School Dramatically Increases Admission Scholarships

Meet some of the students who received full-ride tuition scholarships

Bascom HallThe UW-Madison Sandra Rosenbaum School of Social Work trains some of the best social workers in the nation for the changing contexts of the world they will navigate. It’s critical that the most highly-qualified students who have a passion for social work have the ability to pursue the education they will need.

Although the school does not set tuition rates, it has made enormous gains in helping more students afford it thanks in large part to our alumni and supporters.

This year alone, the school awarded almost $500,000 in full-ride admission scholarships to 32 graduate students – funding that did not exist even four years ago. These scholarships, offered as part of an admissions package, greatly reduce the financial barriers that many students face in furthering their education, and allow students to make such decisions without the same degree of financial anxiety.

“There is no doubt that these gifts and opportunities are making social work education more accessible for students committed to a career pursuing social justice, especially for students from historically under-represented groups at the university and the school,” says Dr. Kristi Slack, Professor, Interim Director, and PhD Program Chair.

“These scholarships enable students to more easily manage the opportunity costs of attending graduate school, and reduce the educational debt that often accompanies the attainment of a graduate degree,” she says.

The full-tuition admission awards come from the generosity of donors and alumni who established the Harriet Rosenbaum Scholarship (full tuition, fees, and a stipend); the Martha N. Ozawa Scholarship (full tuition and fees); and the Helen I. Clarke Award (in-state tuition and fees). Students in both the full-time and part-time MSW programs may qualify.

Roberto Godinez

“Throughout my personal life, academic career, and employment, I have devoted myself to the empowerment of other members of my community, says MSW student Roberto Godinez. “This scholarship is aligned with those efforts.”

Supporting students financially is a priority for the school. In addition to these full-tuition admission scholarships, the school provided another 38 students with more limited, but important awards.

In total, the school awarded scholarships to 70 students worth $562,000. That’s a dollar amount increase of 1,013 percent since 2015-2016.

This does not include other critical support: The Title IV-E: Public Child Welfare Training Program provides approximately 30 students full-tuition and fees and a monthly stipend every year. PhD students are guaranteed funding for five academic years through teaching and research assistantships, and university fellowships such as the Advanced Opportunity Fellowship. A new program at the school will fully fund a select number of MSW students interested in pursuing a career in school social work.

Headshot of Jaquelle Williams
Jaquelle Williams

“[This scholarship] lifted my financial burden, allowing me to focus more on the most important aspect of school: learning,” says Jaquelle Williams.

At the undergraduate level, Bucky’s Tuition Promise and Badger Promise guarantee free tuition to Wisconsin residents making less than $60,000 and first-generation transfer students.

“Our hope and our goal is to continue this trend, with the help of alumni and others who support and care deeply about the school and the profession of social work,” says Slack.

The need for highly-trained, justice-oriented social workers who bring their unique backgrounds, perspectives, and energy increases every year. Our nationally-recognized faculty, instructors, and community partners continue to deliver some of the finest social work education in the nation. The commitment to financial support ensures that students can access the degrees they need regardless of financial constraints.