support

Independent Scholars have access to the full Student Support Services tutoring staff (but you must apply to the program first). Professional tutors in math and writing, as well as peer tutors in math and science, are available M – F between 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Additionally, SSS may be able to find tutors in other classes not covered by the current tutoring staff.

Other campus tutoring resources include:


Once you've applied to SSS, Independent Scholars are assigned to a dedicated SSS Advisor who provides comprehensive, holistic advising in the areas of academics, financial matters, career prep, navigating campus, and personal issues, among others. Students are encouraged to meet with their advisor at least twice/semester, but you can certainly see them more often if needed.

Not sure who your advisors are? Check in WINGS or Navigate.

Other advising services on campus include:

  • Academic Advising Center & Career Services | 1209 Centennial
    Depending on your major/college, you may be automatically assigned to an AAC advisor in lieu of a faculty advisor. AAC advisors provide advice and assistance in major/minor planning and course selection. Career Services advisors are excellent resources for career planning and preparation, mock interviews, crafting résumés and cover letters, etc.

  • Academic Services Directors
    Each academic college has one or more attached advisors who specialize in advising related to the specific programs and majors offered by that college. Your ASD is a great resource for a pre-graduation credit check, or if you end up on academic probation/suspension, and other program-specific issues.

  • Faculty Advisors
    Most students are automatically assigned to a faculty advisor in their major. Your faculty advisor can help you with course selection, give advice on progression towards graduation, and talk about opportunities related to undergraduate research, internships, and other high-impact practices.

  • Multicultural Student Services | 1101 Centennial
    MSS offers several unique programs for multicultural students, including Hekima Scholars, the Multicultural Validation Program, and Multicultural Business Scholars Program. Each of these programs comes with a dedicated MSS advisor.

The UWL Campus Child Center is a state licensed and nationally accredited group child care setting providing care and education to the children (ages 1 - 12) of UWL students, staff, and faculty. Current rates for children of full-time students are $30/full day or $23/half day. Space is limited—sign up for the pre-enrollment waiting list ASAP.

Clothing & Personal Items

Independent Scholars have access to a wide variety of personal items, including toiletries, laundry and cleaning supplies, classroom essentials, towels and bedding, and cold-weather outerwear. If it’s a vital, daily need, chances are we have it or can get it for you. Stop by SSS (2131 Centennial) and talk to Math Specialist Tracie Bateman to pick up what you need. Don’t see something you’re looking for? Email Tracie:

Other campus/community resources include:

Diversity & Inclusion

UWL's Division of Diversity & Inclusion provides leadership and services, advocates for access, equity and inclusion for historically marginalized and systematically under-served populations. The Division creates an inclusive environment for preparedness, global awareness, and service to others.

D&I offices include:


SSS employs around 20-25 student workers every year in a wide variety of positions, including peer tutors, front desk assistants, peer mentors, and various internship positions. Interested? Talk to your SSS advisor or call 608.785.8535.

Other campus employment resources:


All Independent Scholars will have access to the satellite food pantry in the SSS Resource Room in 2131 Centennial, stocked with a variety of ready-to-eat snack items.

Financial Assistance

Through FSIS & SSS, Independent Scholars have access to:

  • Fostering Success Scholarship ($500-700/year)
  • SSS Grant Aid (not guaranteed, must apply every semester)
  • Emergency funds
  • Help in applying for assistance programs like BadgerCare, FoodShare, Affordable Connectivity Program, etc.
  • Financial assistance to attend events related to academic, career, and personal development and cultural activities
  • Help applying for and understanding student financial aid

Other financial assistance resources include:

Health & Wellness
  • Student Health Center | 1030 Health Science Center | Comprehensive health services
  • Counseling & Testing Center | 2106 Centennial | Free, confidential counseling services
  • Eligible for state health insurance through Affordable Care Act
  • Medicaid for foster students until age 26
  • UWL Office of Residence Life | 608.785.8075 |
  • Winter Intercession (J-term) campus housing costs $100. Funding available for Independent scholars. 
  • Campus housing remains open during fall (Thanksgiving) and spring breaks. 

The FSIS program may have funding available to help Independent Scholars with transportation issues. It never hurts to ask!