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Five returning University of Wisconsin Oshkosh students who checked a big item off their to-do list by submitting their 2023-24 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by Jan. 1 were each rewarded with a $1,000 scholarship.

Names were randomly selected from those eligible for Chancellor Andy Leavitt’s initiative to help students and their families meet the rising costs of education.

“We’re going above and beyond to support students and encourage them to complete the FAFSA. It is an important step and process for students and families to tap into financial aid and scholarships that will fuel their journeys through UWO,” Leavitt said. “We are here for them and want to ensure that they do not miss out on the opportunity to qualify for grants and other resources so critical to their progression, graduation and lifelong success stories. This scholarship is just one way we do that.”

Aggie Hanni, associate vice chancellor for enrollment management said the FAFSA scholarship drawing is one of a number of related efforts that allow UWO to “intentionally and proactively support retention and persistence of our students as financial concerns remain as barriers to both access and student success.”

Hannah Schierl

The scholarship winners are:

  • Monroe Corpus, junior social work major from Green Bay
  • Rebecca Kohl, senior social work major from Appleton
  • Aaliyah Murray, a senior nursing major from Menomonee Falls
  • Michael Pelegrin, junior from Appleton studying at the Fox Cities campus
  • Hannah Schierl, a graduate student from Appleton studying professional counseling

“I was extremely excited when I opened the email and read that I had been one of the luck individuals to be chosen for the scholarship. I am a full-time college student trying to pay my way through college and winning this has helped ease the anxiety about tuition,” Kohl said. “I believe education is so important, and it is sad to know that most people do not have the opportunity to attend college due to financial struggles.”

Murray was caught off guard at first when she received the email indicating she had won one of the scholarships.

“I honestly thought it was some sort of joke or mistake at first, and when I realized that it wasn’t, my day instantly got so much better,” she said.

After graduation, Murray will take the NCLEX examine in hopes of working as an RN in travel, surgical or emergency room nursing.

“Finding time to work as a full-time student to pay for school can be tricky and stressful, so receiving this scholarship will definitely help alleviate some of the stress and worry that comes along with that, and I’ll be able to focus my attention more on earning my degree,” she said.

Schierl, too, was surprised to learn she had won the scholarship.

“I’m extremely grateful to be selected,” she said. “It’ll help by decreasing the amount of tuition I need to pay out of pocket, along decreasing the amount of anxiety that I’ll have about payments,” she said.

She is looking forward to a career as a therapist after graduating with an emphasis in clinical mental health. “I’ll be pursuing my hours towards licensing and making a difference in the community,” she said.

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