Grant news

Spring 2017 grant application available in early September

Read about former grant recipient,
Dean Olsen

Continuing Education (CE) Grant

Each semester UW-Madison’s Adult Career and Special Student Services offers grants to provide financial assistance to adults who have experienced a significant break in their formal education and are entering or currently attending UW-Madison on a less than half-time basis. Dissertators (considered to be full-time) are not eligible for the grant.

Fall and spring semesters: Grants for in-state tuition may be awarded up to five credits, for undergraduate and Special students; and up to three credits for graduates and Capstone Certificate students.

Summer Session: Grants for in-state tuition may be awarded for up to three credits for undergraduates, graduates and Special students.

Please note: An individual may receive the grant a maximum of two times.

Application deadlines

Fall Term: July 1 (application available in early May) 

Spring Term: Nov 1 (application available in early September)

Summer Term: May 1 (application available in early March)

To be eligible to receive the grant your application must be accurate at the time of submission. If something changes with your situation after you submit your application (e.g., change of address, financial information, academic plans, etc.) please contact the grant coordinator as soon as possible.

Application process

Review the grant criteria listed below and follow these steps to apply:

1) If you have not already, apply for admission as a UW-Madison student. (If it is past the deadline to apply for admission please contact the appropriate admission office to find out if your application could still be considered.)

2) Complete the grant application by the deadline for the term you hope to receive funding (see deadlines above).  Note: You will need to complete the online application in one sitting.  To help you prepare your responses, we encourage you to first view this pdf practice copy of the application.

Once you have submitted a complete application, you will receive a completion message letting you know that your application was successfully submitted. If you do not receive this message after submitting your application, please contact the grant coordinator, Jennifer Sandridge, If you are interested in applying but missed the deadline, please contact the coordinator to determine if funds are still available.  


  • Returning adult student: Applicants must be returning adult students at UW-Madison, planning to enroll in a course for credit (auditors not eligible).
  • Less than half-time: Applicants must plan to enroll less than half time (defined as 5 credits or less for undergraduate and Special students; 3 credits or less for graduate and Capstone Certificate students) and be ineligible for all state and federal financial aid (this includes veterans benefits).
  • Gap in education: Applicants must have had a significant break in education (usually five years or more). This includes the break between completion of high school and enrollment in college for those who are entering college for the first time. 
  • Financial need: No specific income cutoff has been established since adults have such varying demands on their income but priority is given to applicants with demonstrated need.
  • U.S. citizen, eligible non-citizen:  Both U.S. citizens and eligible non-citizens (non-citizens holding non-immigrant visa e.g. F, J, & H) may apply.  Full-time international students are not eligible for this grant.   
  • Clearly stated educational goals: Applicants must have clearly stated educational goals. Priority given to those who plan to pursue a degree or certificate program. 

Grant cannot be used for:

  • Audited courses, UW-Extension courses, correspondence, or study at another institution.
  • More than the maximum number of credits.  If credits are added after registration, bringing the total above the maximum number, the grant will become void and the individual will be billed for the full amount of his/her tuition.
  • Textbooks or other course materials.
  • Non-resident tuition - only in-state tuition is covered by the grant. Non-resident grant recipients pay the difference between resident and non-resident tuition.

Note: An individual may receive the grant a maximum of two semesters (they do not need to be consecutive semesters), although there is no guarantee that first-time recipients will receive a second grant. If a recipient withdraws from the University before the 50% tuition adjustment deadline, the award will not be counted against the two semesters' maximum. 

Selection process

Recipients will be selected primarily on the basis of financial need, clearly expressed educational goals, and significant interruption (usually five years or more) in formal education. The balancing of such factors as number of degrees already completed, length of interruption in education, proximity to completion of educational goal, recent academic performance and other indications of potential academic success at UW-Madison, etc. will result in the allocation of grants as funds allow in any given semester.

Applications received after the priority deadline will be considered and awards will be based on remaining available funds.

Course Enrollment

If awarded the grant, you must add your class within the first two weeks of the semester. You must also pay close attention to the refund schedule for your class, because the grant may not cover your full tuition bill if you drop and add credits outside of the 100% refund period. For specific dates please visit the enrollment information on the Office of the Registrar's web page.

The funds are provided by tax-deductible contributions made by organizations and individuals to the UW Foundation Continuing Education Fund. 

Contact Information

Grant coordinator: Jennifer Sandridge, 608-262-2553,
Office contact: Adult Career and Special Student Services, 608-263-6960,

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