Scholars of Promise

Scholars of Promise Logo

The Madison College Scholars of Promise program helps income-eligible recent high school graduates realize their dream of attending college by removing financial barriers. We can help you pay your college tuition!


Madison College Scholars of Promise provides many benefits to students in the program. We will:

  • Pay your tuition and class fees (after federal and state financial aid have been applied), for up to 6 consecutive semesters, summer excluded.
  • Guide you through the admissions, financial aid and class enrollment processes.
  • Provide advising support throughout your Madison College career.
  • Offer opportunities for career guidance and readiness, financial literacy, academic support, transfer information, and more.

In order to take part in this program, you must meet these requirements:

  • Graduate from a high school (traditional or alternative) within the Madison College District.
  • Obtain an 80% attendance rate during your senior year.
  • Achieve a minimum cumulative high school GPA of 2.25.*
  • Submit ACT or Accuplacer placement test scored by May 1.
  • Apply for a program at Madison College by April 1 of your senior year. Check program application deadlines carefully as some programs may close prior to April 1.
  • Complete the Financial Aid Application (FAFSA) by April 1** of your senior year. This process must verify two things:
  1. You are eligible for federal and Wisconsin financial aid.
  2.  Your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is $5,486 or lower. (Your EFC is an index number that helps determine how much financial aid you may receive. It is not the amount you will have to pay for college, nor is it the amount of federal student aid you will receive).

The first students eligible for this program will graduate from high school in December of 2016 or later. They will enter Madison College in Fall 2017.

*You may submit an appeal if your GPA was lower than 2.25. 

**Due to technical issues on the FAFSA website, this deadline has been extended to May 1, 2017. 


Eligible students who commit to the program are expected to do the following:

  • Begin classes within nine months of high school graduation/completion.
  • Submit a written essay and participate in an in-person interview prior to your first semester.
  • Enroll in Learning-to-Learn camp or a College Success class in your first semester.
  • Maintain full-time enrollment status (12 credits or more) each semester.
  • Maintain continuous enrollment, not including summers.
  • Achieve a 2.0 (or higher) semester GPA each term.
  • Meet financial aid satisfactory academic progress standards.
  • Participate in a service learning project each semester (we'll help you with this).
  • Attend one workshop per semester; topics include financial literacy, career services, academic support and more.
  • Meet regularly with your designated advisor for ongoing guidance and support.
  • In your second year, agree to mentor an incoming Scholars of Promise student, meeting with them monthly to support and encourage their progress.

What programs of study can I apply for?

You must be admitted into a financial aid-eligible program to be considered for the Scholars of Promise program.

When will I know if I am admitted?

Fall applicants will be notified by the end of June or early July.

How much of a scholarship will I receive?

Amount of aid will vary. Aid will be calculated based on your total cost of tuition minus grant aid and scholarships. The intent of this program is that you will not pay tuition out of pocket.

Does the program pay for books and supplies?

Currently the program pays for tuition and fees only. Students may be eligible for the Work Smart program, which covers books and supplies. Learn more about the Worksmart Network.

Can Scholars of Promise students take out loans?

Yes. Loans can help cover educational costs beyond tuition and fees. Another resource to consider is Madison College Scholarships. Learn more about scholarships.

How much is my Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

Although you must complete the Financial Aid process to know for certain, the FAFSA4Caster can help you to estimate your EFC.

What if my EFC changes after I am admitted?

Once a student is admitted to the Scholars of Promise program, EFC changes will not affect their continued participation in the program.

What is a service learning project?

A community or campus-based project done to benefit others. Project ideas include: work with youth, elderly, homeless, food pantry, animals and the environment. One project per semester will be organized by Madison College for Scholars of Promise students to participate in with their cohort.

HOW TO begin

To indicate your interest in this program, please click the button below and follow the instructions. Contact the Scholars of Promise Program if you have questions. 

Get started

You can also view a step by step guide of this process. 

CLASS OF 2018 notes

In addition to creating your Madison College student account, you must complete and submit the following by April 1, 2018:

  1. Madison College Admissions application.
  2. Financial Aid Application (FAFSA).
  3. Written Essay which is to be submitted to the Scholars of Promise office.

ACT or Accuplacer test scores must be received by April 1, 2018.

CLASS OF 2019 Notes

If you are not yet a senior, you can indicate your interest in the Scholars of Promise program. This will allow us to work together on your transition from high school to Madison College through:

  • How-to-Apply sessions held at your high school.
  • Promise orientations held at your high school.
  • Family orientations hosted at Madison College.

It will also help to take the ACT as a junior. We will be in touch with you as you enter and move through your senior year.

If you have any question, please contact the Scholars of Promise office.