UWM Launches Tuition Promise Program to Make College More Affordable

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The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) is launching a new program that will cover up to four years of tuition for eligible incoming students beginning in the 2024-2025 academic year.

The goal of the new Milwaukee Tuition Promise program is to boost the graduation rates of Wisconsin residents, with a particular focus on first-generation students and individuals from low to moderate-income households.

The initiative is modeled after the Wisconsin Tuition Promise, a program developed by the UW system to provide financial aid to underserved students in the fall 2023 and spring 2024 semesters. However, the state’s Republican-controlled legislature voted not to allocate funds to expand the Wisconsin Tuition Promise program beyond the initial cohort of students.

Through private funding from the UWM Foundation, the university’s new tuition program will continue to offer financial assistance to students from families earning under $62,000 annually or independent students earning less than $31,000 per year. Like the state program, it will cover tuition for both fall and spring semesters using “last dollar” funding. Students already enrolled in the Wisconsin Tuition Promise at UWM will not be affected by the new program.

To qualify for the Milwaukee Tuition Promise, students must attend full-time, be Wisconsin residents, and be first-time bachelor’s or associate degree-seekers, including first-time transfers. Students are also required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and meet other criteria.

“UWM remains committed to increasing access to higher education for students who might otherwise be unable to attend college. That’s why we’re investing in student access and success for another cohort of UWM students,” UWM Chancellor Mark Mone said in a statement. “This is one of the most powerful ways we make working toward a UWM degree a real possibility for families with lower incomes.”