Skip Navigation


What We Do

The Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) is the official organization of Wisconsin’s 22 private, nonprofit colleges and universities. WAICU is dedicated to expanding educational opportunity for students and is nationally recognized for its innovative programming to control college costs and for its partnerships with employers to provide skilled graduates.


WAICU advocates for public policies that support student opportunity.

WAICU advocates for public policy that support students in higher education throughout Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Grants, formerly Wisconsin Tuition Grant (WTG), are WAICU’s number one public policy priority. WAICU’s focus on student aid reinforces the priority we give to the individual student and to social justice. WAICU’s grassroots Wisconsin Grants campaign is an essential tool for WAICU’s advocacy, with WAICU Students’ Day being the centerpiece of that effort.


WAICU advances the affordability and accessibility of private, nonprofit colleges and universities in Wisconsin.

WAICU educates the public on the value of the private nonprofit sector with student access programming that is “of, by, and for” potential students and their counselors. WAICU’s student access programs are intentionally designed to introduce students, parents, and high school counselors to the private, nonprofit college sector in Wisconsin. WAICU student access activities begin with the fundamentals of quality, affordability, breadth, and opportunity.


The WAICU Collaboration Project is a comprehensive initiative by the presidents of Wisconsin’s private, nonprofit colleges and universities to perform administrative support (back-office) functions on a collaborative basis for all WAICU members. The objectives are to save money and improve the quality of goods and services to students, faculty, and staff at Wisconsin’s private, nonprofit colleges and universities while at the same time preserving independence. The WAICU Collaboration Project, in helping to control college costs, is in keeping with WAICU’s long-standing mission to expand educational opportunity.


There are over 40 affinity groups meeting under the WAICU umbrella. The groups provide advice to the presidents (the Board) and to WAICU staff on programs and policies, share best practices, vet new opportunities, and provide personal and professional support to peers.


WAICU seeks private philanthropic support for scholarships and internships for students and currently administers numerous scholarships that are funded through WAICU endowments or through gifts. WAICU relies on its members for efficient and informed scholarship implementation and selection processes within the eligibility criteria. See our Scholarships and Student Internships sections for more details.


WAICU works with career directors at our institutions to create and promote meaningful career, internship, and graduate school opportunities for students that meet their vocational and educational goals.


WAICU is the state coordinator for the federal Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System or IPEDS (for private, nonprofit colleges) and operates the WAICU Longitudinal Data System. WAICU assists our institutions in meeting federal and state reporting requirements for institutional data. We analyze data trends within higher education and use such research to advocate on behalf of private, nonprofit colleges and universities in Wisconsin.


WAICU has custody of the transcripts of students of (now closed) Cardinal Stritch University, Mount Senario College, and Holy Family College (formerly Silver Lake College). By state statute, WAICU is the official student records custodian for any WAICU member that ceases operations.