FAQs - UW HELP

FAQs

  • Why is the UW System temporarily suspending the standardized test score requirements (ACT & SAT)?

    The Universities of Wisconsin wanted to be flexible given many challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic such as lack of access to testing.

  • Who does this apply to?

    Freshmen and transfer students applying will not be required to submit test scores. This is for students applying now through Spring 2025 term. The last term that students would be able to opt out of submitting an ACT/SAT score would be spring 2025

  • How are admissions decisions made now without an ACT or SAT?

    UW System campuses have always engaged in a holistic review of applicants that considers various factors such as course rigor, GPA, class rank, essay, extracurricular activities, work experience, and community service. 

  • If I took the ACT or SAT, can I still submit my score?

    It is not required to submit an ACT or SAT score, but you can submit test scores if you feel it will benefit the strength of your application. If you have additional questions regarding submitting an ACT or SAT test score, please contact the Admissions Office. 

  • Are international students still required to submit language proficiency test scores?

    Yes, language proficiency test scores (TOEFL & IELTS) are still required for international students. 

  • How do I request an official transcript from a UW System institution?

    You will need to work directly with the college institution to request an official transcript.

  • When will I receive a decision?

    An admission decision will vary campus to campus. You can do your part to speed things along by providing all application materials in a timely fashion.

  • How do I know if the campus I applied to has everything it needs from me?

    After submitting your application for admission, you will be able to download your “Next Steps” PDF. This PDF provides more information about what to expect after submitting your application. You will also receive information from the campus(es) you applied to informing you of the website or portal you will use to check your application status. You can also contact the Admissions Office with questions about missing documents.

  • I only want to take one class. What do I need to do?

    You will need to apply to the campus as a special/non-degree student using the Universities of Wisconsin Application at apply.wisconsin.edu. Upon creating a new application, please answer NO to the question “Are you applying as a degree-seeking student?” Doing so will put you on the right track to apply as a special/non-degree student.

  • How do I know if the classes I have taken will transfer and what they will transfer as?

    You can see how most courses taken at the Universities of Wisconsin and some WTCS campuses will transfer to other UW universities or WTCS campuses using the Transferology tool. If you are transferring courses from other institutions, send your transcript to the admissions office of the campus you are transferring to, and the course or courses will be evaluated for credit. Note: Prior to taking the course, it is ideal to work with both institutions to understand how your credits will transfer.

    For information about transferring to the Universities of Wisconsin, please refer to the Transfer Wisconsin website

  • Do re-entry students need to send high school and/or college transcripts?

  • Do transfer applicants need to send official high school and/or college transcripts?

    Some UW universities may require official high school transcripts from transfer students. Check with the admissions office after submitting your application. Official transcripts will need to be sent from all college institutions previously attended.

  • What makes the transcript official and how do I send an official transcript?

    Most campuses offer an online transcript request tool. Transcripts sent this way are official. If a paper copy of the transcript is mailed from a college or university, the transcript needs to include the college seal and arrive at the receiving institution in a sealed envelope.

  • I am an international student – how high do I have to score on the TOEFL or IELTS?

    Most UW universities will require the results of a foreign language proficiency exam for international applicants. You can learn about TOEFL and IELTS score requirements at the International Admissions Requirements page.

  • Do I need to provide letters of recommendation?

    UW-Madison requires one letter of recommendation written by someone who can attest to your academic ability, such as a teacher, school counselor, or faculty member. All other Universities of Wisconsin do not require letters of recommendation, but you are welcome to send letters of recommendation.

    For UW-Madison, please refer to their website for more information about how to submit a letter of recommendation.

    All other UW universities will accept a letter of recommendation sent to the Admissions Office

  • I haven’t taken any college courses. Why am I being asked for this information on my application?

    In the “Academic Background – Higher Education Check” section, make sure that you didn’t mark YES to the question, “Have you ever taken any college level courses?” If you truly did not take college courses in high school, please make sure to select NO to the question.

  • I am a high school student currently taking a college-level course. Do I put that class in my currently enrolled high school classes and/or in the college courses I am taking?

    If you are taking the course for both high school and college credit, the course needs to be entered both as a High School Course and as a College Course. AP and IB courses should be entered only on the High School Courses section and NOT the College Courses section.

  • Does the information I enter on the application automatically save?

    Yes, the Universities of Wisconsin Application automatically saves. However, when exiting the application, it’s always a good idea to click Save or Save and Return Later.

  • How do I apply to another campus?

