Financing Your Education

We know that the cost of tuition is an important factor in your decision to return to school. There are resources available to help you determine how to finance your education. It will take time and effort, but we recommend you invest the time to explore all the options.

Emergency support fund

The Division of Continuing Studies provides emergency grant assistance for students in need. University Special Students and students enrolled in UW–Madison Online degree programs should contact Adult Career and Special Student Services ( or 608-263-6960) for support.

Can Special students receive financial aid?

Because University Special students are nondegree seeking, generally speaking they are not eligible for financial aid. Our visiting and prerequisite students are the exceptions to this standard.

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Capstone certificate students

Capstone certificate students are eligible for federal financial aid if the student meets the eligibility criteria outlined at:

Similar to graduate students, eligible Capstone certificate students can receive a Federal Direct unsubsidized loan each year.

Capstone certificate students interested in receiving financial aid should submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at More information on applying can be found through the Office of Student Financial Aid

Visiting Special students

If you are admitted as a visiting undergraduate student, you may be able to obtain financial aid through your home institution to cover your expenses while you are at UW-Madison. Check with your home institution’s financial aid office to explore this possibility as there will need to be a consortium agreement between your school and UW-Madison.

Prerequisite Special students

Students who are taking courses that are designated prerequisites for admission into a graduate or professional program may be eligible to receive aid for a single 12 month period.

If you feel you meet the above criteria, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid (608-262-3060; to discuss your situation and to obtain the necessary forms.

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