Transformative learning for high school students: Two young males and a teacher work out a problem on a whiteboard.Two young males and a teacher work out a problem on a whiteboard.

Badger Summer Scholars

July 21 – August 2, 2024

Spend your summer with UW–Madison, exploring what it means to live, learn, and become a college student.

Who it is for

Badger Summer Scholars is a transformative residential college preparatory experience for students in 9th through 12th grade. Through meeting with and learning from UW experts in various fields and academic areas of interest, applicants will explore the college application process and experience a taste of what it means to live and learn like a college student. Applicants should be ready to take the next step in their journey and to engage in a rewarding college program with peers from all over the country.

What to expect

Participants in the program will learn what it is like to be a badger and gain valuable experience living and learning in a dynamic and challenging environment, all while interacting with UW–Madison staff and Badger Precollege instructors at a top-ranked university. Our high school students will have the opportunity to learn about the college admissions process, financial aid applications, campus life and more. Our courses showcase the many topics students can study in college, giving students an advantage in deciding their college major.

You will choose one, non-credit, academic track to focus on during the academic day. Class sizes are kept small to allow for an engaging course and are taught by UW–Madison staff and Badger Precollege instructors who have the same level of commitment and involvement from Badger Summer Scholars as they would from college students.

After class blocks are over, you will participate in a series of college preparatory workshops, designed to help you become familiar with the college application process and college life. You will also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of residence hall activities and explore UW Madison’s lake-side campus.

Upcoming Classes

Badger Summer Scholars at a glance

Application Open Date

November 28, 2023

Application Deadline

May 1, 2024

Tuition & Fees

Nonrefundable application fee: $75

Early Bird rates through January 8

Domestic Student: $3,870
Commuter Student: $2,300
International Student: $4,225

Starting January 9

Domestic Student: $4,070
Commuter Student: $2,420
International Student: $4,450

Tuition due in two parts on May 15th and June 1st.

Learn about scholarship assistance.

Be a Badger Summer Scholar and:

Learn from UW–Madison staff and Badger Precollege Instructors

Prepare for the college application process and college essay writing

Meet students from around the world

Immerse yourself in the college experience

How to apply

Step 1: Explore the course options available and choose your first-choice course. It is important to note that applications for our programs are reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis and courses fill on a first-come, first-served basis. Early registration will increase the likelihood of being placed in your top choice.

Step 2: Complete the online application, indicating your first-choice course as your preferred option.

Step 3: Upload supporting documents into the application system or send them directly to Badger Precollege staff at Badger Summer Scholars. Documents should be in PDF or Word document format.

  • Transcript, with at least 1 term of grades reflected.
  • **if 9th grade, students should submit a progress report with current enrollments.
  • Completed essay; 200 words each, ~400-450 words total. Please be sure to answer both questions in your essay.
    1. How will this program and experience benefit you now and in the future?
    2. How do you respond when something is difficult for you? What strategies do you use to overcome difficulties?
  • Letter of recommendation – can be from teacher, mentor, coach, counselor, etc. (optional).

Once we receive all application materials, your application is complete. You will receive notification regarding an acceptance decision within four weeks of submitting it.

Rank #10

best public college, 2022
U.S. News & World Report

Rank #1

for volunteer-producing schools,
Peace Corps

Rank #20

nationally, according to the
Center for World University Rankings

Students will also participate in the Jump Forward college preparatory workshop series, offered during the first activity block built into your schedule. This workshop series covers a variety of topics designed to engage students in the college experience.

Students will learn the ins and outs of the college application process, discover how to craft the best college essay, explore financial aid options and more. Students will also hear from UW–Madison academic departments, allowing students to further explore academic and vocational subjects.

In partnership with UW–Madison Admissions, the Office of Student Financial Aid and the Career Exploration Center who will provide presentations and discussions on college admissions, financial aid, choosing a major and more. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions in a small group setting during live Q&A sessions featuring the same UW–Madison professionals who assist incoming undergraduates on their college-bound journeys.

