BANNER, or Badger Aid for Nonresidents, is designed to assist students from low-income households outside of Wisconsin pay for college through a combination of grants, scholarships, and work-study. It includes a commitment to meeting a student’s financial need for four consecutive years for incoming first-year students.


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What is BANNER?

BANNER is our Badger Aid for Nonresidents enrolled in an on-campus program at UW-Madison. It’s designed to assist Badgers from low-income households outside of Wisconsin pay for college through a combination of grants, scholarships, and work-study. The program commits to meeting a student’s financial need for 4 consecutive years for incoming first-year students.

Who is eligible?

New, nonresident incoming first-year, Federal Pell Grant-eligible students that intend to enroll in an on-campus program are eligible. Transfer students are not included.

How do I know if I'm eligible for the Federal Pell Grant?

The Federal Pell Grant is a federal grant for students who have exceptional financial need and who have not already earned a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree. If you are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant, it will appear as part of your financial aid offer.

When you submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the U.S. Department of Education determines an Student Aid Index (SAI). It is that SAI that determines whether or not you receive the grant.

What is financial need?

Financial need is defined as your Cost of Attendance (COA) at UW-Madison minus your Student Aid Index (SAI), the number your FAFSA calculates.

How long can a student participate in BANNER?

Benefits from participating are guaranteed for four (4) consecutive years or eight (8) consecutive semesters (fall/spring) for incoming first-year students.

Receiving BANNER

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Do students need to apply for BANNER?

No. Eligible students are automatically placed into BANNER as they are admitted into UW-Madison and our office receives their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). No separate application is necessary and the Office of Student Financial Aid will notify eligible students via email and post mail.

If a student meets the criteria, are they guaranteed a spot in BANNER?

Spaces in BANNER are limited and not guaranteed.  Students should have their FAFSA submitted by our December 1 priority deadline for the best chance at receiving BANNER.

Is the FAFSA required?

Yes! All students eligible for BANNER are required to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and are required to do so on an annual basis.

Do students need to complete a FAFSA every year?

Yes. Students should complete their FAFSA by our priority deadline, December 1, each year. The Office of Student Financial Aid holds events throughout the fall semester to assist students with completing the FAFSA.

What if I'm no longer eligible for the Pell Grant during my time at UW-Madison?

Your eligibility for the Pell Grant may change from year to year, but once in BANNER, students remain until they’ve used their full eligibility. BANNER guarantees to meet a student’s full financial need during that time, no matter how the SAI or Pell Grant-eligibility changes. If you believe your family’s income will increase drastically, make an appointment to speak with a financial aid advisor.

What if a BANNER Scholar does not attend full-time?

We strongly encourage students to maintain full-time enrollment; however, BANNER will cover the student’s financial need so long as they enroll in at least 6 or more credits (half-time) each semester.

Students enrolled in less than 6 credits may be eligible to receive the Federal Pell Grant, but no other financial aid.

Because the program only guarantees funding for four (4) consecutive years for incoming first-year students, students can make the most of their financial aid by maintaining full-time enrollment.


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What grants/scholarships will a BANNER Scholar receive?

Students are offered both their full federal grant eligibility and UW-Madison meets the rest of their financial need through various institutional grants and scholarships. BANNER students are offered federal work-study to cover a portion of their expenses.

How do outside scholarships affect a BANNER Scholar's financial aid offer?

Because a student cannot receive more than their financial need, work-study and then other grants are decreased to make room for outside scholarships. Overall, the student doesn’t receive less funding, but cannot receive more than their financial need each academic year.  Students should inform us if they are receiving a scholarship as soon as possible.

What if my financial aid offer doesn’t cover my full costs to attend?

BANNER is committed to covering a student’s full financial need, which most times will help pay for tuition and fees, housing expenses, food, required course material, miscellaneous costs, travel, etc.  However, because it cannot cover a student’s Student Aid Index (SAI), students will need to budget accordingly.

While a BANNER Scholar...

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Do BANNER Scholars live in any particular University Housing?

Chadbourne Residence Hall offers a theme community option where BANNER Scholars live together, but you can choose to live anywhere that’s best for you!

If you choose to live in University Housing, you will need to complete your housing contract and submit a deposit by your specified deadline to secure your space.

Are the monthly workshops required?

Although they are not mandatory, the goal of the monthly workshops is to support students beyond providing financial aid.

