About Life Impact

The Life Impact Program was established through a collaborative effort between UW - Milwaukee and the Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation. Mrs. Bradley Pettit's foundation was created to initiate and sustain projects that promote the welfare of families and children, the elderly and disadvantaged people in Milwaukee. The Life Impact Program was established in 2005 through a generous donation from the Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation and has received additional funding from Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation. Great Lakes focuses on two funding priorities: programs that help adult learners and students in grades 6-12 prepare for academic success in college, and persistence programs that address barriers preventing college students from completing a degree, diploma, or certificate.

Program Goals
The Life Impact Program goals are threefold:

  • To help break the cycle of poverty among low-income students with children, by providing access to, ensuring retention at, and graduation from UWM.
  • To remove financial barriers and reduce education debt load for graduating low-income students with children, thus empowering them to achieve economic independence for themselves and their families; and
  • To help foster both dialogue and action among institutional and public policy leaders to improve the overall academic, economic and social success of low-income students with children.

Program Requirements
The Life Impact Program serves selected financially disadvantaged students with children at UWM. Financially disadvantaged is determined by several factors, but the primary consideration is their Pell Eligibility, as determined by their Free Application for Federal Student Aid application. The program allows for both male and female participants. The program also allows for either single, married or partnered participants. A 2.5 GPA or higher is preferred, but a student parent can enter into the program with a lower GPA if they demonstrate academic potential and a willingness to utilize supportive services. There is a strong preference for students who have never received a bachelor's degree before. Students in the program must intend to be full-time students, but the main goal is that the student complete 24 credits in an academic year. Students can apply to the program as a new freshman, transfer students or as a continuing UWM student.

To learn more about the eligibility requirements, deadline information and to view the application forms, click on the "How to Apply" link at the top of the page.

Who We Serve
The majority of our participants are non-traditional students over the age of 25. Most of the participants are the first in their family to go to college. Typically, over 50% of our participants identify as a minority and most are graduates from the Milwaukee Public School system and grew up in an urban community. Our participants come from all majors and can enter the program at any academic level.

Program Services and Benefits
Participants receive a variety of services and benefits while in the Life Impact Program, including:


  • Access to a Life Coach and Support Team that will assist participants with their academic, personal and professional needs
  • Emergency Funds for crisis situations that could interfere with academic goals
  • Probationary Support if a participant is not performing well academically
  • Professional Development and Leadership Opportunities
  • Post Graduation Support for up to six months after graduation

  • The Life Impact Program is a renewable scholarship. Participants that meet the program requirements, do well academically and are committed to their academic goals may continue the following academic year, pending available funds.
  • A laptop computer to keep after graduation
  • Participants generally experience decreased loan debt upon graduation
  • Access to office supplies and equipment
  • Campus liaisons for a variety of departments
  • Corporate and community support
  • Student-Parent social events
  • Workshops that focus on student - parent needs
  • Student Parent Support Groups

Because the Life Impact Program began in 2005 as a 6-year pilot program, it was necessary to have detailed feedback to document the specific successes and challenges of the program. Several methods of gathering qualitative and quantitative information about the program were used including program participant focus groups, on-line satisfaction surveys and exit interviews.

Meet the Team

Student Parent Resources

Student-Parent Stories

UWM Student-Parent Association

Office Hours:

Monday - Friday:
8:30 - 4:30

Contact Information:

Mellencamp 104
2442 East Kenwood Boulevard
Milwaukee, WI 53211
Phone: (414)229-6626
Fax: (414)229-5699

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