Original Issuance Date: December 1985
Last Revision Date: September 10, 2018
1. Policy Purpose
The intent of this policy is to provide financial assistance to statutorily designated minority undergraduate students to improve their opportunities for retention and graduation and reduce the burden of student debt. This policy is issued to promote these objectives.
2. Responsible UW System Officer
UW System Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs
This policy applies to statutorily designated (Black, Hispanic, Native American and Southeast Asians of Vietnamese, Cambodian or Laotian descent who entered the United States after December 31, 1975) minority undergraduate students.
The 1985-87 Biennial Budget provided $1.5 million GPR to begin in 1986-87 an undergraduate minority grant program. For promotional purposes, the program is entitled the Lawton Undergraduate Minority Retention Grant (LUMRG) Program. The legislative intent of the Lawton Undergraduate Minority Retention Grant Program is to provide financial assistance to statutorily designated (Black, Hispanic, Native American and Southeast Asians of Vietnamese, Cambodian or Laotian descent who entered the United States after December 31, 1975) minority undergraduate students to improve their opportunities for retention and graduation and lessen the burden of student debt.
To encourage the development of a successful method for retaining minority students, flexibility is provided within the System guidelines to permit institutions to experiment in tailoring their award criteria to fit their unique populations.
Lawton minority undergraduate retention scholarships comprise only a portion of available student financial aid and are authorized by s. 36.34, Wis. Stats. The UW System does not discriminate based on race. See Wis. Stat. s. 36.12, Wis. Stats.
6. Policy Statement
Guidelines for administering the program are:
- Responsibility for the program will be based on a joint partnership between the office of the minority coordinator and the financial aid office. The institution shall convene a committee for the development of institutional award criteria and related guidelines for the program, or so charge an existing group, with that partnership in mind.
- Responsibility for promotion of the program and initial contact by interested students should be through the minority coordinator’s office. The minority coordinator will certify to the financial aid office the students eligible to be considered for an award. The program will be administered through the financial aid office.
- Minority status will be self-disclosed, however, eligibility for the program will be established based on criteria administered through the minority coordinator’s office. (In addition to providing a means of certification of eligibility for consideration for the award, this provision may bring into the coordinator’s office students who had not previously been in contact with it.)
- For this grant to be significant, it should be used to assist in meeting the entire amount of calculated need; however, the institutions shall have some flexibility to tailor the program, within guidelines, to the needs of their particular population.
- The program will be need-based, need being calculated by the prevailing federal methodology, except that an institution may set aside up to 10 percent of its allocation to be awarded to students based on other need criteria developed by the institution. Financial aid officers are strongly encouraged to be sensitive to the special needs of minority students and to carefully examine the student’s available resources in developing a financial aid package. Other awarding criteria, such as GPA, summer session eligibility, or set-aside for late registration, are to be established by the institution.
- Eligibility for initial awards: Undergraduate statutorily designated minority students of at least sophomore standing, as defined by the institution, who enroll for at least twenty-four credits per academic year, and who are in good academic standing and making satisfactory academic progress are eligible. Institutions should attempt to have awards reasonably distributed among the three student classes.
- Eligibility for renewal awards: Undergraduate statutorily designated minority students who enroll in and complete at least twenty-four credits per academic year, and who are in good academic standing and making satisfactory academic progress are eligible. Institutions should establish procedures that move part-time enrolled grant recipients to full-time enrollment status as quickly as expedient. This should increase the student’s probability of graduation and assist the University System in meeting the goals for minority retention and graduation.
- Awards will be given to Wisconsin resident students. Non-degree seeking students and students working toward a second undergraduate degree are not eligible.
- Appeal procedures for special circumstances should be established.
- UMRG may not be used to replace any other grant for which the student is eligible. In the financial aid award process, an award sequence such as: Pell, WHEG/TIP, IG/BIA, SEOG, institutional/other, UMRG, will be followed. Whenever possible and feasible, UMRG will replace student and/or parent loan. The inclusion of campus-based work aid in an award package should be carefully considered.
- For full time students the maximum grant per year is $4,000, for up to four years (preferably consecutive). In no case may a student’s UW System cumulative award exceed $16,000.
- Funding will be allocated to the institutions based on their proportion of the three-year rolling average headcount enrollment of Black, Hispanic, Native American, and designated Southeast Asian resident sophomores, juniors and seniors enrolled for twelve credits or more in the UW System. For allocation purposes, class standing is defined as in the student Central Data Request (CDR).
- Data for legislatively-mandated reports for the Regents will be collected by special report the first year and from the financial aid CDR in future years.
- Institutions will report to the UW System Office of Academic Affairs by February 1 of each year the institutional award criteria and guidelines directing the granting of the coming year’s awards.
7. Related Documents
Section 36.34 (1), Wis. Stats., Ben R. Lawton Minority Undergraduate Grant Program
Section 36.12, Wis. Stats, Student Discrimination Prohibited
8. Policy History
Revision 2: September 10, 2018
Revision 1: March 1988
First approved: December 1985
9. Scheduled Review