The Falcon Promise is a partnership between students and the University. The goal of the Falcon Promise is to increase student retention and success, especially for students having significant financial need, and to enhance the learning environment at UW-River Falls. The Falcon Promise is a differential tuition initiative that invests students funds in four initiatives of importance to students and to the success of UW-River Falls:
In support of increasing retention and graduation rates, extended staffing levels will allow UW-River Falls to coordinate additional peer and group tutoring for students enrolled in gateway courses (mathematics, English and lab-based science courses). Academic support beyond tutoring will include workshops on academic tools, essential study skills and strategies for admission into graduate and professional schools.
Higher education research has demonstrated that one of the most effective methods for improving undergraduate retention and graduation rates, particularly for those students from historically underrepresented populations, is a robust undergraduate research program. Strong undergraduate research opportunities exist in several academic departments at UW-River Falls. Campus-wide funding for undergraduate research student stipends, student project support, and faculty support are making these unique educational opportunities available to many more students across a range of academic Colleges and disciplines.
There is a critical need for more scholarship support for UW-River Falls students, especially since many come from families of modest means. The Falcon Scholars Challenge is motivating our alumni and friends to provide scholarship support to attract and retain students and, in many cases, will reduce students' need to pursue off-campus jobs.
Upon admission to UW-River Falls, selected Falcon Scholars are offered renewable, four-year scholarship support ($4,000 total, $1,000 per year). These scholarship funds come exclusively from charitable gifts from alumni and friends of UW-River Falls. Differential tuition funds are utilized to provide each Falcon Scholar with support to study abroad or participate in undergraduate research activities during their junior or senior years ($2,000).
Thus, $2,000 in differential tuition funds leverage $4,000 in alumni support for students. Financial support of these opportunities enhance students' educational experience, increase retention rates, and enhance opportunities for success after college. These scholarships are need-based scholarships (except in cases when donors insist that there not be a need-based component). There is also a minimum GPA and interview to receive and maintain Falcon Scholars support.
This initiative is a partnership between the students and university to enable UW-River Falls to upgrade classrooms and other academic learning spaces on a regular basis. The goal is view classrooms holistically (technology, audio-visual, tables, chairs, lighting, paint and carpeting) and provide spaces that are conducive to 21st century teaching and learning.
Student differential tuition funds are used exclusively for learning space technology, furniture (desks and tables) and “non-fixed” items (e.g. equipment in spaces such as teaching laboratories). The university matches the student commitment dollar for dollar and uses its funds for construction and renovation of these learning spaces. Projects that directly benefit undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity are given higher priority than those that do not.