What Else is Important? Frequently Asked Questions
As a student, you have your own individual needs, requirements for, and concerns about where you go to college. It’s important to learn all you can about an institution and its offerings.
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What does UW–Madison look for in an application and what can students do in middle/high school to get in?
UW–Madison’s application review process is holistic. Students who have continually challenged themselves in the curriculum available in their schools would be considered competitive applicants and may be a good fit for the university. That could include: taking honors, advanced placement (AP), and International Baccalaureate (IB) classes (especially in core areas of math, English, science, social studies, and foreign language) and receiving A/B grades in those classes; earning good test scores; and sustaining commitments outside the classroom (extracurricular activities, work, family responsibilities, leadership).
Who has priority to come to UW? Students from Wisconsin or from outside the state?
As a public, state flagship institution, we have a responsibility to in-state students that compels us to make 3,600 of our incoming student population Wisconsin state residents. The remaining seats in our incoming freshman class are made up of students from across the country and around the world.
What does "first-generation" mean?
“First-generation” is defined by the University of Wisconsin System as neither parent having graduated with a bachelor’s degree (i.e., four-year undergraduate degree from a higher education institution).
Are students required to live on campus?
Students are not required to live on campus at UW–Madison, but over 90 percent of our freshmen do. There are 21 residence halls on campus and a variety of off-campus housing options throughout the area.
Is it easy to get involved and meet new people?
We offer over 1,000 student organizations, along with Big 10 Badger sports, intramurals and sport clubs, arts and cultural opportunities (like concerts, comedians, and movie nights), and tons of other opportunities to meet new people and try new things!
Do I apply for scholarships/financial aid before or after completing the college application?
The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is available each year on October 1 for the following academic year (e.g., apply October 1, 2020, for the 2021–2022 school year). Students may apply online at fafsa.gov before or after they submit an application for admission. Note that the family income information (i.e., federal income tax) is used from the prior tax year.
Can international or undocumented students apply for financial aid?
Students who are undocumented or international cannot submit a FAFSA but may be eligible for partial tuition scholarships. For questions or more information, contact 608-262-3060 or email email@example.com.
Is a high school counselor a good resource for questions about financial aid?
Yes, and so are we. We are open for financial aid questions, even for students who do not necessarily plan to attend UW–Madison. Students and families may follow us on Twitter at @UWMad_FinAid or visit our website at financialaid.wisc.edu to learn about events and drop-in hours and locations for students and families seeking additional information.
What is Bucky’s Tuition Promise?
Bucky’s Tuition Promise guarantees scholarships and grants to pay for tuition and segregated fees for Wisconsin state resident students whose household adjusted gross income (AGI) is $60,000 or less. Freshmen may receive this financial support for eight consecutive semesters, while transfer students may receive the support for four consecutive semesters.
What is Badger Promise?
Badger Promise guarantees a period of free tuition and segregated fees to Wisconsin resident, first-generation students who have successfully transferred from any of the two-year UW Colleges or from liberal arts associate degree programs at Madison College (Madison Area Technical College), Milwaukee Area Technical College, and other UW– Madison partner institutions.
What is the FASTrack program?
The FASTrack program is designed for first-year incoming Wisconsin state residents. The program meets the student’s full need for 4 years (i.e., need as determined by the results of the FAFSA) using scholarships, grants, and work-study. All incoming students who submit a FAFSA are automatically reviewed and there is no separate application for consideration. Students whose household receives public assistance (e.g., SNAP, free/reduced lunch) are automatically selected.
Am I eligible for Bucky’s Tuition Promise, Badger Promise, and/or FASTrack if I have DACA or am an undocumented student?
No. Each of these opportunities requires Wisconsin residency, determined by state statute, which is typically not provided to DACA or undocumented students. Each also requires a FAFSA, which cannot be completed by a DACA or undocumented student. However, there are a number of smaller scholarships available for which students may apply that do not require FAFSA eligibility.