Bucky’s Tuition Promise PLUS

Bucky’s Tuition Promise PLUS is an expansion of our commitment to Wisconsin resident students.

The program is designed to assist Badgers from low-income households pay for college through a combination of grants, scholarships and work-study. It includes a commitment to meeting full financial need for incoming freshmen for four consecutive years and transfer students for two consecutive years.

About Bucky's Tuition Promise PLUS

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What is Bucky's Tuition Promise PLUS?

Bucky’s Tuition Promise PLUS is an expansion of our Bucky’s Tuition Promise guarantee. We guarantee grants, scholarships, and work study sufficient to meet full financial need for Pell Grant-eligible Wisconsin Residents that intend to enroll in an on-campus program.

Who is eligible?

New incoming Wisconsin resident students that intend to enroll in an on-campus program, whether freshmen or transfer, who are eligible to receive the Federal Pell Grant.

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 a FAFSA, the U.S. Department of Education determines an Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is a measure of a family’s ability to pay for college, taking into account several factors. It is that EFC that determines whether or not you receive the grant – check out more information on the Federal Pell Grant online.

What is financial need?

Financial need is defined as your Cost of Attendance (COA) at UW-Madison minus your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), the number your FAFSA calculates.

How long can a student participate?

These grants, scholarships, and work study are guaranteed for four (4) consecutive years or eight (8) consecutive semesters, not including summer, for freshman; and (2) consecutive years of four (4) consecutive semesters for transfers.

What if I am 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 admitted into the program, students remain until they’ve used their full eligibility. BTP+ guarantees to meet a student’s full financial need during that time, no matter how the EFC 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.

Receiving BTP+

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Do students need to apply for Bucky's Tuition Promise PLUS?

No. Eligible students are automatically notified of Bucky’s Tuition Promise PLUS 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.

Is the FAFSA required?

Yes! All students eligible for Bucky’s Tuition Promise PLUS 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 a student is not attending school full-time?

We strongly encourage students to maintain full-time enrollment; however, Bucky’s Tuition Promise PLUS will cover the student’s financial need so long as they enroll in at least 6 or more credits 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 freshmen and two (2) years for new transfer students, students can make the most of their financial aid by maintaining full-time enrollment.

What grants/scholarships will a Bucky's Tuition Promise PLUS student receive?

Students are offered both their full federal and state grant eligibility and UW-Madison meets the rest of their financial need through various institutional grants, scholarships and work-study.

How do outside scholarships affect a Bucky's Tuition Promise PLUS student’s financial aid offer?

Because a student cannot receive more than their financial need, 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.

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  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 to the right for upcoming workshops.

What academic standards must a Bucky's Tuition Promise PLUS student maintain to continue receiving financial aid?

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

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

Can a student receive Bucky's Tuition Promise PLUS while participating 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.

Upcoming Financial Aid Workshops

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 BTP+ students 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 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 awards and many community based, non-profit organizations will only hire students with a work-study award.

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 position offered at UW-Madison. You may also earn your Work-Study award from a position at any community based, non-profit organization in the surrounding Madison area. 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 I take isn't 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 award, but it would remain in the award to represent the BTP+ work expectation.

Can BTP+ students receive other financial aid in place of work-study?

No. Whether the student chooses not to work or works in a non-work-study position, as a BTP+ Scholar, it is not possible to switch work-study for another grant, scholarship, or loan.

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.