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University of Wisconsin – Madison Undergraduate College Application Essays

These University of Wisconsin – Madison college application essays were written by students accepted at University of Wisconsin – Madison. All of our sample college essays include the question prompt and the year written. Please use these sample admission essays responsibly.

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College Application Essays accepted by University of Wisconsin – Madison

The Total Package Lawrence Schlossman

University of Wisconsin – Madison

I know University of Wisconsin- Madison is right for me. At a school like University of Wisconsin I can not only succeed and flourish as a student, but even help contribute. Wisconsin can also offer me everything that a serious yet excited student.

My First Flight Robin Bates

University of Wisconsin – Madison

“Northwest, this is La Crosse Tower. Hold-short runway three-one for Cessna on final.”

Knowing that I had personally delayed a plane full of commercial passengers on my sixteenth birthday was not what I had in mind for my first solo flight.

Hindsight is 20/20 Robin Bates

University of Wisconsin – Madison

“Hindsight is 20/20.” This common saying, while a comforting way to console someone who can not accept a past decision, is far from accurate. The problem with changing history – even just one little fact – is that the consequences of the.

Hidden Interests Anonymous

University of Wisconsin – Madison

The question was “1. Having a diverse and exciting community of students is an important component in determining a great university. How can I contribute to that population?”

As I sat at my desk pondering this question, I grabbed my 7-year-old.

The Chemical Reaction That Is Nicholas A. Harris Nicholas Andrew Harris

University of Wisconsin – Madison

In one hand you have a beaker filled with a diluted solution of hydrochloric acid, which is one of the strongest acids you can concoct. In the other, you have another beaker filled with one of the strongest bases, sodium hydroxide. If anyone would.

A Week of Discovery Anonymous

University of Wisconsin – Madison

While most of my friends were deciding how to spend their first Saturday of summer vacation, I was packing up my belongings for a week of hard work that seemed to have little reward. I was headed to Ripon College for the 66th annual Badger Boys.

Value of Diversity Anonymous

University of Wisconsin – Madison

There simply was no solution. With tears of frustration in my eyes I went through the options for the hundredth time. I had come face to face with one of life’s many brutal truths: no one can build a sand-castle by herself. About to give up in.

Perfect Fit Anonymous

University of Wisconsin – Madison

Growing up in a family of doctors, I have always been fascinated by the medical field. This fascination has prompted me to involve myself in many science related areas, from taking numerous science classes to participating in the many scientific.

Music Man Anonymous

University of Wisconsin – Madison

Music has been an especially important activity for me. Although I have chosen to be involved in a variety of activities, the one that has been most rewarding for me is performing in a band. In junior high school, I organized a band that has since.

Cultural Persistence Anonymous

University of Wisconsin – Madison

I was three years old when my parents chose to emigrate from China to Canada in order for my father to pursue his medical career. It was a difficult journey for my parents because of cultural and language differences and for me, as a small child.

How I Can Contribute to the University of Wisconsin Hyun Jung Ham

University of Wisconsin – Madison

“It is your turn to speak, Hyun Jung.” This was the moment that I had feared the most when I was first accepted to an international school. My English skills were terribly poor, which often led me to avoid difficult interactions like this one. In.

More Than A Number Arkajit Mandal

University of Wisconsin – Madison

GPA. SAT. ACT. AP. In our society these acronyms essentially define a student. I wish to go beyond these objective criteria in evaluating who I really am. Far too often, students focus merely on the grade; nonetheless, this grade is worth.

Getting Involved Arkajit Mandal

University of Wisconsin – Madison

The medical field has always fascinated me. This curiosity stemmed from my interest in watching medical dramas. One such drama which keenly appealed to me was the television show House. A typical episode consists of Dr. House solving a mysterious.

Another Ingredient Into the Melting Pot Tina T Zhu

University of Wisconsin – Madison

College brings together a melting pot of students and a buffet table of classes, internships, study abroad programs, and clubs. Yet students must give back to their schools, or else who’d be attending classes or playing in the orchestra?