    Log in to your Universities of Wisconsin Application account at apply.wisconsin.edu. Once logged in, click on Start Application and answer the initial questions. After the “Review My Choices,” you will be able to copy over information from your most recent application to this new application. Essays do not copy over. Please make sure to doublecheck each section to make sure everything copied over accurately.

  • How do I change my submitted application?

    Once you’ve submitted your application, you cannot go back into the application to be make changes. Changes to an application must be made via email to the Admissions Office. All changes should be thoroughly and accurately described and sent to the Admissions Office at the campus.

  • I noticed that the formatting of my essays didn’t stay as I intended. Should I worry about that?

    No need to worry about the formatting of your essays! This is normal behavior with the application, and there is no reason to be concerned if you are not able to format your essay (like including indentations or double-spacing). Campuses are aware of this behavior.

  • Why do I need to include information about my parents in my application?

    Questions about your parents are asked to determine eligibility for Wisconsin residency status for tuition purposes.

  • How do I cancel a submitted application?

    Once your application has been submitted, contact the Admissions Office> at the campus you applied to to request your application be canceled.

  • The email address in my account is no longer in use. What do I do?

    Log in to your Universities of Wisconsin Application account and update your email address in the Account Information. For additional assistance, please call 1-800-442-6459 or email UW HELP at uwhelp@uwsa.edu.

  • What is the application deadline?

    Application deadlines will vary by campus, program, and applicant type. We recommend contacting the Admissions Office for deadlines.

  • I forgot the username and/or password I use to log in to my account. How do I recover it?

    Please use your email to log into your Universities of Wisconsin Application account.

    To reset your password, upon sign-in, click on “Forgot My Password”. Enter in your email. An email will then be sent to you with steps for how to reset your password. Please check your junk/spam inboxes as well for the email.

    If you are still having difficulties, contact UW HELP at 1-800-442-6459 or uwhelp@uwsa.edu.

  • Application Fees

    For freshman and transfer applicants:

    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.

  • Why are UW universities changing application fees?

    The Universities of Wisconsin review and update fees, including application fees, on an annual basis. Many factors influence whether a university charges a fee and how much that fee is.

  • Who will be impacted by this change in application fees?

    Freshman and Transfer applicants living in the U.S. or abroad will be impacted by this change. Re-Entry, Non-Degree Seeking and Graduate Students will not be impacted by this change.

  • When will the application fee changes go into effect?

    The change will go into effect on August 1, 2023 for Freshman and Transfer applicants applying to enroll in the Fall 2024 term.

  • How long will the change in application fees last?

    Application fees are reviewed annually and are subject to change.

  • Does this change in application fees impact the Common Application?

    No. The change in application fee structure only impacts the Universities of Wisconsin Application for Admission.

    NOTE: All UW universities including branch campuses are included on the Universities of Wisconsin Application for Admission. However, not all UW universities are on the Common App. Students interested in applying for admission to UW universities that are listed on the Common App have the option to apply using either the Universities of Wisconsin Application for Admission or the Common App.

  • What do I do if I am concerned about paying application fees?

    The Universities of Wisconsin don’t want financial concerns to keep students from applying. For domestic applicants, if you are concerned about paying application fees, please note your financial hardship on the personal information section of the application. If you have further questions about this or if you don’t feel you meet the financial hardship eligibility guidelines, please reach out to the UW HELP team at1-800-442-6459 or email UW HELP at uwhelp@uwsa.edu.

  • How do I decide how many UWs to apply to?

    It’s about finding the right “fit.” Consider what characteristics, services or experiences you want a college to have to be happy, healthy, and successful and to feel safe and supported on campus. Students should consider their academic and career interests (major/programs), location, size of the student body, housing options, cost and financial aid, student services, and opportunities to get involved outside of the classroom (e.g., athletics, clubs and organizations, research and study abroad).

    We encourage students to narrow down their list of options and consider their top three universities:
    • My “Sweet Spot”: I can totally see myself here. It’s a perfect fit!
    • A “Stretch”: It might be a challenge to get into, but it would be amazing if I did!
    • A “Safe Bet”: A UW that has everything I need and can launch me to my next step.

    Check out the UW Journey app to find a best fit at a UW university today!

  • Where can I see how my students’ credits will transfer?

    For information about transferring to a Universities of Wisconsin university, please find more information atTransfer Wisconsin.

    Students can also use the Transferology tool to find out how credits may transfer.

  • How do I show my students the electronic application without submitting an application to a campus?

    Visit the Practice Application site and create an account to get started. This Practice Application is for practice/demonstration purposes only. Applications submitted on this website will not be received by any campus for admission review.

  • What counts for Project Lead the Way and what does not?

    Information about Project Lead the Way can be found at the Additional Credit Opportunities section of our site.

