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Financial Aid

Get the Financial Support You Need

Committing time and resources is a significant step in earning a master’s degree and teacher certification. However, we want to work with you so that cost is not a barrier to becoming a teacher. That’s why we offer you a variety of financial support options.  

UW-Madison Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA)has many resources to help students navigate their financial path. Their comprehensive website links users to resources, definitions, and financial planning. 

Within our teacher preparation programs, gift aid and a robust loan pardon program are available and competitive. Both options are open to candidates in the program and may be used together. Please explore the sections below to learn more. 

Aid Recipient Spotlight

“After hearing about the Teacher Pledge, I was eager to be involved. The Teacher Pledge is making it easier for me to pursue my goal of becoming a teacher by providing me with financial support in order to come back to school to obtain my teaching license.” 

Brooke Redemann, Special Education 

Gift Aid: School of Education Scholarships

Gift aidcomes from scholarships, fellowships, grants, and student awards. This money is considered a gift and is not required to be repaid. Selections are competitive and based on donor-provided criteria.  

The School of Education is fortunate to have numerous scholarship opportunities to offer our candidates due to the generosity of donors to the School of Education. These financial awards are selected based on a variety of attributes, including but not limited to academic merit, content area background, teaching interest, financial need, ethnicity, gender, alma mater, and teaching location. 

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Scholarships and Awards for Secondary Education Program Students

This year we will be able to award 50 scholarships, ranging from $2,000 to $15,000. Visit the Wisconsin Scholarship Hub (WiSH) to find a listing of scholarship opportunities.

Scholarship Application and Awarding Timeline

Secondary Education 

  • Feb 1: Scholarship Application open on WISH 
  • March 1: Scholarship applications due 
  • March 20:  Scholarship/award recipients notified 
  • May 1: Late scholarship applications due 
  • May 20:  Late scholarship/award recipients notified 
  • Sept. 1:  All scholarships, first stipend (50%) 
  • Jan. 20:  All scholarships, second stipend (50%)

Scholarship recipients celebrate their awards at our Fall Awards and Honors Banquet.

Loan Pardon Programs

A loan pardon means you are no longer expected to repay your loan if certain criteria are met. These programs are open to all qualifying candidates. The following two financial aid programs are open to candidates in the secondary education program: the Teacher Pledge and the Federal TEACH Grant. 

Our featured program is the Teacher Pledge. All students in the Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction (Secondary Education degree) are eligible for this amazing opportunity. 

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The Teacher Pledge

We are excited to introduce one of the first programs of its kind offered by a public university.  Secondary education teacher education candidates are eligible to receive the equivalent of in-state tuition and fees, testing, and licensing costs. In return, students pledge to work at a Wisconsin PK-12 school for three-to-four years after graduation.

To apply for the Teacher Pledge, first, complete a FAFSA application. This will connect you to the next step and not commit you to participate.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Learn more about the Teacher Pledge.

Federal Loan Forgiveness Programs

The federal government also offers programs to help aspiring teachers fund their preparation.

  • TEACH Grants: Federal TEACH (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education) Grants are available to all UW–Madison SED teacher education students. Applicants for TEACH grants must score above the 75th percentile on a nationally normed admissions test or have earned at least a 3.25 cumulative GPA. Students who become eligible for the program via GPA must earn a 3.25 GPA to maintain eligibility. This money is designated as a loan, which can be forgiven if the candidate verifies that they work in a “high-needs” school and/or subject for five years. (Candidates may be eligible for up to ~$5,000)

All TEACH Grant recipients must meet a service requirement after completing their teacher-preparation program. For more details, see the UW–Madison TEACH Grant Guidelines.

  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF): The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program forgives the remaining debt after 120 payments, if the candidate works full-time for a qualifying service business. See the FSA website for more details.
  • Federal Teacher Loan Forgiveness: Under the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program, if you teach full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in a low-income school or educational service agency and meet other qualifications, you may be eligible for forgiveness of up to $17,500 on your Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and your Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans. Please check the Loan Forgiveness page on the Federal Student Aid website to learn more about this and possible other loan forgiveness programs.