Financing Your Education

UW Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Financial Aid
With the high cost of a college, finding a way to finance your education can be confusing. Fortunately there are a variety of ways to help you with these expenses that are available on campus. Most of these are through the Office of Student Financial Aid, which assists students university-wide, but CALS also has aid options.

Cost of Attendance

The cost of attendance is defined as the total amount of your tuition, fees, room and board, books, and class supplies and any other costs incurred. There are a lot of variables that factor into your individual costs. To estimate what these costs could be there are many tools to help you.

University-wide Financial Aid

Financial aid is a combination of grants, loans, scholarships and work-study employment designed to help offset the total cost of attendance. The Office of Student Financial Aid’s mission is to help you find and apply for money available thru a variety of funds from the federal government, the State of Wisconsin, and the university.


Scholarships@UW-Madison is designed to help prospective, new and continuing students and their parents find undergraduate scholarship details within one site. The College of Agricultural and Life Sciences has their application form here, which is used to match you to any and all of our over 230 scholarships within CALS that you qualify for – no need to apply for every individual award listed. In addition, the CALS Academic Affairs Office receives notification of scholarships offered by various agencies and organizations that may be of interest to CALS students. To review these and to find scholarship assistance, visit the CALS scholarship FAQs.

Employment Options

Academically able students can carry a full course load of 12 to 18 credits and work part-time. Generally, after adjusting to college life, students can work 10-12 hours per week without undue strain. While the Office of Student Financial Aid administers the federally-funded Work-Study Program for students who qualify, there are also many other job opportunities available on campus.

Short-Term Loans

At times, unexpected emergencies come up and students are unable to cover these costs. In these emergency cases, a short-term loan might be an option for you. In addition to the Office of Student Financial Aid, CALS also offers these types of loans when all other private resources are unavailable.

Other Assistance

In addition to all of the aid available to our students, the Office of Student Financial Aid offers information on a wide variety of programs above and beyond what campus has to offer.