Advanced Opportunity Program (AOP)


The Office of Graduate Studies offers Advanced Opportunity Program (AOP) grants.

The grant provides financial assistance to help graduate students of color and non-minority, economically disadvantaged graduate students focus on their graduate studies and complete their degree programs in a timely fashion. Funding comes from the State of Wisconsin.

Funds help pay for expenses directly related to your graduate enrollment at UW Oshkosh; this includes tuition, books, and living expenses. The money does not have to be repaid.



  • The number of awards and the award amounts vary each year based on funding. Within any year, each recipient receives the same award amount per semester.
  • Recent award amounts are listed below. These amounts are INFORMATIONAL ONLY. Past awards do not determine future awards.
    • 2022-2023: $4060 per academic year ($2,030 per semester)
    • 2021-2022:   $4,250 per academic year ($2,125 per semester)
    • 2020-2021:   $4,470 per academic year ($2,235 per semester)
    • 2019-2020:   $4,920 per academic year ($2,460 per semester)
    • 2018-2019:    $5,064 per academic year ($2,532 per semester)
    • 2017-2018:    $5,116 per academic year ($2,558 per semester)
    • 2016-2017:    $4,507 per academic year ($2,253 per semester)
    • 2015-2016:    $3,189 per academic year ($1,594 per semester)
  • Academic year and single semester (fall or spring) awards are available
  • Awards are competitive and funding is limited; not all eligible applicants receive an award
  • Students who receive an award are not guaranteed to receive AOP awards in future years
    • You must complete a FAFSA by the deadline, meet all Eligibility Requirements, and compete for awards with all other applicants each year
  • Students who receive an award are not precluded from other funding programs
    • Contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss how the AOP award may affect your total awards package

Application Process and Deadlines

To apply for an award:

  • Submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) between October 1 and April 1
    • Only U.S. citizens or permanent residents are eligible to complete the FAFSA
    • When completing the FAFSA, select a UW Oshkosh graduate degree program as one of your schools

All students who successfully submit a FAFSA by the deadline and meet all the Eligibility Requirements are considered for an award.


  • Students who receive an award in the past must submit a FAFSA to be considered for an award the next year. Receiving an award one year does not guarantee you will receive an award in subsequent years.
  • Funding is limited; not all students who submit the FAFSA and meet all eligibility requirements will receive an award

Eligibility Requirements

Recipients must meet all these eligibility requirements to be considered for an award. Wisconsin residents get priority consideration over non-residents.

Requirements for All Applicants:

  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Admitted to UW Oshkosh graduate degree program (full-time or part-time) and pursuing their first advanced degree (first masters or first doctorate) at any institution
    • Students are ineligible if they are pursuing:  certificate or licensure only; additional doctorate or masters degree
    • Students are ineligible if they are: special students; non-degree seeking students; guest students
  • Applicant is in full academic standing
  • Enrolled in a minimum of 3 graduate degree credits over the next three semesters

Additional Requirements for Returning UW Oshkosh Students

  • In the previous academic year, completed at least five graduate credits with grades C or above
    • Transfer credits from other institutions are excluded
  • On track to earn the masters degree within the time to degree limit for their graduate program
  • Meets the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards for graduate students
  • No more than one Incomplete (“I”) grade on student’s UWO graduate transcript (includes all semesters)

Additional Requirements for Newly-Admitted UW Oshkosh Students

  • Overall undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or better at admission, OR cumulative UWO graduate GPA of 3.00 or better

Selecting Award Recipients

Priority is given to the following students who meet all eligibility requirements:

  1. Previous award recipients, with financial need
  2. Students of color, with financial need , who are Wisconsin residents. GPA is also considered.
  3. Non-minority students, with financial need, who are Wisconsin residents. GPA is also considered.
  4. Students in the previous two categories who are non-residents. GPA is also considered.

Award Payment Details

  • Recipients agree to use these funds only to meet expenses directly related to their graduate student enrollment at UW Oshkosh (tuition, books, supplies, etc.)
  • Recipients choose which semester(s) to receive the award
    • Students may choose Fall or Spring semesters
    • Students may contact to change the semesters they receive the award
    • Awards may not be carried over to the next academic year
    • New students cannot use the award for any semester before their program admission term. For example, students starting their program Fall term cannot use the award to take classes during the Summer term.
  • Academic year awards are disbursed in two payments, with one payment made each semester. Single semester awards are half the academic year award amount, and are disbursed in one payment.
  • Payments are applied directly toward the student’s financial account; no money is disbursed directly to the student.
  • Students must be registered for graduate degree credit(s) in each terms that an award is applied
  • Students must meet all Eligibility Requirements each semester they receive an award

Decision Timeline

May – June – July

  • Awards for the academic year are usually determined between May through July 
  • Only award recipients are contacted
  • You may email to find out if the grants have been awarded for the year
  • Award recipients receive an email with grant details. The grant offer is sent to a student’s UWO campus email address.
  • Awards must be accepted in writing/email response by the deadline, otherwise the grant is forfeited and awarded to others

Before Each Semester

  • At the beginning of each semester, we review to ensure you meet all eligibility requirements
  • We provide the Financial Aid Office with a list of eligible recipients and we contact ineligible recipients via UWO campus email
  • The Financial Aid Office reduces the tuition bill by the grant amount

After Each Semester

  • After grades are posted, we review each recipient and ensure they continue to meet all eligibility requirements
  • Grants are revoked from students who no longer meet the requirements
  • Money that becomes available is offered to the next set of qualified candidates; these offer emails are sent to students’ campus email addresses and must be accepted within the due dates outlined in the letter

UW Oshkosh Graduate Studies

800 Algoma Blvd.
Oshkosh, WI 54901-8621


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Dempsey Hall,  Room 345

Office hours Monday–Friday
7:45 a.m.–4:30 p.m

Phone: (920) 424-1223
Fax: (920) 424-0247

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