I Am Me Anonymous

University of Wisconsin – Madison

I will never forget the look of the freshly fallen, pure-white snow that blanketed the streets just outside the car when my mother said, “I don’t even consider you my son anymore.” The white snow was suddenly blinding, glaring at me with its.

The Windy City Anonymous

University of Wisconsin – Madison

I come from a place where the Sears Tower dominates the glitter of the skyline, the glorious silver Bean lives, and the notorious winters leave us all to witness weather that would even have Demeter herself question the decision of her revenge.

Presidential Scholarship Essay Anonymous

University of Wisconsin – Madison

“Chance, if you pull my hair one more time you’re going to be in big trouble!” I threatened. The boy in front of me sat in his wheelchair, grinning wide with a devilish look on his face. “Chance, no one will want to be your friend if you hurt.

The Stigma of Mental Illness in Asian Cultures Anonymous

University of Wisconsin – Madison

Asian people do not discuss mental illness. While “Asian” is a broad term that cannot possibly encompass all the nationalities and ethnicities of the Asian continent, this is a solid fact in the most prominent cultures: China, Japan, Korea.

Tofu Anonymous

University of Wisconsin – Madison

The off-white, slimy cube looked back at me with a concentrated gaze that matched my own. I tentatively picked up my fork, poked its side, and watched it jiggle and sway under my fork’s careful teasing. “The time has come,” I thought to myself. “.

The DNA of Life Anonymous

University of Wisconsin – Madison

Vigorously shaking the two milliliter eppendorf tube, the bubbles sprawled out from the bottom, captivating the threads into a structure that engulfed me in a trance. Then the trance was broken. I looked at the scratch left on my hand when I.

Rising Importance Katelynn Samuelsen

University of Wisconsin – Madison

The first time I truly appreciated the sunset was when I was 11 years old. My family decided to take a day trip to Devil’s Lake State Park where we spent the day swimming, hiking and lazing in the sun. Towards the end of the day my mom and I snuck.

The Importance of Being Nice Isabel S. Hanes

University of Wisconsin – Madison

In my life I find myself practicing a certain sort of attitude that is subtle but impactful in its own way. While I do tend to look at life with positivity and a sense of adventure, I would be lying if I said I was always chipper—or even always.

Tenacious, Dauntless Chloe Christiaansen

University of Wisconsin – Madison

Here, on top of this duvet there exists a sun-soaked, silent universe. I pick up the object in my lap, lazily stretch out my legs and fill my world with the sound of its cracking spine. A gentle shhhhh, smoothing the page beneath my hand. The.

Common App Essay About Polar Bears Eleanor Smeallie

University of Wisconsin – Madison

I stood there, nose squished against the thick glass wall unmoved by my eager hands. After a “quick” hour and a half drive to the Baltimore Zoo, a secret trip my dad and I made more often than I would like to admit, I had finally reached the.

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Application essays and personal statements

Use the links below to learn about writing application essays and personal statements.

These pages will give you some general guidelines and an opportunity to start writing.

There is no substitute, however, for talking to people in the program to which you’re applying and to admissions committee members if possible.

The most effective essays develop from a good understanding of what is required for each particular program.

When possible, have others read your essay, especially people who have some familiarity with this type of essay.

Last updated: Monday, March 5, 2018

Admissions Admissions

Badgers transcend disciplines and think critically to solve today’s most pressing problems. UW–Madison’s well-rounded, world-class education prepares you not only for a better career, but also to be a better citizen. Wherever you are on your academic journey, a community of more than 400,000 Badgers around the world is waiting for you.

Be the next Badger to do something extraordinary.

Quick Facts

states are represented by UW students

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    Total student population

  • Undergraduate

    Your boundless future starts here. Join a community of students, faculty, staff, and alumni who all share one commitment: making a difference. Along the way, you’ll gain knowledge, experiences, and friendships that last a lifetime.

