Funding and Financial Aid

Students in Department of Rehabilitation Psychology and Special Education (RPSE) programs can receive several different types of funding and financial aid. For the most update-to-date information on funding and financial aid, please contact ​Kayla Armstrong, graduate program manager, at armstrongalf@wisc.edu.

Funding

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Special Education Doctoral Students

Project Mixer: Preparing Special Education Leaders to use Mixed Methods Research to Effectively Support Young Children with High Intensity Needs and Their Families

This is a federally-funded opportunity to prepare researchers and leaders in the field of early childhood special education with a particular focus on preparing researchers who can conduct mixed methods research and use research to inform teacher education, practice, and policy for young children with disabilities. As a part of the program, students will be guaranteed four years of funding to fully cover tuition, and will also receive a stipend for living expenses and funds for research and conference travel.

  • Tuition remission and stipend for 4 years
  • Possible additional stipend for relocation or visit expenses
  • Professional development, conference attendance, and collaboration opportunities
  • Methods training seminars with faculty experts
  • Opportunities to supervise and mentor pre-service teachers

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident due to OSEP regulations
  • Must commit to a full-time program of study

To apply:

  • Note your interest in statement of purpose
  • Submit application by January 1, 2024 to begin in fall 2024

Interested applicants can contact Dr. Hailey Love at hailey.love@wisc.edu with questions.

Project Qual-LEADS: Qualitative Leaders in Equity, Access, and Disability in Schools

This is an Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) 325D funding opportunity between UW-Madison and University of Washington. This PhD training and support program will focus on qualitative and critical research methods to improve special education for culturally and linguistically diverse students.  The program includes:

  • Tuition remission and stipend for 4 years
  • Possible additional stipend for relocation or visit expenses
  • Professional development, conference attendance, and collaboration opportunities
  • Methods training seminars with faculty experts

Eligibility requirements:

  • Must be U.S. citizen or Permanent Resident due to OSEP regulations
  • Must commit to a full-time program of study

To apply:

  • Note your interest in statement of purpose
  • Submit application by January 1, 2024 to begin in fall 2024

Interested applicants can contact Dr. Carlyn Mueller (comueller@wisc.edu) or Dr. Hailey Love at hailey.love@wisc.edu with questions.

Teaching Assistant or Research Assistant Positions

Qualified applicants to the doctoral program are offered a guarantee of ​five years of funding as teaching assistants or research assistants. Funding may be available beyond the initial ​five-year commitment but is not guaranteed. Teaching assistant positions include work in assisting a professor with an undergraduate course or supervising practicum or student teaching courses. Research assistant positions include work on research grants supervised by special education faculty. The special education area also offers an application process for additional open GA positions in special education.

University Fellowship

One applicant to the doctoral program is selected as a nominee to the University Fellowship competition in the social sciences. Recipients of the fellowship receive tuition remission, a stipend, and health insurance.

Education Graduate Research Scholars (EdGRS)

One or two applicants to the doctoral program are selected to receive the Education Graduate Research Scholars (Ed-GRS) fellowship each year. Recipients of the fellowship receive two years of fellowship funding including tuition remission, a stipend, and health insurance. For more information, see Ed-GRS Fellowship.

Special Education Undergraduate and Master's Students

Department Scholarships

Applicants and current students in the undergraduate programs in special education and elementary education-special education dual certification and in the master’s with teacher certification program are invited to apply for department scholarships in January or February. Recipients are notified of awards in April or May.

Teacher Pledge

In order to provide children with the best possible education, the School of Education is dedicated to strengthening and diversifying Wisconsin’s teacher workforce. To accomplish this goal, we are pledging to pay the equivalent of in-state tuition and fees, testing and licensing costs for all teacher education students, including Special Education with Teacher Certification master’s students. In return, our students pledge to work at a Wisconsin pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade school for three years after graduation as a special educator. The Teacher Pledge is open to all participating teacher education students — and is the first program of its kind offered by a public university.  For more information, see the Teacher Pledge webpage or contact Carly Marco (cmarco@wisc.edu). *Note: International students are not eligible for the Pledge.

Special Education Teacher Residency Program (master’s students only)

Interested in becoming a special education teacher and supporting children to reach their full potential? Make a difference for children by joining the UW-Madison Special Education Teacher Residency Program (TRP). In 14 months, you will:

  • Graduate with a master’s in Special Education
  • Be eligible to apply for a Wisconsin Cross-Categorical Special Education license
  • Receive a generous living stipend of at least $46,500
  • Complete a full academic year teaching residency in Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS)
  • Be eligible for the Teacher Pledge, which covers the cost of tuition
  • Attend graduate coursework at convenient times
  • Receive ongoing induction support during a 3-year commitment to teach in MPS upon completion of the residency year

For more information, visit uwteacherresidency.org or reach out to Rebekka Olsen at rsolsen@wisc.edu.

Teach Grants

These grants are set up as a forgivable loan, and are administered through the Office of Financial Aid and the School of Education​. TEACH grants are open to eligible students pursuing special education teacher certification.

Clinical Rehabilitation ​Counseling Master's Students

Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) Scholarship

The scholarship provides $6,005 toward tuition and a stipend of $1,500 per semester for full-time students during the fall and spring semesters of their first year. Each year, applicants and current students in the clinical rehabilitation ​counseling are notified by the RPSE department of the scholarship application process.

The purpose of the RSA scholarship is to increase the supply of qualified professionals to work for state VR agencies (i.e., the Wisconsin Division of Vocational Rehabilitation or the comparable agencies in other states) or other agencies and programs that cooperate with state VR agencies in serving their clientele. The scholarship is structured as a forgivable loan and requires a commitment to work in VR or their contracting agencies after graduation for one year in exchange for each semester of scholarship received.

Teaching Assistants

A very limited number of teaching assistantships are available for master’s students. Students are encouraged to reach out to academic departments who they have knowledge or experience in to see if there are available assistantships.  Students are also notified by the department the summer term prior to beginning the program of any assistantships that may be available. Appointments with a semester percentage of one-third time or more provide tuition remission, a stipend, and benefits including health insurance.

Rehabilitation Counselor Education Doctoral Students

Project and Research Assistants

A variety of research and demonstration projects are conducted by individual professors, usually through some form of external funding. The projects frequently have budgeted research and/or project assistantship positions for which recipients are selected by the project director. Professors are notified of potential candidates for such positions from among those applying for admission. Salary is based on percentage of time committed, and appointments are usually for no less than one-third time. Appointments with a semester percentage of one-third time or more provide tuition remission, a stipend, and access to health insurance.

Teaching Assistants

A limited number of teaching assistantships are available for full-time PhD-level students. These appointments are made by the rehabilitation psychology area faculty. Typically, teaching assistants assist faculty with lecture, practicum or internship courses. Salary is based on percentage of time committed, and appointments are usually for no less than one-third time. Appointments with a semester percentage of one-third time or more provide tuition remission, a stipend, and access to health insurance.

University Fellowship

One applicant to the doctoral program is selected as a nominee to the University Fellowship competition in the social sciences. Recipients of the fellowship receive tuition remission, a stipend, and health insurance.

Education Graduate Research Scholars (EdGRS)

One or two applicants to the doctoral program are selected to receive the Education Graduate Research Scholars (Ed-GRS) fellowship each year. Recipients of the fellowship receive two years of fellowship funding including tuition remission, a stipend and health insurance. For more information, see Ed-GRS Fellowship.