Microscholarships encourage first-year students

Every little bit helps.

That’s especially true when paying for college, and it’s one of the reasons the School of Education has introduced microscholarships for first-year students.

The other reason is to encourage the students to stay on top of tools and programs that can help them succeed is their critical first year, said Robert Longwell-Grice, recruitment and scholarship coordinator for the School of Education.

Ireland Hinze

“The microscholarships are small financial incentives students can earn by completing activities that we know help them be successful at UWM,” said Jeremy Page, assistant dean of student services for the school. The School of Education is the first school or college at UWM to offer microscholarships.

The scholarships, which were first offered during the Fall 2020 semester, can add up to $250 per semester to a student’s funding. Each semester students have up to four activities to complete to earn the funds, and the school tracks the activities, so students don’t have to. At the end of the semester, students receive an email indicating how much additional aid they’ve earned.

Eighty students earned microscholarships during the fall semester, and 80 have the opportunity to do so this spring.

Portrait of Zoe Anderson
Freshman Zoe Anderson earned a School of Education microscholarship last fall. (Photo courtesy of Zoe Anderson)

Students can earn microscholarships this spring by completing the IGNITE leadership program, filling out their FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), meeting with their academic advisor and signing up for at least 15 hours for the Fall 2021 semester.

“It helped me the most because it gave me an incentive to do things I knew I needed to do,” said Ireland Hinze, of Racine, who is studying teaching and learning, focusing on social studies. “It really helped me stay on track.”

Reminders from her advisors helped her keep on top of what she needed to do to earn the microscholarship, she added.  She earned the scholarship during the fall semester and is part of the program for the spring semester.

“It was super nice to get rewarded for simple little things that I felt I should already be doing,” said Zoe Anderson, who is from Arlington Heights, Illinois. She is also studying teaching and learning, focusing on social studies. Finding out about the availability of the microscholarship was a pleasant surprise for her and her parents, she added. “It was nice to have that to look forward to at the end of the semester.”

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