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University of Wisconsin – Madison


Being a Badger means four years of world-class academics at one of the nation’s top-rated research universities; of cheering for Division I athletic teams that have produced recent Olympic medalists; of learning with and from not only your professors but also a student body of over 40,000; and of filling your extracurricular resume with leadership and community service opportunities. The University of Wisconsin – Madison is a true top tier public university, ranked in the top 50 by the U.S. News and World Report. It’s also among the top 5 universities for research spending and has been every year since 1972, and according to Forbes is among the top 10 schools for producing future Fortune 500 CEOs. Still, there’s more to UW-Madison than research and rankings. With its huge campus, diverse student body and unique academic offerings, UW-Madison is a place where students can find their niche and really run with it – whether in class or around campus.

Resource: 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest

University of Wisconsin – Madison Accreditation Details

The University of Wisconsin – Madison has been fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The university’s accredited status was last reviewed in 2009 and is good through 2019. The university also holds 20+ speciality accreditations for programs ranging for business and engineering to art and theater.

University of Wisconsin – Madison Application Requirements

When applying to the University of Wisconsin – Madison remember that admissions dates, deadlines and requirements can and do change. Check directly with UW-Madison’s admissions office or website before submitting your application, and reach out to an admissions officer if you have any questions or concerns about the application process. The following information can help you to get started on your journey toward becoming a Badger:

  • UW-Madison begins processing fall semester applications September 1 of the preceding academic year.
  • For freshmen applicants, the regular decision deadline is February 1. Transfer candidates have until March 1 to apply.
  • Candidates can apply using the UW System Application used by the public universities of the state of Wisconsin or the Common Application used by over 600 colleges and universities nationwide. The choice will depend upon the student’s preference and on the other colleges or universities they plan to apply to, if any. UW-Madison does not give preferential admissions consideration to one application form or the other.
  • For freshman applicants, the required admissions materials include official high school transcripts, SAT and/or ACT test scores, two essays and one letter of recommendation. Freshman applicants are also strongly encouraged to self-report their mid-year high school grades.
  • Prospective transfer students should submit official transcripts from each college attended, in addition to high school transcripts, two essays and a letter of recommendation. UW – Madison recommends, but does not require, that transfer applicants submit SAT/ACT scores.

Tuition and Financial Aid

As of the 2016-2017 academic year, the total cost of in-state tuition and fees for a full-time undergraduate student at UW-Madison is $10,488.48. For out-of-state students, that number rises to $32,738.16. (Through an agreement between the two states, students coming from Minnesota pay a discounted out-of-state tuition rate of $13,761.12.) Room and board costs for a student living on campus amount to about $10,450. All told, the total yearly cost of attendance at UW-Madison, including tuition, fees, room and board, travel, and other miscellaneous expenses is estimated at $25,294.48 for a Wisconsin resident, $28,867.12 for a Minnesota resident and $48,144.16 for all other non-resident students.

Through its financial aid office, UW-Madison provides over a third of its students a financial aid package in the form of some combination of scholarships, grants, work-study and federal loans to help offset the expenses of a Badger education. The average award amount of need-based scholarships and grants at UW-Madison is just under $10,000. The financial aid office encourages all applicants who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents to file a FAFSA as early as possible in order to receive the full amount of aid for which they are qualified. International students may be able to receive funding through the office of International Student Services.

All students who complete their application by the deadline are eligible for need-based or merit-based scholarship consideration at UW-Madison. Many of the available scholarships are awarded on the basis of the student’s academic major or department.

Student Experience

With an enrollment of over 40,000 and an academic offering of over 200 undergraduate majors, UW-Madison is the place to go to pursue some unique and hard-to-find majors. Here, students with a love for the ancient world can find the undergraduate academic preparation they’ll need to become archaeologists, ancient languages teachers, classics professors and scholars of the ancient world in UW-Madison’s Department of Anthropology, Department of Linguistics or Department of Classical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies. Anthropology majors have the opportunity to participate in excavations around the world, while Linguistics majors can learn to reconstruct the history and syntax of the ancient language of their choice through independent or interdisciplinary study. Classics majors study the lasting impact of the Greek, Roman and Near Eastern civilizations on our own, learning to view the distant past through the contemporary lenses of gender studies, translation studies and literary theory.

Regardless of what major a Badger chooses, he or she will find plenty of activities to stay busy with when taking a break from the books. Make no mistake, though, these activities need not be simple idle diversion, as UW-Madison offers a wide range of extracurricular opportunities that provide not only the opportunity to have fun and meet new friends but also to add significant and meaningful life experiences to the student’s resume. Leadership is an important aspect of the Badger campus experience, and students can earn a leadership certificate by participating in leadership development activities and workshops. Student organizations that have come up with a great initiative to make a campus-wide impact in their area of focus or interest can even apply for a Wisconsin Experience Grant to help make their ideas a reality.

Community service is another huge aspect of a student’s four years a Badger. In the 2014-2015 school year, Badger volunteers logged an impressive 37,000 hours of community service. A popular volunteer program has students “adopt a grandparent” at a neighboring senior home. Of course, for those times when students really do need to just let loose and have fun, activities like the Southeast Asian dance competition, or the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s 1,200-plus acres of greenways – including the Lakeshore Path and campus arboretum – are there to provide some real rejuvenation and relaxation in between homework and classes.