Types of Students

Before you apply for admission, it’s best to determine which type of student you are. This will help you identify what you need to submit (additional documentation, fees etc.) to ensure a speedy admission process.

Definition: Students entering at 22 years of age or older.


Submit the following to the Admissions Office:

  • The University of Wisconsin System online application for admission.
  • The $50 application fee.
  • Official high school transcripts and a certified copy of your HSED/GED scores (if applicable) and official transcripts of any university or technical college coursework completed while in high school.


View additional information for Adult Students.

Definition: Auditors are those who want to take a course, but do not want any academic credit for taking it.


The UW Colleges encourages adults to audit courses, although Distance Education, including online courses, are not eligible for audit. All auditors must have approval of the instructor teaching the course. Approval is usually granted unless auditors increase the classroom space requirements or costs of instruction.


Wisconsin residents who are 60 years of age or older as of the first day of the semester may audit courses without charge if this will not result in additional laboratory or instructional costs. These students, if combining audit and regular credits, pay tuition for the regular credits only.


For specific information about auditing courses, students should consult the course schedule for the term in which they wish to enroll.


Audit fees


Audited courses are not counted in determining full-time attendance; however, audited courses are included in determining your fees. Non-degree students enrolling for courses on an audit-only basis generally pay a reduced fee. Wisconsin residents who are disabled and receiving federal old-age survivors and disability insurance benefits (OASDI) may audit courses without charge if this will not result in additional laboratory or instructional costs. Students combining audit credits and regular credits pay regular tuition and fees for all the credits, including those audited.


The fees for "audit only" are 30% of the regular credit rate for Wisconsin and Minnesota residents, and 50% of the non-resident rate for non-residents.


Students taking a combination of credit and audit courses will be charged the full per credit rate. (Audit fees shall be removed for all disabled Wisconsin residents who are receiving federal old age survivors and disability insurance benefits (OASDI) under 42 USC 401 to 433 except lab fees, etc.) Wisconsin residents who are 60 years of age or older as of the first day of the semester may audit courses without charge if this will not result in additional laboratory or instructional costs. These students, if combining audit and regular credits, pay tuition for the regular credits only.

Students will be required to participate in special programming if they have any of the following characteristics:

  • High school class rank in lowest quartile;
  • GED or HSED certificate;
  • High school academic course deficiencies; or
  • Transfer student entering on probation.


Special Programming

  • You will receive mandatory advising prior to registration.
  • At the discretion of your advisor and the UW Colleges, you may be required to:
    • Restrict your course load and course selection;
    • Attend regular meetings with an advisor throughout the semester or session; and/or
    • Enroll in appropriate basic skills courses and/or tutoring.
  • You will be required to meet with an advisor prior to each registration until you achieve a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 with 12 or more UW Colleges credits.
  • If your scores on the English or mathematics placement tests indicate that you must enroll in remedial course work, UW policy requires that you successfully complete the remedial course(s) before you earn a total of 30 credits. In addition, you may be required to limit the number of credits carried while you are enrolled in remedial courses.
  • If you do not wish to register under these conditions, you may appeal for an exception to the appropriate committee at your UW Colleges campus.

Definition: High school juniors or seniors who enter as special students or through the Youth Options Program.*


Submit the following to the Admissions Office:


*Youth Options Program participants: See your high school counselor for more information.

Definition: The admission requirements for students who are not residents of the United States vary from those outlined in the UW Colleges catalog for U.S. residents.


International applicants are admitted on the basis of their academic preparation, their ability to effectively understand and use the English language, and the determination by the international admissions office that their educational and career goals may be furthered by attendance at a UW Colleges campus.


Visit the UW Colleges International Students website for more information.

Definition: Freshmen are classified as students currently in high school and planning to attend a UW Colleges campus after graduation from high school or students who have graduated from high school but have not attended a college or university anywhere in the past.

To be admitted as a new freshman, a student must:


  1. Have graduated from a recognized high school, have a certificate of GED, or present other evidence of ability to begin university work.
  2. Have a minimum of 17 college preparatory credits. Thirteen of the 17 credits must be distributed as follows:
    • English: 4 credits
    • Social Science: 3 credits
    • Math: 3 credits (must include at least one credit of algebra and the equivalent of one credit of geometry)
    • Natural Science: 3 credits
    • The remaining four credits will be from the above areas, foreign languages, fine arts, computer science or other academic areas.
  3. For students under the age of 22, take the American College Test (ACT) or Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). The ACT or SAT scores must be received by your campus before you will be permitted to register for classes.


Students who fail to meet these requirements may appeal to the Regional Associate Dean For Student Affiars for an exemption. Particular consideration will be given to applicants on the basis of minority group status, physical or learning disability, U.S. Armed Forces veteran status, age group, incarceration, or economic or educational disadvantage. Applicants who have special needs should contact the Admissions Office.

Definition: Students previously enrolled at UW Colleges but not enrolled at a UW Colleges campus during the prior semester.

 Applicants who have a 2.0 or higher semester and cumulative GPA will be admitted in good standing.


Submit the following to the Admissions Office:

  • Complete a University of Wisconsin System online application (to update your file). The $50 application fee is not required if the student has previously attended UW Colleges as a degree seeking student. Students enrolled as special students or in a high school student program will need to paly the applicaiton fee.
  • Provide official transcripts from any college or university credits earned since attending UW Colleges. Your application will be considered complete once official transcripts outlining all prior college work have been received.


*Do not submit the $50 non-refundable application fee: this fee is not required if you previously attended a UW Colleges (freshman/sophomore) campus.


Contact the Solution Center to meet with an advisor to select and register for your classes.

Definition: Non-degree seeking students or those enrolled as "guest" students for eight credits or less.


Submit the following to the Admissions Office:

*Some campuses may require additional documentation for Special Students. Please contact Admissions Office to find out of they have additional requirements.


Special students are limited to earning eight credits. Exceptions must be approved by an advisor. 
Students who plan to earn more than eight credits at UW Colleges must apply as degree seeking students (see New Freshman or Transfer Students above). Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the Regional Associate Dean for Student Affairs.


Special students are not eligible for financial aid. Special students will not be assigned an academic advisor. Be aware that you are responsible for knowing any prerequisites for the course. If you attend another institution and intend to transfer the class(es), please verify the course(s) will be accepted by your program.


Special students who wish to become degree-seeking students must submit a University of Wisconsin System online application.

Definition: Students who have attended another university or technical college and are in good academic standing.


Submit the following to the Admissions Office:


Academic Standing

Students who wish to transfer to UW Colleges must be in good academic standing at their previous institution (at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average and at least a 2.0 cumulative grade point average in the most recent term). Students denied admission based on their previous academic record, who apply in a timely manner, may appeal their admission status to the campus Academic Actions Committee. Please contact the Solution Center for information on the academic appeals process.


Still have questions? Contact the Admissions Office.