Are you thinking of pursuing higher education in America’s Dairyland? As if the college admission process wasn’t tricky enough – the added stress of funding can be super overwhelming. Chances are you’re already extremely busy trying to complete your high school career with finesse before moving onto the exciting (and terrifying) world of higher education. In this post, we’ll detail the best scholarships in Wisconsin to apply for.
You can see the light at the end of the tunnel, the next few years of professional development just within reach. There seems to be only one more barricade on your journey – the cost. Who has the time to scavenge years and years of Internet forums and financial aid office brochures in search of scholarship opportunities? Again, lucky for you, we’ve compiled a list of scholarships in Wisconsin.
The price of higher education is a hefty political issue in the United States, and the state of Wisconsin is no exception. According to the Institute for College Access & Success, the average student debt for Wisconsin colleges is $29,569. Proportional to the student population, this ranks Wisconsin as the 6th highest student debt in the nation. The idea of pursuing a college degree without some form of financial aid seems insane. Lucky for you, there’s a plethora of scholarships out there waiting to fund the next generation of leaders, scientists, artists, doctors, etc. etc. Here’s a compilation of the best scholarships in Wisconsin.
Looking for scholarships in another state? Check out our other scholarship lists here.
This post is part of our Ultimate FAQ for Applying to Scholarships.
The Best Scholarships for High-Achieving and Talented Students in Wisconsin
1. Talent Incentive Program Grants (TIP)
- Description: This state of Wisconsin grants low-income and disadvantaged residents with additional support to fund their college experience by reducing their amount of loan, work-study or otherwise unmet need.
- Amount: $600-$1800 annually
- Requirements: Students must be attending a public or private Wisconsin college or university at least part-time. To be eligible, students must exhibit at least two of several listed financial need criteria.
- How to Apply: Students must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To download this application and read more about the grant, visit their website through the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.
2. Academic Excellence Scholarship
- Description: This scholarship is awarded to Wisconsin high school seniors with the highest grade point average in their school. The scholarship applies to both public and private high schools throughout the state.
- Amount: $2,250 annually
- Requirements: Eligible students must attend one of the following Wisconsin-based colleges outlined on the State of Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board website. Enrollment determines the number of available scholarships for each high school.
- How to Apply: Contact information provided on the website for the State of Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board.
3. Technical Excellence Scholarship
- Description: Wisconsin high school seniors that demonstrate a high capacity for technical subjects may be eligible the Technical Excellence Scholarship.
- Amount: $2,250 per year for up to six semesters
- Requirements: Eligible students must enroll at a Wisconsin technical college
- How to Apply: Students must submit a Request for Consideration to the contact information listed on the scholarship website.
4. Lois Crowe Scholarship
- Description: Outstanding Wisconsin high school seniors looking to enroll at an in-state college should consider this hefty scholarship. Sponsored by the Forest County Potawatomi Community Foundation, this scholarship is renewable with continuing high academic performance.
- Amount: $2,500 annually for four years ($10,000 total)
- Requirements: Competitive Wisconsin high school seniors attending in-state colleges are eligible.
- How to Apply: Interested students can apply here, prior to the February deadline. Students must send in a report of their ACT or SAT scores and a resume to accompany this application.
5. Delores Pemma Scholarship
- Description: Similar to the Lois Crowe Scholarship, the Delores Pemma Scholarship is sponsored by the Forest County Potawatomi Community and provides assistance to academically talented Wisconsin resident.
- Amount: $2,500 annually for two years ($5,000 total)
- Requirements: Requirements match that of the Lois Crowe Scholarship.
- How to Apply: Applications are available on the organization website. This scholarship does not require a report of the applicant’s ACT or SAT scores.
6. Minnesota-Wisconsin Reciprocity Program
- Description: This scholarship benefits Wisconsin students attending a college or university in Minnesota via a reciprocity agreement.
- Amount: Varies based on need. Renewable.
- Requirements: Students must be a Wisconsin resident attending a public university in Minnesota.
- How to Apply: Complete the application on the Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board website before the deadline, that being the last day of classes at the college the applicant is currently or will be attending.
The Best Scholarships for Minorities and Disadvantaged Groups in Wisconsin
1. Bucky’s Tuition Promise
- Description: Many of the most competitive scholarships in Wisconsin are for the University of Wisconsin. Bucky’s Tuition Promise provides full tuition and segregated fees for Wisconsin residents whose household adjusted gross income is $60,000 or less.
- Amount: 4 years of free tuition for incoming first-year students OR 2 years of free tuition for transfer students
- Requirements: Students must be legal Wisconsin residents, incoming freshmen or transfer students, and have a household AGI of $60,000 or less.
- How to Apply: All eligible students must submit a FAFSA prior to submitting an application. More information on the scholarship program is available through the UW-Madison website.
2. Noel Compass Scholar Program
- Description: There are many generous scholarships in Wisconsin for minorities, the Noel Compass Scholar Program being one of them. This full ride scholarship provides socially proactive high school minority students the opportunity to study at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Applicants must demonstrate a high capacity for leadership and tolerance.
