Following is a selection of UW-Madison scholarships targeted to returning adult students. For complete information and applications visit Scholarships@UW-Madison.
Provides scholarship support to students who transfer to the School of Business from a UW College. Must be an admitted or admissible School of Business undergraduate transferring from a UW College; must show financial need.
Gertrude Anthony Scholarship
Junior or senior women in teacher certification programs who show great promise as teachers. At least 24 credits must be on the UW-Madison campus. Awards are based on past and current academic excellence and potential to be an outstanding teacher, as seen in a personal statement written by the applicant; special consideration will be given to women 25 and older.
Harland E. Samson and Faye Finley Samson Scholarship
Returning adult undergraduate student(s) (full-time or part-time) majoring in the area of secondary-school or middle-school Science Education.
Meika A. Alberici Memorial Scholarship
Undergraduates majoring in art who are nontraditional students and/or first generation college attendees, and/or other students historically under-represented in higher education.
Schwarz, Carl Rudolph Award for Returning Adult Students
Annual scholarship for a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien; significant interruption in formal education (usually 5 or more years); academic performance; clearly expressed educational/career goals; admission to an engineering department; preference to individuals who have served honorably in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Environmental Studies Certificate program
Community Environmental Scholarship
Returning adult and nontraditional students majoring in one of the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics) are encouraged to apply for the Community Environmental Scholarship Program (CESP), a need-based scholarship funded by the National Science Foundation and administered by the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies.
An additional award, the Wisconsin CSEP, is available to a student pursuing the environmental studies certificate or major. For details on both scholarships see Nelson Institute Scholarships.
Shapiro Returning Adult Nursing Scholarship
A need-based scholarship for students over the age of 24 enrolled in the School of Nursing who are pursuing a second baccalaureate degree.
Graduate School Fellowships for targeted UW-Madison students
AOF Graduate Fellowship (AOF)
To be considered for AOF funding, prospective students must be United States citizens or permanent residents and be admissible to a graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. To be considered for nomination for an Advanced Opportunity Fellowship, contact your department's admission coordinator.
Dickie Family Sauk County Educational Fellowship
The Dickie Fellowship, created by the family of Ruth Strathearn Dickie, is awarded to a new graduate student who is or who will be pursuing study in science, engineering, or mathematics, and who is a resident of Sauk County (Wisconsin) at the time of matriculation. Preference is given to returning adult students. For application information see the Dickie Fellowship website.
Other local, state and national scholarships
Most scholarship applications are posted seasonally; contact the organization(s) directly for deadlines and eligibility requirements.
Altrusa International - Madison Chapter (Wisconsin area)
For adults in Dane County returning to school attending a Madison-area accredited academic institution in a degree, diploma or certificate program. Funds are available for education-related costs such as tuition, books, childcare, and transportation. Contact Ileana Rodriguez, 263-6787, firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Grants to support women who hold a bachelor's degree and are preparing to advance their careers, change careers, or re-enter the work force. Special consideration is given to women of color, and women pursuing their first advanced degree or credentials in nontraditional fields. Grants provide support for course work beyond a bachelor's degree, including a master's degree, second bachelor's degree, or specialized training in technical or professional fields. Funds are available for distance learning. Course work must be taken at an accredited two- or four-year college or university in the United States, or at a technical school that is fully licensed or accredited by the U.S. Department of Education.
ASIST - Adult Students in Scholastic Transition (Wisconsin area)
For UW-Milwaukee or Milwaukee Area Technical College students only; ASIST provides financial support to adult students at transitional points in their lives. Applicants may be single parents, individuals just entering the workforce or displaced workers. Executive Women International (EWI) of Milwaukee works with MATC and UW-Milwaukee. Four total ASIST scholarships are awarded.
Betty Franklin-Hammonds Memorial Scholarship (Wisconsin area)
This scholarship helps support adults from low-to-moderate income homes, who are seeking to improve their lives through higher education.
Urban League of Greater Madison, 2222 South Park St. - Suite 200, Madison WI 53713
The Edwin E. and Janet L. Bryant Foundation, Inc. has established a scholarship program to assist former students of select Wisconsin communities’ high schools.
Business Forum - Judy Rose Scholarship (Wisconsin area)
Females living in Dane County who plan to begin or continue their education in a 4-year, 2-year, adult-education extension curriculum, technical or vocational program in Wisconsin are eligible. Applicants must be pursuing higher education in preparation for a professional, business or entrepreneurial career.
The Business Forum, 2810 Crossroads Drive - Suite 3800, Madison, WI 53718
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship Program (National)
If qualified, please contact Madison College’s (Madison Area Technical College) foundation Office and inquire about scholarship and petition that you could be considered for nomination for the scholarship.
Jeannette Rankin Women's Scholarship Fund (National)
A woman, age 35 or older pursuing a technical or vocational education, an associate's degree, or a first bachelor's degree.
P.E.O. Program for Continuing Education (PCE) and P.E.O. Scholar Awards (PSA)(Wisconsin area/National)
Must be nominated by a PEO member
If a Dane County area resident, please contact Ileana Rodríguez email@example.com or 608-263-6787 at UW-Madison Adult Career and Special Student Services for nomination information.
St. Mary's Hospital Minority Health Care (Wisconsin area)
The program provides tuition scholarships up to $2,500 annually for minority students enrolled full time in a baccalaureate or associate degree program at Edgewood College, Madison College (Madison Area Technical College) or UW-Madison.
Ester Lowery - Human Resources Department, St. Mary's Hospital, 700 S. Park St., Madison WI 53715
608-258-6632 or 800-236-6101 ext. 6632
SWACHE - Reaching for the Stars Scholarship (Wisconsin area)
Designed for students facing financial demands as they work to complete their degrees while balancing a full-time job, caring for family and other responsibilities.
Women in Focus - Miss Annie Mae McClain Scholarship (Wisconsin area)
Additional sources of financial assistance
Employer Tuition Reimbursement
Numerous employers often offer some continuing education assistance. Contact your employer’s human resources office to see if this benefit is available.
Executive Education Grants
Executive Education Grants are awarded annually each spring. Sponsored by Executive Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business, academic staff can apply to attend a 2-3 day course offered by Executive Education.
Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR)
For eligible DVR clients – contact your DVR counselor regarding eligibility.
1819 Aberg Avenue - Suite E, Madison WI 53704
FinAid.org offers tips and financial sources through its Financial Aid for Older and Nontraditional Students webpage.
PA/RA/TA (Student Job Center)
Students looking to supplement their fellowship or looking for additional money will find additional information via the links on the Graduate School funding page.
For GI Bill and Post 911 GI Bill information please visit
Office of the Registrar - 333 East Campus Mall #10301
Madison, WI 53715-1384; 608-265-4628
Student Loans for College