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WAIT LIST FAQs

WHAT DOES A WAIT LIST DECISION MEAN?

Students who receive a wait list decision are neither admitted nor denied.  

Students offered a spot on our wait list are compelling applicants, but we simply to do not have enough room in our incoming class. 

Once we pass the May 1 National College Decision Day and know which admitted students will be attending UW–Madison, we are able to understand how much space remains, if any, in the incoming class. We can then admit students from the wait list to fill any available seats.  

WHAT CAN/SHOULD I DO AFTER RECEIVING A WAIT LIST DECISION?

In order to be considered for admission, you must accept your spot on the wait list by April 15, or within five days of your admission decision, whichever is later.  

You can accept your offer in your MyUW Student Center by clicking Accept/Decline and following the prompts. 

Continue to work hard as you wrap up your senior year.  

The number of students we are able to admit from the wait list varies greatly from year to year, and we do not know how many students will be admitted, if any. Given the number of students typically offered admission from the wait list, we recommend that you focus on the colleges you were admitted to and decide which of those institutions you wish to attend, accept your admission offer there, and begin the next steps towards enrolling. 

Our staff is unable to answer any specifics about your wait list decision, nor are we able to provide additional insight on being admitted from the wait list, other than to recommend that you accept your wait list spot and make alternative plans. 

If you wish to update your file with any new information you would like considered, such as updated grades or express your continued interest, you may do so via the Wait List Update Form.

ACT/SAT scores are not required for admission or consideration from the wait list. However, if you would like your ACT/SAT score included in your application for review from the wait list, you can self-report your score(s) via the Wait List Update Form. Please note you will be required to provide official scores for verification if admitted.

Please do not send any additional documents unless specifically requested, as we are unable to accept them and they will not impact your decision. 

 

WHEN WILL I KNOW IF I’M ADMITTED?

Wait list decisions are made after May 1, and we anticipate communicating with students who accepted a spot on our wait list by July 31. 

 

HOW WILL I KNOW MY FINAL DECISION?

Students who accept a spot on the wait list will be emailed if they are admitted. All students who are not admitted will be notified when the wait list has closed.  

 

HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO IS ADMITTED FROM THE WAIT LIST?

 By accepting your spot, you are added to the unranked list.  

 This means that students on the wait list have not been ranked or put in order of who will be admitted should a seat become available in the incoming class.  

After the May 1 National College Decision Day, the Committee on Admissions will assess our incoming class and understand how many students we may be able to accept from the wait list and review those students for consideration.  

 

HOW MANY APPLICANTS ARE OFFERED ADMISSION FROM THE WAIT LIST?

The number of students admitted from the wait list varies greatly from year to year. Over the last three years, approximately one in four students on the wait list have been offered admission. 

 

CAN I CHANGE MY MAJOR ON THE WAIT LIST? WILL IT HELP MY CHANCES?

We are unable to accept major change requests; if admitted you will be able to work with your advisor to pursue a different major during your Student Orientation, Advising and Registration (SOAR) program this summer.

 

I RECEIVED A WAIT LIST OFFER AND AN OFFER TO ANOTHER PROGRAM. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

Select students who receive a wait list decision may also receive an offer to be part of the Connections Program (WI) or Road to Wisconsin (IL).  

These programs are designed to create transfer opportunities for students who may not be admitted as a first-year student due to space. 

Students offered these programs can choose to accept only their wait list offer, only the program offer, or both. If a student is admitted from the wait list, their program agreement will be cancelled. Accepting a program offer does not affect your chance of being admitted off the wait list.  

  • Connections Program: A select group of Wisconsin residents who are offered a spot on our wait list will be offered a spot in the Connections Program. Students who participate in the Connections Program are granted the opportunity to start at a partner college or university before finishing their bachelor’s degree at UW–Madison—all while holding the distinctive UW–Madison student status from the beginning.  
  • Road to Wisconsin:  Illinois residents who are offered a spot on our wait list will also be offered a spot in the Road to Wisconsin program. Students who participate in the program are granted the opportunity to start at a two-year institution for their first year and then transfer to UW–Madison.  

 

IF I’M ADMITTED FROM THE WAIT LIST, AM I STILL ELIGIBLE FOR FINANCIAL AID AND HOUSING?

Wait list admits are offered on-campus housing and are eligible for need-based financial aid, although some funds from campus-based scholarships may be limited. Students are strongly encouraged to submit their FAFSA to UW–Madison as soon as possible so they can receive an offer of financial aid quickly if offered admission from the wait list.