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Investing in Wisconsin's best and brightest

The Wisconsin Academic Excellence Scholarship (WAES) program, established in 1989 by the state Legislature, provides annual $2,250 scholarships to the top graduating students in Wisconsin's high schools who enroll at any UW System school, state technical college or participating independent college. The number of scholarships awarded at each high school is based on total student enrollment.

waes scholar

The WAES program requires the sponsoring institution to provide a portion of each scholarship. At UW-Eau Claire, the UW-Eau Claire Foundation recruits sponsors for each scholar. One can become a WAES sponsor with a $1,000 annual gift, which represents slightly less than half the scholarship cost.

UW-Eau Claire is an excellent choice for Wisconsin's finest students. It ranks second among UW System schools in the number of Wisconsin Academic Excellence Scholars enrolled. This program is an effective way to keep Wisconsin's best and brightest in the state, contributing to its healthy future.

How to become a WAES sponsor

Your annual gift of $1,000 establishes a Wisconsin Academic Excellence Scholarship in your name, attracts matching dollars from additional state resources and directly supports a scholar. You will be paired with a particular scholarship recipient, who will have the opportunity to send you a personal note of thanks.

You also may choose to establish an endowed WAES fund with a commitment of $25,000, which can be completed over a period of up to five years. An endowed WAES fund enables you to sponsor an outstanding student in perpetuity. You also will be recognized as a leading contributor to academic excellence at UW-Eau Claire.

Endowments are funds that exist in perpetuity. All contributions are invested and only the income is used each year. The Foundation's strategic investment and spending policies provide for a fixed payout each year. Any excess earned will protect against inflation, provide for a measure of growth and cover nominal investment management expenses.

More information about establishing an endowed fund is available online and by contacting the UW-Eau Claire Foundation.

Why support a WAES scholarship?

1. Your gift will ensure an excellent university education for one of Wisconsin's finest high school graduates. You will help the state retain its best and brightest, who will contribute to its future.

2. Your gift will be matched by state funds, more than doubling the value of your investment.

3. Any excess funds raised through the WAES scholarship program will be used to support other merit scholars at UW-Eau Claire.

4. Your gift is tax deductible.

5. Your commitment may be used to create either a named annual gift or a named endowed fund within the Foundation.

6. All contributions and pledges to the WAES program made through 2007 also will be recognized as gifts to the Fulfilling the Promise of Excellence campaign. The campaign is an unprecedented effort to secure at least $50 million in private support for UW-Eau Claire.

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“Realistically, if not for the WAES scholarship, my decision to play soccer here would have been a difficult one. It has allowed me to balance my academic
priorities with the time demands of representing UW-Eau Claire on the field without the stress of making monetary ends meet.”

- Andrea Hull
Business administration major