MADISON, Wis.—The University of Wisconsin System announced today a series of changes to admissions policies that will make it easier for students to enroll this fall.

The changes include reducing the undergraduate application fee effective immediately, accepting unofficial high school transcripts for admission consideration, and holding students harmless for changes in admissions testing, grading formats, and other standard requirements.

“We know this is a challenging time for our high school seniors,” said UW System President Ray Cross. “We want to do everything we can to ensure that students who want to enroll in our universities this fall can enroll.”

Facing an extraordinary pandemic, the UW System has made the safety and health of its students a top priority while remaining committed to providing a quality education so students can continue their path toward graduation. Now the UW System will work tirelessly to afford every opportunity to every student in Wisconsin who was looking, or will be looking, for a university degree as a stepping stone to success.

The UW System also recognizes that, in this time of uncertainty, prospective students will have a lot of questions. The System is expanding efforts to ensure students have resources available to help guide them now and into the fall semester. Students seeking to learn more about the 13 universities that comprise the UW System and get up-to-date information on campus admissions practices can visit the UW HELP website. UW HELP will also be offering a variety of virtual services to students such as virtual one-on-one consultations and online office hours to help students complete their applications.

“We have always sought to provide students with the kind of support they want and need,” said Chris Navia, UW System associate vice president for student success. “Now more than ever we will be available to help.”

In response to recent educational disruptions, UW universities are also taking the following steps to provide even greater access for students:

  • An immediate reduction of the $50 per university undergraduate application fee to $25 for Summer 2020 and beyond (with the exception of UW-Madison).
  • Making application fee waivers available for students experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.  Students who need a fee waiver simply need to contact the UW university to which they are applying and request one.
  • Acceptance of unofficial transcripts for admission consideration and additional flexibilities in submitting other application materials.
  • Holding students harmless for circumstances out of their control such as the cancellation of ACT or SAT testing dates, or a high school or college moving to a pass-fail grading system.
  • Taking campus visit programs online and providing virtual tours.

Many UW universities are still accepting applications for the Summer and Fall 2020 terms.  Consistent with the long-standing UW System admissions policy, UW universities will continue to review each student’s application individually through a holistic and comprehensive review.

The University of Wisconsin System serves approximately 170,000 students. Awarding nearly 37,000 degrees annually, the UW System is Wisconsin’s talent pipeline, putting graduates in position to increase their earning power, contribute to their communities, and make Wisconsin a better place to live. More than 80 percent of in-state UW System graduates stay in Wisconsin five years after earning a degree. The UW System provides a 23:1 return on state investment. UW System institutions also contribute to the richness of Wisconsin’s culture and economy with groundbreaking research, new companies and patents, and boundless creative intellectual energy.

Media Contact

Mark Pitsch UW System (608) 265-3419