Private Scholarships

Private scholarships are a form of gift aid that is awarded to students by external organizations like community nonprofits or local businesses. If you’re looking for private scholarships, or if you’ve received one, you’ve come to the right place.

I Have a Private Scholarship to Report

Where can I find private scholarships?

Students have the most success receiving private scholarships from organizations they already know. Start your search by finding out what scholarships may be offered by:

  • Your high school
  • Clubs or organizations where you are a member
  • Your employer or that of your parent(s)
  • Other local opportunities in your area (competitions, essay projects, etc.)

If you’re currently in high school, your guidance counseling team likely has some of the best information on great, local scholarships.

Once you’ve investigated local opportunities, you can expand your search to the web. Below are links to online search engines recommended to us by current students and alumni:

You can find more external scholarship sources here. We also publish a list of external scholarships we’ve heard of from organizations who reached out to us to solicit UWM applications.

You should never have to pay to search for or apply for scholarships.

Start your application early. Best of luck!

Frequently Asked Questions

Where else can I search for private scholarships?

We encourage you to review the following sites for even more scholarship opportunities! Remember, you should never pay for scholarship opportunities.

To where should I mail my scholarship check?

All checks should be mailed to:
UWM Office of Student Accounts
PO Box 500
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0500

NOTE: Be sure your donor includes your name and campus ID on the check in order to identify you as the recipient.

For what semester(s) will my private scholarship be applied to my account?

UWM will apply your scholarship payment as indicated by your scholarship donor: fall semester only, spring semester only, or fall/spring split. If your donor provides no guidance, UWM will typically apply it in its entirety to the semester during which it is received as long as it fits within that term’s cost of attendance.

You may contact us to request which semester(s) you would like your scholarship applied to.

Will my bill be reduced by the amount of my scholarship?

Once UWM has received your private scholarship funds, it will be applied to your financial aid package within three weeks. After this occurs, your billing statement and account activity will be updated accordingly.

Do I need to report my private scholarships to UWM?

If your private scholarship donor will send your check directly to UWM, you do not need to notify UWM.

If your private scholarship donor will send your check to you directly, yes, you must notify UWM using our private scholarship reporting form. Payments made directly to you are still considered financial aid according to federal law and must be reported to UWM.

My scholarship says it will be paid directly to UWM. How will I know when it arrives?

You can check your Financial Aid tab in PAWS. When UWM receives and processes your check, you will see it listed there. Once UWM receives your check, it may take 2-3 weeks for it to be posted to your PAWS account, particularly during busy times of the year like the start of a new semester.

If you don’t see your scholarship, contact your private scholarship organization to make sure they sent the check. If they have and it has been over three weeks since they sent it, please feel free to contact us.

My scholarship is going to be paid directly to me. Do I need to let UWM know?

Yes. Payments made directly to you are still considered financial aid according to federal law and must be reported to UWM. Please use our private scholarship reporting form to let us know about your scholarship.

Can scholarships impact my financial aid package?


Because free and need-based sources of financial aid cannot exceed a student’s financial need, if your current financial aid offer is already meeting your full financial need and another scholarship is reported – other financial aid will have to be reduced to make room for the additional funds. UWM will always notify you via email of any changes made to your financial aid.