These workshops provide students the opportunity to connect with other BANNER students over a meal while learning about different campus and community resources. Some of the workshop topics include information on funding study abroad experiences, funding graduate school, stress management and resume building.

See our event listings on this page for upcoming workshops.

What academic standards must a BANNER Scholar maintain to continue receiving financial aid?

All students receiving financial aid, including through BANNER must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

Your academic record is reviewed at the end of each academic year (late May/early June).

Will a BANNER Scholar receive financial aid if they decide to enroll for summer?

Yes, summer financial aid is available to BANNER students that have completed at least one semester at UW-Madison and are enrolled in at least three credits, which will be paid for through grant funds. Work-study and loans may also be offered to you. You can use the loans to cover additional expenses, however, the loans may not be enough to cover your costs for the entire summer.

There is no application needed for summer financial aid if you’re taking the classes at UW-Madison.

Another option for summer school is to take classes on another campus (such as Madison College or another UW system school). If you’d like to do this, please be sure to consult your academic advisor. You will also need to complete and submit additional paperwork called a consortium agreement.

You will not get as much financial aid over the summer as you do during the academic year – plan accordingly.

Can a BANNER Scholar study abroad?

Yes, BANNER students are provided funding to study abroad. We encourage students to plan early and find programs that match the cost of attending UW-Madison to avoid taking on large amounts of student loan debt to cover excess costs (  Students should also make sure to apply for study abroad-specific scholarships ( which can reduce or replace any offered loans

Can a BANNER Scholar participate in a co-op?

As co-op students tend to only enroll in one-credit during the semester they participate, the only financial aid a co-op student may be eligible to receive is the Federal Pell Grant. And if needed, co-op students will be automatically granted an additional semester of financial aid eligibility to complete their degree.

What are Success Services?

BANNER Scholars have priority access to the Office of Student Financial Aid’s Success Services. Success Services include success coaching, peer mentorship, a workshop series, and basic needs support. Learn more about accessing each resource here:

Using Your Federal Work-Study

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What is work-study?

Work-study is federally funded financial aid in the form of part-time employment. Students can work on-campus or with approved off-campus non-profit or small business employers to earn money for additional educational expenses. See the Work-study FAQ on our website for more information.

How do students receive payment from participating in work-study?

The money earned through work-study is not disbursed to students directly nor is it applied towards tuition or housing; to receive this money, students must earn it through working in a work-study position. Students will be paid a portion of their work-study award every two weeks through a paycheck, based on their hourly wage and the number of hours worked. Students can decide how to spend the money earned with each paycheck depending on their needs at the time. The minimum wage on campus is $10.00/hour.

Are BANNER Scholars required to work?

We strongly encourage it. Working while in school can be a great way to not only help pay for living expenses, but also to be involved within the UW and local Madison community, meet new friends, discover new passions, learn about oneself, and gain valuable professional skills.

What types of jobs are available?

Work-study can be earned through any student help part-time position offered by UW-Madison departments. In addition, work-study can also be earned through a position at some local non-profit organizations and small businesses within the state of Wisconsin.  Most UW-Madison employers strongly prefer to hire students who have work-study and many community based partners will only hire students with work-study .

How do students find a job?

Visit the UW Student Jobs website to find hundreds of job opportunities available and it continues to be updated every day! Work-Study can be earned from any student help position offered at UW-Madison. You may also earn your Work-Study at some local non-profit organizations and small businesses within the state of Wisconsin. To find more information about these categories, visit the Federal Work-Study page on the Student Jobs website.

When should students start looking for a job?

The earlier the better! While UW-Madison jobs are posted throughout the year, the vast majority are posted throughout August and filled prior to the beginning of the Fall semester. It is recommended to check the Student Jobs website daily leading up to the beginning of school so that students can find the best opportunity for them.  Job openings with both UW and non-UW employers continue to be posted daily on the Student Jobs website throughout the year.

What if the job is not work-study eligible; is that ok?

Yes, although we do strongly encourage working either on-campus, at local community non-profits, or small businesses that are work-study eligible. If the student chooses a non-work-study employer, the student would not earn any funds awarded from their work-study, but it would remain in the award to represent the BANNER work expectation.

Can students study on the job?

The name work-study can be misleading. Work-study jobs are no different from any other job in which students are expected to work in exchange for wages. Work-study jobs are real jobs that play an integral role in an organizations daily functions.