Freshman - UW HELP

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The information in this section provides guidelines for new freshmen. Are you currently in high school and plan to attend a Universities of Wisconsin university? Graduated from high school but haven’t attended a college or university? If you said yes to either of those questions, you’re in the right place. We know you’re excited to get this whole college thing started. Let’s go!

Special Admissions Programs

Starting August 1, 2024, with the high school class of 2025, the Universities of Wisconsin will offer three paths for freshman admission:

  • Traditional freshman admission application process of submitting a Universities of Wisconsin Application for admission.
  • Direct Admit Wisconsin: Universities of Wisconsin to proactively offer admission to Wisconsin high school students participating in Direct Admit Wisconsin. Direct admission removes the traditional application process and instead uses data provided by the high school to admit students to universities.
  • The Wisconsin Guarantee: Wisconsin high school students in the top 5% to 10% of their graduating class may qualify for The Wisconsin Guarantee. A Universities of Wisconsin Application is required.

All three paths to admission require students to meet the minimum admission criteria. Neither Direct Admit Wisconsin nor The Wisconsin Guarantee provide guaranteed admission into a specific major, program, school, or college. Rather, they provide admission to Universities of Wisconsin universities.


Applying for freshman admission

It’s time to show us what makes you great and why you’ll flourish at the Universities of Wisconsin. The following is what you’ll need to successfully apply for admissions.

Let’s get you started

Step A • Check the Guidelines and Requirements for your UW

Each Universities of Wisconsin have unique admission guidelines. You can review the specific requirements and guidelines for each UW. Remember, if you’re applying to more than one campus, you’ll want to review the guidelines for each.

Step B • prepare your essay

New freshman applicants and transfer students are required to complete an essay as part of their Universities of Wisconsin Application. It’s your chance to tell your story and help your UWs get to know you — the real you — a little better. Please note that students applying to UW-Madison and UW-La Crosse will also need to complete an additional essay.

Step C • Gather up your materials

We created a handy checklist for new Freshman applicants and transfer students to help make sure you haver everything you need on hand when you fill out our Universities of Wisconsin Application.

Step D • apply!

Hopefully after all your hard work, this will be the easy part. Find out how to apply, plus get some tips and pointers to make your application a breeze.

Application Fee

The following UW universities charge an application fee for every application submitted: UW-Eau Claire ($25), UW La Crosse ($25), and UW-Madison ($70).

For the other UW universities, you may submit up to three applications for free to either the main campus or branch campus. After that, you will be charged $25 per application.

Note that UW-Stevens Point and UW-Whitewater allow you to apply to both their main campuses and branch campuses. Doing so will incur the same fee as applying to any single campus within that university.

For domestic applicants, if you are concerned about paying application fees, please note your financial hardship on the personal information section of the application to apply for an application fee waiver. 




After You Apply

After you apply, your UW will send you an email to help guide you through their next steps. Each campus will have different requirements, so be sure to keep up with their dates and requirements!

Find out what’s next!