Applying for a Fee Grant

UW–Madison is excited that you are considering one or more of our academic programs for graduate school! The Graduate School offers a limited number of application fee grants to make sure that the application fee is not a barrier for students from our key recruiting initiatives. Fee grants are currently available to U.S. citizens, permanent resident applicants and students with DACA status who can document that they:

  1. participated in selected pipeline programs designed to prepare students for graduate studies,
  2. grew up in a low-income family and are completing or have completed their undergraduate education within the last two academic years, or
  3. were impacted by a recent natural disaster or other urgent, unexpected life event in the past year that has impacted their ability to pay for the application fee.

If any of the above criteria apply, please review and follow the instructions below. Applicants approved for fee grants will receive a coupon code to cover the application fee. If you have any questions about this process, please contact Each applicant may receive up to one (1) application fee grant from the Graduate School no matter how many eligibility categories they qualify for.

The Graduate School only provides fee grants for programs that use the Graduate School application. The Wisconsin School of Business, which uses a separate application, has its own criteria for fee grants. For more information on those grants, contact the admissions team for the program to which you are applying. Please visit the Business School’s contact page for email addresses and phone numbers.

Note: The Graduate School will verify your eligibility in any of the below criteria and may consult with your academic program(s) of interest before providing a coupon code. This code must be entered on the payment page prior to the submission of your graduate application, as no application fee refunds are possible. Therefore, we encourage you to start the coupon code request process as early as possible, and at least five (5) business days prior to your earliest application deadline.

1. Recognized pipeline programs:

Please complete the Fee Grant Verification Form, indicating which program(s) you have participated in to generate a form for your program director to sign confirming your participation. An image or PDF of the completed form should be returned to for review. Successful participants of the following programs are currently eligible under this category:

  • Big Ten Academic Alliance (formerly CIC) Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP)
  • Department of Education Pathways Program
  • NIH Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD)
  • Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT) at Phillips Academy Andover
  • NSF Louise Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP), including participation in WiscAMP
  • NIH Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC)
  • U.S. Department of Education Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program
  • National GEM Consortium
  • NIH Post-Baccalaureate Research and Education Program (PREP)
  • NIH Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE)
  • UW–Madison Summer Research Opportunity Program (SROP; note that participants since Summer 2017 will receive fee grant coupon codes directly from the Graduate School)

2. Instructions for domestic applicants who have grown up in a low-income family

You may be eligible for an application fee grant if you can document that you were low income prior to or during college and are completing or completed your undergraduate education in the past two academic years. Applicants can document this by completing a Student Financial Background and Status form. This form can be obtained through the graduate application or the Fee Grant Verification Form, and your information must be verified by the financial aid office of your undergraduate institution. Once submitted, the Graduate School will review the form and notify you within five (5) business days if you have been approved for a fee grant.

Note:  The UW–Madison Graduate School has heard that a number of financial aid offices will not sign forms verifying EFC (Expected Family Contribution).  If you are in that situation, please indicate that on the form and attach any documentation you have to support the low income category you selected (e.g., FAFSA print-off indicating EFC<$2,000)

3. Instructions for domestic applicants who have been impacted by a natural disaster or recent major unexpected life event

If you are an applicant who has been impacted by a natural disaster or a recent major unexpected life event in the past year, please follow the instructions on the Fee Grant Verification Form to provide additional information on how you have been impacted by this event.


Please click here to complete the Fee Grant Purchase Form for faculty and staff. Fill out the form at least one week prior to when you will need the application fee grant codes. Please email with any questions.