MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A new program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison promises to cover tuition and fees for first-generation college students from Wisconsin who transfer from one of the university system's two-year colleges.
Almost 140 students qualified for the Badger Promise program this fall, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported .
The program is open to students who have transferred successfully from one of the university system's two-year campuses or from liberal arts associate degree programs at certain colleges.
UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank said she doesn't want students who have the ability, but don't have the money, to be prevented from attending university at the main campus. She said she hopes the program will encourage more students to start at a two-year college to save money before transferring to UW-Madison.
The program aims to encourage students to declare their intention to transfer to UW-Madison shortly after beginning their studies at a two-year college. Blank said this would allow university staff to advise students.
The program pays for tuition and fees that aren't completely covered by grants or merit scholarships students receive. Full-time enrollment for a year costs about $10,500.
Low-income students who are eligible for the Pell Grant can receive up to two years of funding, while other students will be eligible for one year. Students are awarded an average of $4,800, according to the university.
Funding for the program comes from the university, the state, the federal government and private sources.
The program doesn't cover costs for housing or books, which are approximately $15,000.
Blank said the program will positively impact the students, the university and the state's workforce.