Scholarships for Nontraditional Students


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Alma Baron Second Chance for Women scholarship

The Alma Baron Second Chance for Women Scholarship was established by Alma Baron in 2001 to support a female returning adult student who, like herself, went back to school to resume her education later in life.  Alma Baron returned to college at age 51 to earn a doctorate in adult education.  Following Alma’s death in 2006, friends and family continue to fund the scholarship in her memory.

Bernice D. Kuney scholarship

The Bernice D. Kuney Scholarship was established in 1989 by Edith Martindale to honor her mentor, Bernice Kuney. Ms. Kuney taught English for forty years at UW-Extension, serving adults returning to college for degree work or professional development.  This scholarship is available to both new and continuing students.

Crankstart Reentry scholarship

Crankstart is a program supported by husband and wife, Michael Moritz and Harriet Heyman. The Crankstart Reentry Scholarship assists nontraditional students who, after experiencing a cumulative gap in their education of five or more years, are completing a first baccalaureate degree.

Kindness Matters scholarship

The Sosa family, as supporters of the university, started the Kindness Matters Scholarship to give returning adult students with financial need and a strong academic history the opportunity to focus on completing their target degree. Beth and Brandon Sosa’s daughter, Aanya, chose the name Kindness Matters in light of their family belief that, above all, love and kindness are most important.

Osher Reentry scholarship

The Osher Reentry Scholarship is supported by the Bernard Osher Foundation, which seeks to recognize the commitment, efforts, and financial hardships of reentry working adults as they balance their family, work, and school responsibilities in order to achieve their educational goals. Osher Reentry Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to a limited number of undergraduate students who demonstrate the potential for academic success.  Scholarship awards are applied directly to student tuition.

PLATO scholarship

Historically PLATO Scholarships have supported the degree completion goals of single parents whose family commitments presented unique challenges to their academic progress.  Since 2013, PLATO has extended its support not only to single parents but also to other nontraditional students who are striving to complete UW–Madison degrees.

Stuart Daily Seeds of Learning fund

To support a returning adult graduate student, Karen Doerfer Daily established the Stuart Daily Seeds of Learning Fund in 2004 to honor the memory of Stuart G. Daily, a teacher of much, to many.  His most valuable asset was his knowledge, and he encouraged others in their quest for knowledge.

Single Parent scholarship

Single Parent Scholarships are available for newly admitted or currently enrolled UW–Madison undergraduate, graduate, or professional students who are single parents. These scholarships are supported by the following donors: The Professor Nancy W. Denney Memorial Scholarship Fund, the Evjue Foundation Inc. the charitable arm of the Capital Times, the AAUW-Monona/Madison Branch, The University League, Inc., The Joe Corry and Barbara Weston Corry Scholarship Fund, and other private donors.

Returning adult student and child with Bucky


Returning adult student with Bucky

To be eligible, applicants must be admitted in an undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree program at UW–Madison and have had a significant break in their education.* All applicants must demonstrate financial need and be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or eligible noncitizens as defined by FAFSA. All scholarships include a minimum enrollment requirement that varies by award.

*No break in education required to be eligible for the Single Parent Scholarship.


Application opens: November 16; Closes: February 10

To apply for these scholarships, please complete the following steps:

1) Access the scholarship application through Wisconsin Scholarship Hub (WiSH). Using the filter, select Division of Continuing Studies scholarships, then sign in to complete the application. Submit just one common scholarship application for all of the scholarships that you are interested in applying for.

2) Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Please review these tips to help you complete your scholarship application.