  • Where can students register for the Wisconsin Regional Placement Exam?

    Learn about registering for the Wisconsin Regional Placement Exam.

  • How do I get added to the UW HELP mailing list?

    You can sign up for the UW HELP mailing list by filling out the UW HELP Mailing Sign-Up form.

  • Where can I obtain a paper application?

    You can download a paper application on the Universities of Wisconsin Application website at apply.wisconsin.edu.

  • When are the UW Fall workshops happening?

    Check out our Universities of Wisconsin Fall Workshop page to find the most up-to-date information on the workshops. 

  • What and where is College Goal Wisconsin this year?

    Check out the College Goal Wisconsin website for dates and locations. 

  • Where can I find the nonresident tuition for a particular UW campus?

    You can find non-resident tuition by viewing the Annual Tuition page.

  • Does Spanish 1 taken in middle school count toward meeting the foreign language admission requirement?

    Yes, if Spanish 2 is taken in high school, it is understood that Spanish 1 was taken in middle school. Please note, middle school credits do not count toward the total number of high school credits a student needs for admission.

  • When do I need to fill out the FASFA?

    The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) can be completed any time after October 1 for the following fall semester. Observe priority dates and deadlines found at Scholarships and Grants page.

  • In terms of aid, does it make a difference whether I’m a special or degree-seeking student?

    Typically, special/non-degree students are not eligible for financial aid. Degree-seeking students are eligible for financial aid.

  • Where can I find information about scholarship offerings at a particular UW?

    Each UW university offers a variety of scholarships. Find more information at the Scholarships and Grants page.

  • What is work-study? What are grants?

    Federal Work-Study provides the opportunity to get a part-time job for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. Grants are free money that doesn’t need to be paid back. Grants for college are typically need-based.

  • Where can I find the tuition for a particular UW System campus?

    You will find that information by using the UW HELP Build Your Budget tool.

  • How can I get a scholarship?

    Each UW university has a different process to apply for scholarships offered at the campus. Don’t forget to check for community scholarships and scholarships offered through your high school. Also, search the web for businesses and organizations that offer scholarships. 

    Each UW university offers a variety of scholarships. Find more information at the Scholarships and Grants page.

  • Where do I find the financial aid priority filing date for a specific UW campus?

    The financial aid priority filing date for each campus can be found at each UW Financial Aid Contacts page.

  • What if something happens that changes my family’s FAFSA information based on the most recent tax year, or my family has had unusual expenses in the last year?

    It is important to inform the Financial Aid office of the campus you are attending of any changes to the information submitted on your FAFSA so that your family’s current financial situation is known at the time your aid package is created.

  • Should I pay a scholarship search company to help me find money?

    No, students and families should never pay for a scholarship search. There are great search tools available online for free.

  • How long do I have to wait before I can expect to receive my Student Aid Report (SAR)?

    Typically, the SAR will arrive within 3 to 5 business days, if an email address has been provided.

  • Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year?

    Yes, the FAFSA needs to be completed each year. It is always available on October 1.

  • Do I have to wait until I am admitted to apply for financial aid?

    No, you can complete the FAFSA starting October 1 for entrance to your UW the following fall semester.

  • How can I tell whether my family is eligible for financial aid?

    Every student should complete the FAFSA. This is the only way to know what your financial aid package will be.

  • What classes do I have to take to get into college?

    The UW System Board of Regents requires students to complete minimum course requirements for admission to any UW university. All Universities of Wisconsin encourage students to prepare for college-level coursework by taking advantage of rigorous and challenging courses.

  • How good do my grades have to be to get into college?

    UW universities conduct a comprehensive review of each individual’s application.  Additional information about admission guidelines can be found in the Admissions Requirements page.

  • Do I have to take foreign language to get into college?

    UW-Madison requires a minimum of two years of a single world language for admission. Other Universities of Wisconsin do not require world language for admission.

  • How do AP/IB credits transfer to college?

    All Universities of Wisconsin award credit for scores of 3, 4, or 5 on AP exams and scores of 4, 5, 6, or 7 on higher level (HL) IB exams. See how your AP and IB courses will transfer at Universities of Wisconsin at the AP and IB page.

  • Is it possible to take college classes while in high school?

    Yes, there are many opportunities to earn college credit while in high school.  For more information visit the Additional Credit Opportunities section of the UW HELP site. 

  • How do I tour a campus?

    Registering for a campus tour is easy! Check out the Campus Tour section of the our site to learn more. 

  • Where can I learn more about the UW Colleges and UW-Extension restructuring?

    The Universities of Wisconsin website provides the latest updates.