    UW–Madison’s graduate programs empower you to further your education in top-ranked schools and colleges and hone your career alongside acclaimed faculty.

    Professional Schools

    UW–Madison’s professional schools equip you with the in-depth education and real-world experiences you need to excel.

    Special/Non-degree Students

    Badgers never stop digging. We continue to ask questions, explore our curiosities, and seek truth. Explore UW–Madison’s myriad opportunities for lifelong learners.

    How to Write the University of Wisconsin-Madison Application Essays 2017-2018

    The University of Wisconsin–Madison (the official state university of Wisconsin) is a public university that was founded in 1848, directly following Wisconsin’s acquisition of statehood. Wisconsin is well known not only for its excellent academics, but also for its hugely successful NCAA athletic teams. The 936-acre campus is located right next to downtown Madison, which is consistently ranked as one of the best college towns in the country.

    With nearly 5,000 unique courses and over 200 distinct majors, it’s no wonder that the University of Wisconsin–Madison attracted 32,887 applicants to the Class of 2016. The 52.6% acceptance rate necessitates strong supplemental essays, and we at CollegeVine are here to help you break them down step by step!

    Students can apply online, using either the Common Application or the University of Wisconsin Application System. Both application options require two supplemental pieces of writing: a short prompt and a long prompt. Below, you’ll find the two prompts along with our take on the best way to tackle the essays, as well as some tips on what you should (and shouldn’t) include in your supplements.

    University of Wisconsin Application Essay Prompts

    Short Essay Prompt

    Briefly explain which activity you entered in the Common App Activities section is the most important to you. (50-100 words)

    This prompt shouldn’t be too difficult — with a limit of 100 words, you’re going to be writing no more than a few sentences. While you should use this short essay as an opportunity to elaborate on the activity that portrays you in the best light, make sure that the selected activity is actually “important to you.” If the extracurricular that you select appears impressive (think three-time section leader in your all-state band, or coordinator of a peer tutoring program that works with nearly one hundred kids), but you’re not able to articulate why it’s relevant to your life and your journey through high school, the admissions committee won’t be impressed.

    Don’t feel like the activity you write about needs to be one in which you held leadership; while leadership in the activity is of course looked highly upon, the genuine story you tell about its importance to you is key.

    Take this scenario: You were elected student body president as a junior and presided over all student council meetings. While you enjoyed the position, you’re planning on majoring in biology and not government. Last summer, you were one of the few interns at a local research hospital, where you helped discover a previously unknown bacterium. Even though you’ll likely put “student body president” as the first item on your activity list, you may want to write the short essay about your experience at the hospital, which led you to decide on a biology major.

    If you participated in any type of volunteer work, at a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter, and feel that those experiences had a profound impact on you, you could write about the volunteer work. That being said, you don’t necessarily need to write about volunteer/community service activities! If you were the president of your high school’s school store, or the captain of your town’s travel soccer team, and that significantly defined your past few years, you can absolutely choose it as your activity. The key is just to make sure admissions officers get a more in-depth look at who you are through the lens of the activity.

    Whichever activity you choose, be sure that your writing is clear, concise, and effective. There’s no need for complex metaphors, nor overly intense descriptions. As long as it’s evident to the reader that your activity had a meaningful impact on your development as an individual, you’ve done your job!

    Don’t Worry — We’ll edit your admissions essay in a few hours.

    Submit your essay and we’ll get it back to you with helpful edits.

    Long Essay Prompt

    Tell us why you decided to apply to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In addition, share with us the academic, extracurricular, or research opportunities you would take advantage of as a student. If applicable, provide details of any circumstance that could have had an impact on your academic performance and/or extracurricular involvement. (80-650 words)

    In the long essay prompt, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is looking for a modified version of the “why us” supplement. Even if Wisconsin isn’t your top choice, for the purposes of this essay, you should put yourself in the shoes of a student that’s wanted to attend Wisconsin for the past few years. If you have family ties to the university, or live in Wisconsin and have grown up rooting for the Badgers in sporting events, don’t hesitate to mention it! The admissions committee wants to see commitment and genuine interest in the school—they should instantly feel your passion for Wisconsin as they read through your essay.

