Funding Your Education

Funding Your Education

Funding Your Education

We can help you find the right path to funding your education. Learn more about all of the opportunities.

CALS has an extensive scholarship program with more that $1.2 million in awards available to CALS students annually, including first-year students. These awards are possible thanks to the generosity of alumni, organizations and corporate sponsors who wish to provide financial support to CALS students specifically. 

CALS scholarships are awarded in addition to financial aid provided through the University of Wisconsin’s Office of Student Financial Aid, which can include scholarships, grants, loans, and employment. The Office of Student Financial Aid uses information on financial need, assessed through Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), to create aid packages.

CALS Scholarships

One yearly application allows students to be considered for all scholarships administered by the college. In-coming students should fill out the scholarship application as soon as they apply for admissions (deadline for scholarship applications are early February). Admitted in-coming students may also be considered for CALS scholarship offers based on information from their Madison admission application.

Some scholarships are awarded based on financial need and require a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form on file with the university for students to be considered.

UW Financial Aid Opportunities

The University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Office of Student Financial Aid provides financial aid packages to students with financial aid. To be considered for UW financial aid, students must complete the FAFSA and have results sent to UW-Madison.

Specialized Funding Opportunities

Several specialized funding opportunities are also available to CALS students. For example, scholarships are available to students participating in the QuickStart program or choosing to study abroad. Some departments also have scholarship and award opportunities for students enrolled in specific majors.

Additional Funding Opportunities

Additional Scholarship Opportunities: The Office of Academic Affairs receives notification of scholarships offered by various outside agencies and organizations that may be of interest to CALS students. CALS does not administer these scholarships.

Undergraduate Academic Awards: Undergraduates and recent graduates may pursue nationally competitive scholarships and campus-wide awards for research, service and leadership—activities at the heart of the Wisconsin Experience. The Undergraduate Academic Awards Office assists with this process.

Student Employment: For student employment opportunities on and near campus.

CALS Short Term Loans: CALS offers Emergency Short Term Loans up to $1,500 for students in need of emergency funding.

Office of Child Care & Family Resources: Provides child care financial assistance awards to income eligible students through the Child Care Tuition Assistance Program (CCTAP), the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) grant, and a reduced rate back-up child care program.  

Did you know?

> $1.2 million

CALS scholarships awarded in addition to University scholarships, grants, and loans.

600 +

Students Receive CALS Scholarship Awards


Average CALS scholarship award


One yearly application for students to be considered for all CALS scholarships


When should I apply for CALS Scholarships? expand_more

First-year and transfer students should apply for CALS Scholarships as soon as you apply for admissions. Scholarship applications are open from early November to early February. Your application must be completed and submitted by the February deadline to be eligible for the next year’s awards.

Some specialized scholarships, including scholarships for QuickStart and Study Abroad, have their own application cycle.

How do I apply? Do I need to know which opportunities I am eligible for to apply? expand_more

Apply for all CALS scholarships with one application. Your application information will be used to match you to all the scholarship opportunities for which you are eligible.

To be considered for UW financial aid, you must complete the FAFSA and have results sent to UW-Madison.

For specialized scholarships, visit the site associated with the activity for which you are seeking scholarship support: QuickStart scholarships require FAFSA and the general QuickStart application; Study Abroad CALS Scholarships require a separate application through WiSH; departmental scholarships vary by department; additional scholarship requirements will vary by opportunity.

What is the difference between UW Financial Aid and CALS Scholarships?expand_more

At UW-Madison, campus level financial aid is administered by the Office of Student Financial Aid and is based on financial need of students, as assessed by FAFSA. There are many programs run through the Office of Student Financial Aid, all open to CALS students.

CALS Scholarships are funds administered by CALS to support CALS students, and may be awarded to students on top of financial aid packages. Different CALS scholarships have different criteria to match with students – some will take GPA and other scholarly activity into account, others may look at financial need, area or major of interest, career plans, and residency.

Can I get a CALS scholarship in addition to scholarship/aid from UW Student Financial Aid Office?expand_more

Yes, many students receive a CALS Scholarship in addition to the financial aid received from the UW Student Financial Aid Office. Individual student situations (financial need, level of financial aid awarded) will determine eligibility for CALS Scholarships on top of financial aid awards.

Are CALS Scholarships based on financial need?expand_more

Some CALS Scholarships are awarded based on financial need. To be eligible you must have a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) on file at UW-Madison.

Are CALS Scholarships available for first-year students? expand_more

Yes, CALS Scholarships are available at all levels for students who have filled-out the CALS Scholarship application. In-coming first-year students may also be considered for CALS scholarship offers based on information from their UW-Madison admissions application in addition to their FAFSA to assess need.

When will I hear if I receive a CALS Scholarship?expand_more

The majority of CALS Scholarship notifications occur in mid-March and mid-April. However, students should monitor their emails and WiSH dashboards from January through August as awarding happens in cycles based on admissions, college, and departmental award decisions.

Specialized scholarship notification (e.g. for QuickStart and Study Abroad) will depend on the application cycle.

If I don’t get a CALS scholarship are there other opportunities I can apply for?expand_more

We post other scholarship opportunities that might be of interest to our students here. Note, CALS does not administer these scholarships.

How can I learn more about department opportunities?expand_more

Some scholarships and awards in CALS are administered through departments. To learn more about scholarship and award opportunities associated with your major, see “Resources and Scholarships” tab for your major in GUIDE or contact the department who administers your major.

Are International students eligible for CALS scholarships?expand_more

International students are encouraged to apply and will be considered for CALS Scholarships that do not contain a financial need component. Students may also contact UW Madison’s International Student Services Office to learn about additional funding opportunities available for international students.

What opportunities are available for Veterans?expand_more

Although CALS does not have specific scholarships for Veterans at this time, Veterans are encouraged to apply for CALS Scholarships to find matching opportunities. Veterans should also contact UW Veterans Services with questions about education benefits.

Office of Academic Affairs

116 Agricultural Hall
1450 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Office Hours: 7:45am – 4:30pm

For current & prospective student general inquiries:
Phone: 608.262.3003