'The increase in grant funding will help more Wisconsin adults return to school,' says UW-Madison academic advisor Jane Schimmel.

‘The increase in grant funding will help more Wisconsin adults return to school,’ says UW-Madison academic advisor Jane Schimmel.

Returning to college as an adult student just got a little easier. The University of Wisconsin-Madison Adult Career and Special Student Services office is boosting the number of grants it gives out to part-time returning adults as a result of a $40,000 donation. The grants are available for the summer 2016, fall 2016, and spring 2017 terms for those taking UW-Madison courses for credit. The application deadline for this summer is May 1.

“The increase in grant funding will help more Wisconsin adults return to school—for example, those who may have left without their undergraduate degree and have been in the workforce ever since,” says Jane Schimmel, an academic advisor for Adult Career and Special Student Services. “It will also help adults who want to take a class or two in order to fulfill prerequisites to pursue a graduate degree or capstone certificate to advance their careers.”

Dean Olsen is an example of a grant recipient who used the opportunity to change professions. He wanted to start a business in online mapping but needed to educate himself in the field.

“My skills were no longer a good match to my ambitions,” Olsen says.

Educational goals

The continuing education grants fund in-state tuition for returning adults who enroll at UW-Madison for less than half time. Typically, they help those who want to get started with one class.

Applicants must have a significant break (usually five years or more) in their education and a clear educational goal—for example, planning to earn a degree or certificate. They can enroll at UW-Madison as undergraduate, graduate, or Special students, and they must take courses for college credit. They must also demonstrate financial need.

“The grant is meant to make it easier to decide to return to school, particularly for working adults with little time to pursue a full load of courses right away,” Schimmel says.

The application for continuing education grants is available here. For more information, contact Adult Career and Special Student Services at 608-263-6960 or Jane Schimmel at jane.schimmel@wisc.edu.