    While the prompt appears to pose two questions: “Why Us?,” and “What opportunities would you take advantage of as a student?” you should be blending the two questions together throughout your supplement. Show your passion by mentioning specific courses, clubs, or programs that you are interested in. The university website will be your greatest resource for this — there’s a wealth of information available!

    Explain how your experiences throughout high school qualify you for admission to the University of Wisconsin. Articulate how those experiences demonstrate, in the words of the admissions website, “leadership, concern for others and the community, and achievement in the arts, athletics, and other areas.”

    Try to provide an example of each of those three areas (or, better yet, find an activity that combines multiple). Serving as the captain of a school athletic team demonstrates both leadership and athletic achievement while selling handmade crafts at charity auctions demonstrates concern for community and artistic achievement. Don’t try to make the entire essay just about these three facets of your personality, but do make sure that you adequately explain how your activities exemplify each character trait.

    Also, don’t be afraid to talk about experiences unrelated to your major: If you’re applying to the School of Education, you can absolutely bring up an organization in the School of Business that focuses on entrepreneurship, like the WAVE or WEB program, or a research opportunity, like the Grainger Institute in the School of Engineering — the more well-rounded your interests are at Wisconsin, the more likely you are to be accepted.

    The last, and optional, component of the prompt asks you to explain any “circumstance that could have had an impact on your academic performance and/or extracurricular involvement.” Be very careful with what you write here, and remember that it’s completely optional. If you choose not to include it, there’s really no harm done (and, if anything, it eliminates the possibility of writing something that could decrease your chances of admission). If there was a situation throughout high school that was thrust upon you (think family/personal medical emergency or moving schools), you can absolutely write about that, as it will help to establish sympathy with the reader.

    If you’ve had any experiences that could reflect negatively on you, including them in the essay may not be wise. Writing about depression, drug/alcohol use, or criminal activity could raise red flags and prevent you from being accepted. If you feel strongly about including one of these topics (or something similar), definitely reach out to a guidance counselor, teacher, or trusted adult to ensure that you’re crafting your message in the best possible way.

    We hope our analysis of the two supplemental essay prompts has helped you to fine-tune your plans for your Wisconsin-Madison application!

    Best of luck with your application, and GO BADGERS!

    Interested in more personal application and essay help? Learn about our College Apps Program and Essay Editing Program.

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    University of Wisconsin – Madison Admission Essay

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    Freshman Application Materials

    Take note of our deadlines and decision plans. Submit the following to apply:

    1. Admissions Application

    UW–Madison does not prefer one application over the other. Please choose only one application and use only that application all the way through to submission.

    Please note that we do not start processing fall term applications until September 1.

    Applicants will be asked to identify both a preferred and alternate major or field of study when completing the application for admission. If we are unable to offer you admission to your preferred major/field of study, your alternate choice will be considered in our application review to assess interest and preparation. Due to the competitive nature of some of our programs, admission expectations may be different for students pursuing majors in business, engineering, dance, and music. We encourage you to visit our direct entry page to learn more.

    2. Application Fee

    The application fee is $60.00 US and is non-refundable.

    Electronic payment is preferred. If you apply using the UW System Application, the fee can be paid by check or money order, drawn on a US bank and payable to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Send the check or money order to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Please include the applicant’s name with payment. Do not send cash.

    Application fee waivers are available for applicants with financial hardship. Students who apply using the UW System Application can print this form and submit it to their school official for verification of hardship and signature. Send the completed form to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Students who apply using the Common Application may request a fee waiver while filling out their application. Your counselor must validate and approve your request for a fee waiver, and then our office will review it and a decision will be made regarding waiver of the fee. If the College Board or the ACT grant you a fee waiver, we will accept it.