- Amount: Full tuition at UW-Stevens Point.
- Requirements: Minority students attending one of the Wisconsin high schools listed on their site may apply.
- How to Apply: Contact the scholarship coordinator for more information.
3. Indian Student Assistance Grant
- Description: The Indian Student Assistance Grant is a state-funded award for Wisconsin residents who are at least 25% Native American and obtaining a degree or certificate from a university, technical college, or tribal college in Wisconsin.
- Amount: $250-$1,100 annually
- Requirements: Students must be at least 25% Native American and be attending a Wisconsin-based university, technical, or tribal college at least part-time.
- How to Apply: Students must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Next, complete the grant application for new students listed on their website under Indian Student Assistance Grant.
4. Wisconsin Minority Teacher Loan Program
- Description: This teaching loan provides assistance to students training to become educators at an accredited Wisconsin-based institution. Perhaps the most appealing quality of the grant is it’s potential to be 100% forgiven, provided the student commits to teaching full-time in an elementary or secondary school in Milwaukee following graduation.
- Amount: Maximum annual award of $10,000
- Requirements: Wisconsin residents with minority status (according to the Higher Education Aims Board standards) are eligible to apply. Applicants must be enrolled in programs preparing them for teacher licensure in the state of Wisconsin.
- How to Apply: Applicants are required to submit a FAFSA. The Financial Aid Office then nominates students based on financial need. Interested students should reach out to the respective contact on the scholarship’s website in order to personally express interest.
5. Minority Undergrad Retention Grant
- Description: The Minority Undergrad Retention Grant seeks to provide assistance to Wisconsin resident minority undergraduate enrolled at an in-state institution.
- Amount: $150-$2,500 based on need
- Requirements: Students must be a minority defined by the statute, that being African American, American Indian, Hispanic, or Southeast Asian from Laos, Cambodia, or Vietnam and admitted to the United States after December 31st, 1975. First year students are not eligible.
- How to Apply: Students must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Next, complete the grant application for new students listed on their website under Minority Undergraduate Retention Grant.
6. Hearing & Visually Handicapped Student Grant
- Description: This grant program provides additional support for undergraduate Wisconsin residents that show a financial need and have a significant hearing or visual impairment. Students must be enrolled at both in-state and out-of-state public or private institutions.
- Amount: $250-$1,800
- Requirements: Students must meet the criteria listed in the above description. Enrollment must be at least half time.
- How to Apply: Students must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), then complete the grant application listed on their website under Hearing & Visually Handicapped Student Grant.
7. Great Lakes Hemophilia Foundation Scholarship
- Description: This scholarship offers assistance to students living with a bleeding disorder so that they may pursue educational opportunities.
- Amount: $250-$3,000 per student
- Requirements: Students must be Wisconsin residents or have received care at one of the Wisconsin Hemophilia Treatment Centers.
- How to Apply: Complete and submit the Education Scholarship application linked on the Great Lakes Hemophilia Foundation website. The deadline is March 15, 2019.
8. KASF Scholarship (Midwestern Regional Chapter)
- Description: This scholarship provides financial assistance to students with a Korean heritage studying in the United States.
- Amount: Award amount varies based on financial need
- Requirements: All students with Korean heritage are eligible, regardless of citizenship status, including Korean Nationals. Applicants must be full time student at a school in the midwestern region of the United States and have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- How to Apply: Complete the application linked to the funding institution’s website. Applications open April 1st and close June 30th. Recommendations must also be submitted prior to the due date.
The Best Field-Specific Scholarships in Wisconsin
Culinary and Hospitality
1. Wisconsin Bakers Association Scholarship
- Description: The Wisconsin Bakers Association provides financial assistance for students entering programs in the baking and pastry arts. The association offers both a national scholarship and a scholarship exclusive to Wisconsin students.
- Amount: $1,000
- Requirements: Applicants must be a Wisconsin resident entering a baking or pastry arts program.
- How to Apply: Students must contact the WBA directly through their website for an application.
Agriculture and STEM
1. Wisconsin Agri-Business Association
- Description: The Wisconsin Agri-Business Association awards scholarships to one agricultural student attending one of the following colleges: UW-Madison, UW-Platteville, UW-River Falls, UW-Stevens Point, Chippewa Valley Technical College, Fox Valley Technical College, and three technical colleges.
- Amount: $1,000-$2,500, depending on the institution
- Requirements: Be a full-time student attending one of the above-listed institutions for agricultural studies
- How to Apply: Contact a representative on the association’s website.
2. Thermo Fisher Scientific STEM scholarship
- Description: The College of Letters and Science at University of Wisconsin-Madison provides support to incoming freshmen studying chemistry, geology, life sciences or mathematics. The scholarship is funded by Thermo Fisher, which aims to provide additional support for students pursuing a career in research rather than clinical practice or engineering.
- Amount: $5,000 annually for four years. Rewarded to 4 freshmen.
- Requirements: Incoming freshmen at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying a science or mathematics major. Students must have demonstrated financial need as defined by the FAFSA.
