CALS Scholarships

Welcome to the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) scholarship page. CALS students receive more than $1.25 annually in scholarship awards thanks to the generosity of our donors committed to the success of CALS students.

All CALS students who submit an application will be considered for all CALS scholarships, as appropriate, depending on some or all of the following: academic achievement, involvement level, financial need, residency, career interests, and/or major/program of interest. CALS scholarships are in addition to campus level financial aid awarded through the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Applying for CALS Scholarships

The CALS Scholarship Application opens in early November and remains open until the beginning of February each academic year. Whether you have been accepted to UW-Madison yet or not, you can apply via the application for scholarships at the Wisconsin Scholarship Hub (WiSH) , as soon as you have a NetID.  Our single application allows you to be considered for all CALS scholarships.

To be considered for scholarships with a financial need component, you must have a FAFSA on file at UW-Madison – the UW Madison School Code is 003895. More information on completing FAFSA can be found here.

All CALS Scholarship recipients must fulfill the thank you note requirement described in their award offer prior to receiving their funding.

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 for the following academic year. 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 for CALS scholarships?expand_more

  • Go to the Wisconsin Scholarship Hub also known as WiSH
  • Sign in with your NetID and password
  • Click on and complete the General Application
  • Click on and Complete the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Application
  • Complete any “Other Recommended Opportunities” identified based upon your application information.

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

Your application information will be used to match you to all the scholarship opportunities for which you are eligible.

What are the criteria for scholarships? Do I have to be a straight A student?expand_more

CALS has over 240 funds from which we award scholarships due to the many very generous donors who value the future of CALS. A variety of criteria are used to match students with scholarship opportunities. Some will take GPA and other scholarly activity into account; others may look at financial need, area or major of interest, career plans, or residency.

Are 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.

Are 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. More information about FAFSA can be found here. Other CALS Scholarships are not based on financial aid and FAFSA is not required.

What is FAFSA and what is it used for?expand_more

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a form that can be prepared annually by current and prospective college students in the United States to determine their eligibility for student financial aid.

When filling out your FAFSA, the UW-Madison school code is: 003895. More information about FAFSA can be found here.

What is the difference between 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 in addition to 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, or 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.

How big is the average CALS Scholarship?expand_more

CALS scholarships range from $250 – $10,000; awards average $2,500.

When will I hear if I will get 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.

How do I get my scholarship funds?expand_more

For students who are US citizens, scholarship funds will go to the bursar’s office and be applied to any outstanding balance in their student account. International student scholarships must be paid via the payroll system. The CALS Scholarship team will be able to assist all students to ensure you get your scholarship award.

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.

Supporting CALS Students

Gifts to support CALS scholarships and programs enable students to get the most out of their CALS experience and assist them in making a strong start, gaining a global perspective, customizing their path of study, learning through hands-on, real world experiences, and building their community and networks. 

Opportunities to support students include:

For additional giving options, visit

Agricultural & Applied Economics, Agricultural Business Management

Abagail Catania BS ‘19

Abagail Catania couldn’t wait until graduation to make a difference in the lives of students like herself. So she didn’t. Instead, she established a scholarship for her peers before even having her diploma in hand. Guided by her enthusiasm for expanding opportunities, Catania says she wants students of color to feel there is a place for them in agricultural studies.

After reflecting on her experience at UW-Madison as a mixed, black woman in agriculture, Catania created the Abagail Catania Agricultural & Applied Economics/Agricultural Business Management Diversity Scholarship. Catania knows that any amount of money can make a huge difference in someone’s life here at UW.

Office of Academic Affairs

116 Agricultural Hall
1450 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706

Office Hours: 7:45am – 4:30pm

For current and future student general inquiries:
Phone: 608.262.3003