    3. Official Transcripts

    We require transcripts for all high school and college-level work. Official transcripts should be sent directly from each school attended.

    Electronic transcripts must be sent through a secure document sending service. Transcripts sent through email, as an attachment, will not be accepted as official. Paper transcripts sent to our office must bear an official school seal or be printed on the school’s custom watermarked/security paper.

    If you earned your General Educational Development (GED) certificate or a High School Equivalency Diploma (HSED), submit your official score report in addition to all high school or home school transcripts.

    4. Official Test Scores

    Scores from either the ACT or the SAT are required and must be sent directly from the testing agency. We do not require the writing portion of either the ACT or the SAT. Our test code is 4656 for the ACT and 1846 for the SAT. Do not send your results rush (SAT) or priority (ACT); we receive all scores electronically on a daily basis so there is not an advantage to rush or priority delivery.

    To assure consideration in our Early Action competition, students are encouraged to take the ACT or SAT no later than the end of September. For consideration in our Regular Decision competition, students are encouraged to take their test no later than the end of December.

    Freshman applicants from non-English speaking countries must submit a TOEFL or IELTS score, unless English was the language of instruction for all courses in all years of secondary school. Our TOEFL test code is 1846. TOEFL must be submitted electronically from the testing service. We do not accept the IELTS electronically. Please have a paper copy of your results sent to our office through the mail. If you feel that you qualify for a TOEFL or IELTS waiver, please send an email to our office and a counselor will determine if the waiver criteria are met.

    5. Two Essays

    If you apply using the Common Application, you will be asked to respond to one of the freshman Common Application essays. If you apply with the UW System Application, you will need to answer the following prompt:

    • Consider something in your life you think goes unnoticed and write about why it’s important to you.

    All applicants will also need to respond to this prompt:

    • Tell us why you decided to apply to the University of Wisconsin–Madison. In addition, share with us the academic, extracurricular, or research opportunities you would take advantage of as a student. If applicable, provide details of any circumstance that could have had an impact on your academic performance and/or extracurricular involvement.

    Review our list of tips for the essays as you prepare your responses.

    6. One Required Letter of Recommendation

    We require you to submit one letter of recommendation written by someone who can attest to your academic ability, such as a teacher, school counselor, or faculty member. If you choose, you can also submit another letter of recommendation from an additional source, such as an employer, coach, research mentor, community leader, or clergy. Students with an interest in engineering are encouraged to obtain a letter of recommendation from a math or science teacher. Remember to have a discussion with your chosen recommender first to see if they are willing and able to provide a letter.

    We encourage applicants who have been away from formal classroom teaching for an extended period to request a letter of recommendation from someone who can speak to their academic potential, such as an employer, (preferably a supervisor or manager), a program or departmental trainer, or some other individual in an official instructional capacity.

    If you apply using the UW System Application, your recommender can use our online recommendation form. Those who apply using the Common Application should request a recommendation through that system. Recommendations that are mailed to our office must include your full name, birth date, and campus ID number (if known). Additionally, letters of recommendation from a school staff member may also be sent through Naviance.

    Additional Materials

    Even after your application is complete we may request additional supporting materials such as self-reported grades, academic performance statements, and course change documentation.

    Self-Report Grades

    Applicants are expected to self-report their mid-year grades when prompted by email during the application process. To ensure a possible future admit decision is not in jeopardy of being cancelled, applicants must report their grades exactly as they appear on an official transcript or grade report that was issued by their school.

    Academic Integrity

    Academic integrity is valued in our community and in the admission process. By signing your application, you certify that it is complete and accurate. We hold you accountable to ensure the authenticity and honesty of your application, essays, and additional materials subsequently submitted.

    Freshman Admissions

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    Madison, WI 53715-1007

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