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College is an important investment and a decision we know you don’t take lightly. You want to find the right fit, a place to call home while you learn to spread your wings. You learn about campus life, what you might major in, clubs you can join, even the best places to grab a bite to eat. But there’s another conversation that’s vitally important – how to pay for college. We know it’s not everyone’s favorite conversation (and that the process can sometimes be confusing!), but we’re here to help you through it and answer any questions you might have. Explore options to help pay for college below and download our Financial Aid Process document to stay on track as you apply for financial aid.

UWRF Scholarships

We’re invested in your success! As one of the top scholarship providers in the UW System, we award approximately $2 million in scholarships to our students each year. You don’t even need test scores to be eligible and we offer both need and merit-based awards. 

Merit-Based Awards

Falcons Soar Award scholarships are based on GPA. You don't need a separate application for these awards, they are awarded automatically upon admission to UWRF.

New Students

4.0 GPA and Higher = $2,000 one-time award in the first year

3.75-3.99 GPA = $1,500 one-time award in the first year

3.30-3.74 GPA = $1,000 one-time award in the first year

Transfer Students

3.40 GPA* and Higher = $1,000 one-time award in their first year

*based on CUMULATIVE GPA from all schools attended

Competitive Scholarships

We’ve made it easier than ever to apply for UWRF scholarships. After completion of the UWRF general scholarship form, you will be able to view and apply for additional selective scholarships. All scholarship deadlines are February 1, with the exception of the Chancellor’s Scholarship (January 1 deadline), so don’t hesitate to start your applications! View our scholarships.

Selected opportunities:

  • Chancellor’s Scholarship: Full-tuition or half-tuition scholarship for eligible first-year students. This four-year renewable award is our most selective scholarship, with limited recipients each year. The deadline to apply for the Chancellor’s Scholarship is January 5, 2022. 

  • Falcon Scholars Scholarship ($4,000): A $1000 annual scholarship for eligible first-year students.  This four-year renewable award is a highly selective scholarship, with approximately 60 recipients each year. An additional stipend of up to $2,000 is available to all Falcon Scholars for a study abroad or undergraduate research experience. The deadline to apply for the Falcon Scholars Scholarship is January 5, 2022. 

  • Diversity Success Scholarship ($1,000-$3,500): A one-time award given to select ethnically diverse or economically disadvantaged incoming first-year students.  Preference will be given (but not limited to) participants from college access programs. 

  • Falcons Fly Higher Scholarship ($500-$2,500): A one-time award offered to first-year or transfer students.  Academic potential, background and experiences, financial need, leadership and potential to enrich the campus community are given consideration when making these awards. 

  • Study in Wisconsin Scholarship ($3,000 per year)
    Awarded to non-resident students and is renewable for up to four years. This award excludes Minnesota (due to reciprocity), Midwest Student Exchange (MSEP), and Return to Wisconsin participants. Automatically awarded after admission and can be combined with other merit-based scholarships. 

Outside Scholarships

There are loads of external scholarship opportunities for students from all backgrounds. These scholarships are awarded by organizations outside of UWRF. While our list isn’t exhaustive, we’ve compiled some resources to help you find outside scholarship opportunities. View them here.


Grants are need-based financial aid options that don’t need to be repaid. Federal and state grants are available to both undergraduate and graduate students and when you apply for financial aid, you’re automatically considered for them. Click here to learn more about grants. 


Undergraduate and graduate students both have a variety of loan options, including federal and private loans. Loans must be repaid and repayment terms and options will vary based on your loan terms and provider. Learn more about loan options, including information on need-based federally-funded loans here.

Student Employment

Did you know we’ve got employment opportunities designed to assist students with paying for college? Federal Work Study funds, as well as Student Assistance positions, can help you earn a paycheck while in school. Learn more about student employment options. 

Non-Resident Tuition Waiver

All non-resident students (except those that qualify under other programs) may be eligible for the Study in Wisconsin Non-Resident Tuition Waiver. Check your eligibility and learn more.

Those Who Serve

Are you or a family member a veteran or serving in the military? Your military status may entitle you to additional financial aid opportunities or educational benefits. We have a dedicated Military and Veterans Resource Center on campus, so we’re prepared to assist in finding resources and answer all your questions. Learn more

Curious about the FAFSA?

You may have heard the term FAFSA mentioned throughout your college search process. Also known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, it’s an important tool used to determine your eligibility for federal and state financial aid. This information becomes more important once you’re admitted (the application is available beginning October 1 each year), but it’s still a key term and process to familiarize yourself with as you navigate the search process! Click here to explore our video library, home to loads of must-know information. Visit StudentAid.gov for more information on the FAFSA, including important deadline information.