There’s more support for incoming students now that Winona State University has revamped its recruitment scholarships. 

With the arrival of the Warrior Way scholarship initiative, an increase to transfer student scholarship amounts, and the creation of an entirely new faculty-led scholarship, Winona State is working to remove barriers and increase support for students. 

This year the WSU Faculty Association created a scholarship fund that will provide a renewable $1,000 award to support an incoming undergraduate student with preference given to students of color and/or first-generation students. The Faculty Promise Scholarship is designed to help an incoming student who may otherwise not have been able to afford to attend WSU. 


We would love for the Faculty Promise Scholarship to get large enough to support more and more students. I love the idea that someday there will be a whole bunch of students walking around campus knowing that the faculty are the ones who contributed to making sure that they are here.

Jennifer Chernega

Sociology Professor and the president of the WSU Faculty Association

The Faculty Association has contributed $15,000 of their money to the scholarship and with the aid of individual donors, many of whom are WSU faculty members and retirees, $20,000 has been raised towards their $30,000 goal. Once the goal is met, the scholarship will be endowed in perpetuity and the funds will go directly to supporting future Winona State students. 

“One of the reasons we chose the name Faculty Promise for the scholarship was about the promise faculty makes to students to support them,” Dr. Chernega said as she underlined the scholarship’s mission. “And to speak to the promise we see in our students and their ability to reach their educational goals here at WSU.”

The Faculty Promise Scholarship is just one part of an overall increase in recruitment scholarship opportunities. 

Incoming students will also feel the impact of an extra $100,000. These WSU Foundation dollars will help attract more students. The initiative, called the Warrior Way, doesn’t require students to apply for the additional funds, but rather are offered by the admissions team during recruitment and are largely based on a student’s financial need.

Another way students are being supported this year is by using other means besides ACT/SAT scores to determine scholarship eligibility. The University recognized the novel difficulties incoming students have faced with the pandemic and eliminated the barrier surrounding ACT/SAT scores in the application process. Now, academic scholarships will be awarded solely based on high school GPA. For incoming freshmen that have already been admitted to Winona before the elimination of the ACT/SAT requirement, their award amount will be based on either their test score or GPA, whichever is higher. 

Incoming transfer students will also see a bump in their scholarship amount. Winona State has doubled their one-time transfer scholarship, now offering $1,000 to incoming transfer students, rather than $500. 

If you are interested in donating to the Faculty Promise fund, visit the fundraising website. 


About Winona State University

Founded in 1858, Winona State University is a comprehensive, regional public university with over 7,600 students on campuses in Winona and Rochester. Around half of WSU students are first-generation, meaning neither parent has a four-year bachelor’s degree. The oldest member of the Minnesota State system, WSU offers more than 80 undergraduate, pre-professional, licensure, graduate and doctorate programs in five colleges: Business, Education, Liberal Arts, Nursing & Health Sciences, and Science & Engineering.

Winona State is ranked as the second public institution in Minnesota by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges,” has been named among the “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review for 17 years in a row, and has been featured as one of America’s 100 Best College Buys for quality and value for 24 consecutive years. The University generates $447.9 million in economic impact for the region per year. The University’s mission is to enhance the intellectual, social, cultural and economic vitality of the people and communities we serve: a community of learners improving our world. For more information, visit