Record number of UW-Madison students receive free tuition through Bucky’s Tuition Promise

MADISON, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Madison announced Wednesday that its largest class ever of new Bucky’s Tuition Promise students are receiving free tuition this school year.

According to a news release, 923 students — 755 freshmen and 168 transfers — new to campus this fall are benefiting from Bucky’s Tuition Promise, which is now in its third year.

The release said the pledge covers four years of tuition and segregated fees for any incoming freshman who is a Wisconsin resident and whose family’s annual household gross income is $60,000 or less. Transfer students who are Wisconsin residents and whose families meet the same income criteria receive two years of tuition and segregated fees.

The initiative is funded through private gifts and other institutional resources. No tax dollars are used.

The university said this year’s class is 9% larger than last year’s of 848 students. More than 2,500 students on campus are currently receiving free tuition through the program.

In a statement, Chancellor Rebecca Blank said: “Bucky’s Tuition Promise is doing just what we’d hoped, giving thousands of Wisconsin high school students from low- to middle-income families access to the state’s flagship university without needing to worry about the cost of tuition. Given the financial strain imposed by COVID-19 on many households, this commitment to our Wisconsin families is even more important this year and will continue to be crucial in the years ahead.”

Students qualify for the program based on their family’s federal tax returns, and it’s awarded automatically to eligible Wisconsin residents who have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

Students receiving tuition this year come from 63 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, and more than half (54%) are first-generation college students.

For more information on Bucky’s Tuition Promise, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid’s website or call 608-262-3060.