Academic Excellence Scholarship FAQ

What are the sources of information on the Academic Excellence Scholarship?

The Statute for the AES is 39.41; the rules are found in Chapter HEA 9 of the Wisconsin Administrative Code; and you may contact the Higher Educational Aids Board with specific questions.

How many scholarships are available for each school?

The number of scholarships available to each school is based on that school's enrollment. Schools with 80 through 499 students enrolled in grades 9-12 are allocated one scholarship, schools with 500 through 999 students in grades 9-12 are allocated two scholarships, and so on.

Enrollment Number of scholarships
1-79 Compete statewide for 10 scholarships
80-499 1
500-999 2
1000-1499 3
1500-1999 4
2000-2499 5
Over 2500 6

What is the value of the scholarship?

Recipients of the AES receive $2,250 towards tuition, with HEAB providing half and the post secondary institution providing the other half.

When does the high school submit the name of the scholarship winner?

HEAB sends nomination forms to high schools in January, to be completed and returned to HEAB by March 1.

In determining the scholarship winners, should the GPA be calculated in a weighted or unweighted system?

Either system is acceptable. Use whichever system is normally used in the high school.

May courses taken while the student was in junior high school count toward the high school GPA for purposes of awarding the scholarship?

If the courses appear on the high school transcript and if they are regarded in all respects as high school courses, they should be included in the calculation of the GPA for purposes of the AES.

What if a school does not normally use "all subjects" when calculating the GPA?

The school may contact HEAB and receive a waiver to calculate the GPA using only the academic subjects normally included in the GPA.

How are GPA ties resolved?

The high school should have a written policy stating the tie-breakers to be used, in the order in which they will be used. Typical tie breakers are ACT scores, or number of honors courses.

How does a student qualify to be an alternate for the scholarship?

If you have a weighted grading system, wherein an A may be worth more grade points in some courses than in others, then you may list as alternates for the AES the students with the next highest GPAs. If you have an unweighted grading system, because of new legislation you may list as alternate the students with the next highest GPAs, not lower than 3.8.

Should alternates be told of their status?

You are encouraged to inform alternates of their status as such and of their rank order. Also, you should feel free to give recipients and alternates information on how to contact HEAB if they have any questions.

What happens if a potential scholarship recipient graduates early?

Generally, if the student is a senior at the time the winner of the scholarship is determined, then it does not matter when the student graduates. The student will receive the scholarship for the fall semester after he or she graduates.

When must the scholarship award be used?

In some cases (especially when there are no alternates involved), use of the scholarship may be deferred. Deferment is possible when the student is ill, or receives other scholarships through sources which may be short term for the student (for example, ROTC, other scholarships from specific schools, or scholarships from the parents' employer.) Otherwise, the scholarship must be used in the same year in which the student graduates from high school, starting with the fall term.

Is it important for the AES nominees to return the WAES form?

It is ESSENTIAL that the nominee return the WAES form. If a recipient does not give HEAB the name of the Wisconsin college he or she will attend, via the WAES form which is sent to the student in the spring, then HEAB cannot complete the student's record to allow for release of the funds. Also, if the student is not using the funds at a participating institution, he or she MUST release the scholarship before an alternate may receive it. Delays in sending the information and in sending the release to HEAB mean delays in awarding an alternate.

Why must the AES nominee designate the school they plan to attend?

The name of the school the AES recipient is planning on attending is needed to make the program run more efficiently. It allows us to know which alternates may need to be contacted for further information about their plans.

Which colleges participate in the AES program?

Colleges in the University of Wisconsin system, including the two year campuses, colleges in the Independent College system, and colleges in the Wisconsin Technical College system all participate in the AES program. The AES CANNOT be used at schools located outside of the state of Wisconsin.