Almost 1,000 UW Madison students receive full ride through Bucky’s Pell Pathway

Many students dream of attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but some are not in a financial position to do it.
Published: Nov. 17, 2023 at 10:22 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -Many students dream of attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but some are not in a financial position to do it. The university offers a grant which will help cover tuition in full for up to four years.

Bucky’s Pell Pathway is designed to assist students from low-income Wisconsin households, paying for their education through a combination of scholarships. It is an extension of Bucky’s Tuition Promise.

“It was such a relief. I cried,” Freshman Mattie Place said. “Honestly, I did, it was a relief to me, my mom, my dad, everybody. It was amazing.”

Place was one of the many students who received the university’s newest grant.

“Growing up, my family struggled a lot,” Place said. “Neither of my parents had a college degree.”

Now, Mattie will be the first in her family to go to school and become a business lawyer.

“To be able to focus on my classes is going to definitely help me to stay focused and keep moving forward rather than ever feeling the pressure of maybe I should lay back on my classes or maybe I should take a gap year,” Place said.

Students who receive the Federal Pell Grant are eligible for Bucky’s Pell Pathway. They must submit their free application for federal student aid.

“In state cost of attendance is right around $27,000, about 11,000 of it is our tuition and fees,” Associate Director for Special Awards and Student Engagement Lo Klink said. “And then the other 11,000 would be something like room and board or room and food. And then the remaining costs would be those added costs for transportation, miscellaneous.”

Freshman Noah Buendia, studying environmental engineering, says the scholarship gives him the freedom to not worry about finances.

“Coming from a lower income family, it’s really nice knowing that you’re able to go to college for free because both my parents have tons of debt for college and that’s always been a struggle for them,” Buendia said.

He reminds his friends in high school they are capable of attending a Big Ten school.

“If you have a good GPA in high school and you really, truly worked hard, it doesn’t matter about what social class you come from,” Buendia said. “It’s all about what’s up here and you know how you can use that to benefit your community.”

The university says as enrollment increases, they want to increase access to education for Wisconsin students.

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