Returning Adult and Nontraditional Student Scholarship Application Tips and Information

Application tips for students applying to Returning Adult and Nontraditional Student Scholarships

Applies to

UW-Madison admitted returning and nontraditional students in undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree programs with a significant break in their education.


Tips and information for students applying for returning and nontraditional scholarships.

Essay questions-
  • Essays should be as complete as possible and provide as many details as necessary to address the questions.  You may be asked to explain your financial need, academic success or potential, educational and career goals, commitment, and service to the wider community.  At the same time, please do not share with us anything you are not comfortable sharing.
  • Feel free to add information such as; challenges and opportunities you face as a nontraditional student; what receiving this scholarship would mean to you and/or your family; academic, vocational or life experiences; and any financial challenges you may encounter, either as a single parent, returning, or other nontraditional student.
  • Your application is confidential (EXCEPT your 100-word bio).  Your application is only reviewed by:
    • Adult Career and Special Student Services Scholarship Committee (which includes staff from ACSSS and the Office of the Registrar).
    • Scholarship donors (only if part of the review process).
    • UW employees who require access for processing or review.
Biographical statement-
  • These statements should be written in a third-person point-of-view.  See examples from the "Reception Program" booklet located on our webpage
    • Some ideas for things to write about:
      • What means the most to you.
      • Challenges you have faced as a returning or single parent student.
      • Educational or career goals.
      • Sources of inspiration.
  • List two references: one professional and one educational.  List name, relationship to you (i.e. professor, mentor, advisor, supervisor, coworker) and include their email and phone number.  Uploading a letter of reference will not be necessary.
Submitting your application-
  • You can save your application and come back to it to make changes, however, once you click submit you cannot go back to make changes.  Wait to submit until you have reviewed it and are completely satisfied with how you answered the questions and have uploaded all the necessary documents. The application opens in mid-November and closes approximately the first week in February.  Check out our webpage for specific dates:  
Questions?  Please contact us at 608-263-6960 or

UW–Madison Continuing Studies
Adult Career and Special Student Services
21 N Park Street, Suite 7101 | Madison, WI 53715 | 608-263-6960

Keywords:ACSSS DCS adult nondegree university special student continuing studies classes guest career nontraditional advising credit courses single parent scholarships nontraditional application   Doc ID:78353
Owner:Anne N.Group:Adult Career and Special Student Services
Created:2017-11-21 10:48 CSTUpdated:2021-12-08 15:34 CST
Sites:Adult Career and Special Student Services
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