- How to Apply: The application becomes available every November. Please contact the Scholarships Office at the College of Letters & Science for more information.
3. Union Pacific William E. Wimmer Scholarship
- Description: Pursuing an engineering curriculum? The William E. Wimmer Scholarship is for a currently enrolled sophomore and above studying engineering at a U.S. Midwestern, Southwestern, or Western University. An interest in railway engineering is a plus!
- Amount: $1,000
- Requirements: Students must be currently enrolled in an accredited 4-5 year engineering program with a minimum GPA of 2.0.
- How to Apply: Application, available on their website during the fall semester season, to be submitted by December 7th.
Speech and Performing Arts
1. Wisconsin Broadcasters Association
- Description: The Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Foundation funds four scholarships for students enrolled in media-related programs at public, private and technical colleges in Wisconsin.
- Amount: $1,000 (2) and $2,000
- Requirements: Students must have already fulfilled at least half of their graduation requirements at an accredited institution OR have graduated from a Wisconsin high school.
- How to Apply: Applicants must complete the application form by October 12th. Finalists may be interviewed.
2. Summer Music Clinic UW Tuition Waiver
- Description: The University of Wisconsin Tuition Remission Award Program is open to musically talented high school juniors at Wisconsin high schools. This competitive program awards 10 students complete tuition reduction at UW-Madison or UW-Milwaukee.
- Amount: Free tuition at UW-Madison or -Milwaukee
- Requirements: Interested students must attend UW-Madison’s Summer Music Clinic program. An eligible musician includes the following instruments: brass, woodwind, percussion, or string. Vocal performance is also eligible.
- How to Apply: Application and materials are available on the program’s website and must be received no later than May 20th of the student’s junior year.
3. Wisconsin Oratorical Scholarship Program
- Description: The American Legion sponsors a Constitutional Speech contest that tests the applicant’s ability to deliver a brief, yet thorough, speech related to the United States Constitution and other political topics.
- Amount: Regional participants receive $600. Prize money increases as the contestant advances. National finalist receives $18,000.
- Requirements: Applicants participate in the speech contest and may advance accordingly through state regionals, finals, and then national finals.
- How to Apply: Interested students should fill out the required form linked on the contest’s website and submitted to the respective contact listed on their local American Legion post.
1. Jacob N. Shanberge, M.D. Memorial Scholarship
- Description: Similar to the Great Lakes Hemophilia Educational Scholarship, this memorial scholarship is awarded annually to a student with a bleeding disorder that is also interested in pursuing a career in science or medicine.
- Amount: $2,500-$5,000 annually. Only one scholarship is available.
- Requirements: Students living with bleeding disorders and intending to pursue a career path in science or medicine are eligible.
- How to Apply: Complete the following application. The deadline is March 15th.
2. MGMA Midwest Section Scholarship
- Description: This program supports midwestern students interested in pursuing a career in healthcare management.
- Amount: $2,500
- Requirements: Applicants must be a student member of MGMA and be enrolled in a program dealing with medical practice management, including public health, business and healthcare administration. This scholarship is not meant to serve students seeking clinical or therapeutic professions.
- How to Apply: Submit the application listed on the MGMA website during the spring semester.
3. Nursing Student Loan
- Description: This program provides loans to Wisconsin residents enrolled at least halftime in a curriculum for licensed nurses, either RN or LPN. Every two years the student works as a nurse or nurse educator in Wisconsin, 25% of the loan is forgiven. Otherwise, the student must pay off the loan at an interested rate of 5%. This loan can be forgiven up to 50% of the original amount.
- Amount: $250-$3,000 annually
- Requirements: Applicants must be Wisconsin residents enrolled at least halftime at an accredited in-state nursing institution.
- How to Apply: Students are required to submit a FAFSA each year. Students must inform their institution’s respective financial aid administrators of their interest in this loan, because only administration will designate students and submit their information to the Higher Education Aims Board for consideration.
4. EMPOWER Scholarship
- Description: Funded by the Courage Kenny Foundation, this scholarship supports students from diverse ethnic backgrounds who are pursuing a medical or rehabilitation profession.
- Amount: $1,500 (2 available)
- Requirements: Students must have a minimum 2.0 GPA and demonstrate significant financial need. Students must be residents in Minnesota or Western Wisconsin, or attending a school in the region. A commitment to volunteer work and a future career in healthcare is ideal.
- How to Apply: Applications are accepted January 1st through April 15th and are available on the funding organization’s website.
Now that you have a tentative list of some of the best scholarships in Wisconsin, you can breathe a little easier on your financial aid quest. There are many opportunities out there for students to fund their education, especially those for minorities and disadvantaged groups. Scholarship is important and shouldn’t remain a commodity exclusive to those with privilege. Also, keep in mind that these are only scholarships available to Wisconsin students. There’s a wealth of scholarships out there that reach students on the national level. So go forth with confidence and an open mind. On, Wisconsin!
Applying to schools in another state? Check out our other scholarship lists here.
If you’re still in need of more scholarships, we go over which scholarship sites to use to find more here.