Student Life

Making UW-Madison More Affordable

Alumni chapters step up need-based scholarship efforts.

As 2010 gets under way, Wisconsin Alumni Association chapters are expanding their efforts to award need-based aid, a priority in Chancellor Biddy Martin PhD’85’s Strategic Framework, which calls for the university to improve access for students in need.

“Need-based aid is an integral part of the campus’s vision to increase access to the UW for students of all backgrounds,” says Paula Bonner MS’78, WAA president and CEO. “We’re confident that our chapters will play an important role in advancing this strategic priority.” The chapter efforts dovetail with a larger push by the UW Foundation — the Great People Scholarship campaign — to increase gifts to support students who might not otherwise be able to afford UW-Madison.

Many chapters are working to incorporate a need-based component in their scholarship programs, and WAA tips and guidelines help them to identify eligible students in their communities.

Chapter leaders are encouraging all students to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, and are making efforts to talk with guidance counselors, be present at college fairs, and reach out to local community centers and civic organizations.

WAA chapters awarded $617,000 in scholarships to 357 students from Wisconsin and nineteen other states in 2009 as part of the Matching Dollar Scholarship program, through which the UW Foundation matches alumni donations dollar for dollar. WAA chapters have awarded more than $10 million since the program began in 1967.

Each year, WAA recognizes chapters that excel at supporting incoming students and local alumni as Bascom Chapters, a designation that entitles them to a $1,000 award for a local student via WAA’s Matching Dollar Scholarship account. Starting in 2011, the awards must include a need-based component.

If your local chapter has a Matching Dollar scholarship program and you’d like to donate, visit the UW Foundation.

If there is no local chapter in your area, you can learn more about need-based scholarships and make a contribution at

Published in the Spring 2010 issue


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