Application Process

Application Steps

  1. Complete the UW System electronic application. To expedite the application process, UW Colleges Online recommends that you apply electronically. Be sure to select UW Colleges Online as the campus to which you apply. Keep in mind, there are 13 UW Colleges’ campuses throughout the state. UW Colleges Online is the only online campus for the Associate of Arts and Science degree.
    • Applications and all required materials must be submitted in a timely manner prior to the end of the registration period to allow sufficient time for processing.
  2. Submit the following items to the UW Colleges Office of Distance Education, 34 Schroeder Ct., Suite 200, Madison, WI 53711-2525, to complete your application:
    • A non refundable $44 application fee must accompany the application of prospective freshmen and transfer students from schools outside the UW Colleges. This fee can be paid by credit card after completing the online application or by mailing a check or money order to the Office of Distance Education.  For students requesting an application fee waiver contact the UW Colleges Online One Stop Center at 1-877-449-1877.
    • The American College Test (ACT) or Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) is required of all incoming University of Wisconsin freshmen. (ACT or SAT scores are not required for students over 21 years of age or special students.) The test will be used for academic advising, career planning, and placement test interpretation.
    • Have official high school or record of GED and all college transcripts sent. Official Transcripts — must bear school seal and be sent directly from the awarding institution or in a sealed envelope from the school.
  3. Financial aid is available to eligible students admitted to UW Colleges Online. The Student Financial Aid (SFA) site has information about applying for financial aid. Students considering applying for admission to UW Colleges Online are encouraged to complete the online application for financial aid, the FAFSA, as soon after January 1 as possible. Financial aid is distributed to students during the second week of classes each term. The UW Colleges school code is 003897.
  4. Credit Transfer: Use the Transfer Information System (TIS) program to learn how credits transfer from UW System campuses and/or Wisconsin Technical Colleges. NOTE: This is an unofficial report. An official credit evaluation will be completed upon receipt of all application materials.

Keep in Mind

When UW Colleges Online receives and reviews your completed application, you will receive notification of your admission status by email from your academic advisor. 

Once admitted, you may be required to take online placement tests in math and English. This step will depend upon your past experience in these two disciplines. Your academic advisor will notify you if this is necessary.

Your academic advisor will work with you to develop a schedule each semester, as well as a study plan to complete your degree.

High school students are encouraged to apply early in their senior year. Early applicants have an advantage in obtaining academic counseling, financial aid and their preferred schedule of courses.

Please see the Types of Students page for application procedures that apply specifically to returning adult students, re-entry students, transfer students, special students, high school students, auditors and international students.


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. 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 Assistant Dean of Student Affairs 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 Student Affairs Office.


Regulations determining residency status for University of Wisconsin admission and tuition are in the Wisconsin Statutes. Students are classified as a resident or non-resident when they are admitted to the University of Wisconsin System.

UW Colleges Online tuition is the same for Wisconsin residents and non-residents. For more information on our tuition rates, see our Tuition and Fees page. 


The University follows a rolling admissions deadline, which means that when a student's application file is complete, it is reviewed and a decision regarding admission is made by the Student Affairs Office.

To check on the status of an application, please contact the One Stop Center.