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STAR Scholarship Program

Group photo of the 2022-2023 cohort of STAR scholars in front of the UW-Madison College of Engineering

What it means to be a STAR Scholar

Receiving a STAR Scholarship honors your academic excellence and commitment to earning an engineering degree. Through this prestigious award, you’ll receive a renewable scholarship for up to eight semesters, with annual award amounts ranging from $1,000 to $13,500.

Importantly, you’ll be part of a community. You’ll connect with engineers like you. You’ll meet professors and staff who are invested in you and your success. And you’ll have access to a range of support services so that you can achieve your educational goals.

Student Ipek Kadioglu
“The Grainger STAR Scholarship encouraged me to always give it my utmost and strive through a variety of difficulties. At first, it was challenging to adjust to a new educational system but having the support of the STAR community kept me going each day. Using my BME degree, I aspire to be an inventive doctor who designs medical devices. With the guidance I have received, I believe I am one step closer to achieving my goals.”
Ipek Kadioglu
biomedical engineering undergraduate from Istanbul, Turkey

How to become a STAR Scholar

Two college of engineering undergraduate students in the Makerspace working on a project.

We’d love to consider you! But first, you’ll need to complete a UW-Madison admissions application. That’s it! We strongly encourage you to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), but we don’t require the FAFSA to consider you for a STAR Scholarship. What we do evaluate when we choose STAR Scholars is your academic merit, extracurricular activities and essay responses.

If you’re admitted to UW-Madison and we’ve selected you to receive a STAR Scholarship, we’ll let you know by early March (for early action applicants) or mid April (for regular decision applicants). Each academic year, approximately 50 incoming engineering students receive a STAR Scholarship.

How we support our STAR Scholars

Group photo of the 2022-2023 cohort of STAR scholars meeting with UW-Madison College of Engineering staff

Here in the College of Engineering, we believe in the power of community, and of working together. That’s the environment you’ll experience as a STAR Scholar. You’ll study in groups (sometimes we even throw in some food and fun) with STAR Scholars who live near you on campus, and you’ll be able to attend special STAR Study Nights at our engineering Undergraduate Learning Center (ULC). Throughout your engineering education, you’ll also have access to one-on-one tutoring appointments through the ULC’s Tutoring-By-Request program.

Through events, workshops, tours and more, we’ll help you grow in other ways, too. Want to explore undergrad research (and get paid to do it)? Visit one of our employer partners? Take a deep dive into everything you can make and do in our makerspace? Volunteer at a science outreach event? We’ve got those covered, plus lots more.

As engineering students, you’ll work with an advisor, but you’ll also have a dedicated STAR Scholar advisor (her name’s Carly Andrew). She can connect you to campus resources, chat about your transition to college, help you hone your professional (and personal) goals, and lots of other things, too.

The fine print (i.e., how to keep your STAR Scholarship)

When we choose you to become a STAR Scholar, we’re making an investment in you—and we want you to take that commitment seriously. STAR Scholarships are renewable for up to eight semesters of your undergraduate enrollment (College of Engineering scholarship awards, including STAR Scholar awards, are deferred to a future semester if you participate in our cooperative education program), but we expect that you:

Support a STAR scholar

Financial support from our alumni and friends is crucial to the success of our STAR Scholarship program!

Effective solutions to today’s challenges arise when we bring the brightest people to the table. Gifts to the STAR Scholarship fund help our college recruit the nation’s best students so that they can become tomorrow’s problem-solvers and difference-makers. Thanks to a commitment from The Grainger Foundation, there’s also matching support available—doubling the impact of those gifts. To make a gift, contact Kyle Buchmann, senior managing director of development.