We understand that managing finances can be challenging, and we're here to support you. Below, you'll find some potential alternatives and strategies that may be helpful for reducing your costs or increasing your funding resources. If you'd like to explore your unique situation further or discuss these options in more detail, we invite you to schedule an appointment with a financial aid counselor. Your individual circumstances are important to us, and we're here to assist you.
- Budget carefully. Students may be able to reduce personal expenses and manage on less than the budgeted amount.
- Graduate as early as possible. Enrolling for as many credits per semester as reasonably possible helps students ensure they will graduate on time. Students need to complete an average of at least 15 credits per semester to graduate in four years.
- Attend Winterim or Summer session. Some students discover it is more economical to attend Winterim or Summer session if additional classes allow them to graduate earlier.
- Use the bus. By using the bus system, many students save on transportation costs. Students may ride the bus for free anywhere in the city by showing their UWEC ID card.
- Think twice before bringing a car on-campus. For most students, not bringing a car on campus is a significant money saver.
Increase Funding Resources
- Part-time Employment. Part-time jobs are available on campus and in the Eau Claire community. Many students successfully work part-time while attending school, although it is strongly recommended that students do not work more than 15-20 hours per week while they are in school. UW-Eau Claire offers Blugolds the opportunity to find jobs through the convenience of an online portal called Handshake. Handshake is a tool that makes it easy to find work-study jobs and part-time jobs on campus, or internships and full-time opportunities out in the real world with available listings all in one place.
- Summer Employment. Summer employment is an opportunity for many students to save for the next year’s educational expenses.
- Unsubsidized Loans. For some students, additional dollars are available through the unsubsidized loan program. Students can check with the Financial Aid office to determine the amount of additional loan for which they are eligible.
- Parent PLUS Loan. Parents of dependent students may borrow under the PLUS program (Parent Loan for Undergraduate Students). Instructions for applying for this loan are available here.
- Private/Alternative Loans. Are offered through private lenders in a student's name. More information is available here.
- SELF Loans.This loan is offered to Minnesota residents. For more information and the application, go to
- Review of Aid Eligibility. If students or their parents have experienced a significant change in their financial circumstances within the last year, they should explain those changes in writing by submitting an appeal.
- Budget Increase. If students have unusual expenses not included in the average budget, they are encouraged to explain their circumstances in writing or discuss their situation with a financial aid counselor.
- Scholarships. Search for scholarship opportunities outside of UW-Eau Claire through our Scholarship Resource Center.