The cost of living, childcare, healthcare, education and lack of access to social benefits are the main factors that limit the ability of Dane County residents to get ahead financially, according to people interviewed as part of the DreamUp Wisconsin initiative. The initiative, part of UW-Madison’s implementation of The Alliance for the American Dream, which is a community-university collaboration funded by Schmidt Futures, aims to promote shared prosperity and increase American competitiveness. For people living in poverty in Dane County, unaffordable housing, food, utilities, health insurance and taxes prevent individuals from overcoming financial troubles. It is also hard to find affordable childcare services that have flexible scheduling. Post-secondary education and training, often seen as solution to poverty, are too costly for many and remain out of reach.