Building stronger WI

We believe that all Wisconsin students who are academically qualified 
– regardless of their backgrounds –

deserve the opportunity to get a quality education.

The Wisconsin Tuition Grant, now known as Wisconsin Grants, was enacted in 1965 to help qualified Wisconsin citizens to succeed. Wisconsin Grants are the primary state-funded, need-based financial aid program for Wisconsin students attending institutions of higher education in Wisconsin. Wisconsin Grants funding has received bipartisan support.

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An investment in Wisconsin’s future

Our workforce depends on it.

Well-paying jobs with benefits increasingly require higher education. Of the 11.6 million jobs created after the last recession, 11.5 million went to workers with at least some college education.1 A higher attainment rate — the proportion of those aged 25-64 with an education beyond high school — is tied to greater labor force participation and increased earnings. The Lumina Foundation reports that Wisconsin’s attainment rate is just over 51 percent. Wisconsin has set an attainment goal of 60 percent by 2027. Of the 11.6 million jobs created after the last recession, 11.5 million went to workers with at least some college education.

Our economy depends on it.

According to the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, demographic trends show that “Wisconsin’s biggest long-term economic challenge is a shortage of workers.” By enabling students who would otherwise be unable to afford college, the Wisconsin Grant helps to address the workforce crisis.

The median annual wages of college graduates (ages 25-59) are $62,000 compared to $36,000 for high school graduates.

Because college graduates generally earn more, have greater financial resources, and are more likely to be employed, they make fewer demands for resources such as unemployment compensation and healthcare. They will contribute 80 percent more in taxes over their lifetimes than those without a college education.3

We depend on it.

We all depend on continued support of the Wisconsin Grant. By investing in the Wisconsin Grant, Wisconsin is investing not only in each individual student’s success, but also in the state’s workforce/economy and the quality of civic and cultural life for everyone who lives here.

Sources: [1] Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, “America’s Divided Recovery,” 2016 [2] Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, Five Rules of the College and Career Game, 2018 [3] College Board, Education Pays Report, 2013

Our Mission


The mission of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) is “Wisconsin’s private, nonprofit colleges and universities working together for educational opportunity.” The 23 WAICU-member colleges and universities operate without direct taxpayer support, but provide an invaluable public service to the state, educating more than 52,000 students a year. Many of Wisconsin’s best and brightest need financial aid to attend the college of their choice. Wisconsin Grants play an integral part in achieving our mission of helping qualified Wisconsin citizens to succeed.

Partners in building Wisconsin’s workforce

Wisconsin’s private, nonprofit colleges are preparing students for high-demand careers. They produce 23 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in the state, and:

  • 26% of the business grads
  • 27% of the engineering grads
  • 36% of the health professions grads
  • 46% of the four-year (BSN) nursing grads

Wisconsin’s private, nonprofit colleges produce 35 percent of all graduate degrees in the state, and:

  • 41% of pharmacists
  • 46% of education graduates
  • 45% of business graduates
  • 53% of physician assistants
  • 54% of medical doctors
  • 100% of dentists

Contact Your Legislators

Message to representatives

Show your support for student aid

It’s easy to get your voice heard. Simply click here to fill out the short form, and we’ll send the message to the legislators who represent your hometown. You can send a preset message or customize it with your own perspective.