Badger Summer Scholars staff work closely with our UW–Madison campus partners to provide students with up-to-date information regarding Admissions, Financial Aid and more. Through this experience, students will gain valuable knowledge enabling them to confidently jump into their college journey.

In addition to academic enrichment, students will have the opportunity to build friendships in a residential community of students from across the US and from across the world. Through group experiences and other opportunities, students can begin to explore life as a Badger and gain insights into preparing for college.

Students will participate in a variety of residence hall activities and connect with fellow participants. These activities are designed to offer the students an opportunity to disconnect from the course material and build meaningful friendships with their peers and classmates. While our programs are designed to challenge and engage students academically, we are also committed to providing a space for students to have serious fun and feel safe and comfortable to be authentically themselves.

Students will connect daily through morning meetings, activities and icebreakers with other students in the program. Group experiences are led by our Residential Assistants and may include small group discussion and collaboration to make each activity interactive. These activities will range in topic from trivia and Pictionary, to connecting over popular games, to more organized workshops that share information about the college application process and college experience. Additionally, as with other Badger Precollege Programs, students will always have access to administrative staff, residential assistants and instructors to help facilitate student success and connection.

Getting to the program

All international students should arrive to Madison, WI one day prior to the official program start date. For Badger Summer Scholars, this will be on Saturday, July 20th. The purpose of this is so Badger Precollege can facilitate an International Student Orientation on Sunday morning before the remaining participants arrive. After acceptance, the Badger Precollege team will provide students with additional information regarding the best airports to utilize, timeframes for arrival, and opportunities for shuttles. All housing and meals are included in the tuition costs.

Support for international participants

At Badger Precollege, we provide international students with engaging coursework and programming while offering different levels of support to ensure the best experience possible. To learn more about visa requirements and other details, click here.

In addition to the traditional program opportunities, international students have access to:

  • A Badger Precollege staff member who will work closely with international students to create a fun and educational atmosphere while in the program. They will be available for students to communicate any ideas, concerns or issues relevant to the programs.
  • An orientation session that covers all relevant information for the program and any questions that students or their families may have. It will cover technologies used in the program, what to expect within each synchronous course set up, expectations for the program and work done outside of course time, time zone set up and many other topics.
  • Specific activities dedicated to creating awareness around different cultures and individual sessions that introduce the culture and community of Madison and the University.

English proficiency recommendations

To be successful in the Badger Summer Scholars program, we suggest that students demonstrate at least intermediate-level English through a minimum TOEFL score of 80 or IELTS score of 6.5 or Duolingo English Test score of 105. If you do not have a test score available but would like to see if your English is proficient for Badger Summer Scholars, you may request a phone or video interview with program staff. To schedule an interview, please email info@precollege.wisc.edu.

A limited amount of need-based financial aid funds are available to domestic students. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide scholarships to international students at this time.

If you are eligible for free or reduced lunch in Wisconsin, submit the DPI Precollege Scholarship Application. Please be sure to complete both sections of the form and have an authorized representative from your student’s school complete and sign Section II: Verification and Recommendation.

If you are not eligible for free or reduced lunch in Wisconsin, submit the first page of the 1040 form of the most recent year’s tax return with Social Security numbers redacted. If extenuating circumstances (i.e. loans, loss of employment) are not reflected on tax return but are impacting your family’s finances, please also submit your financial need story.

Important Dates for Financial Aid

The deadline for all summer financial aid applications is April 1, 2024. Badger Summer Scholars cannot allocate aid to students who have not been admitted to a program*. As such, the student’s program application (including application fee and supporting documentation, such as their grade report, etc.) must be completed by April 1 as well.

*Application materials can still be submitted after the financial aid deadline, but the student will not be eligible for the aid.

Notification of Aid

Families will be notified of decisions via email prior to the first tuition payment due date. Badger Precollege is committed to making an allocation of financial aid funds to allow the largest possible number of students to attend our programs. Families will be required to submit their intent to accept financial aid. Failure to do so by the deadline posted in your award letter may result in a loss of partial or full aid award.

Financial Aid Policies

Applications will be reviewed by Badger Precollege’s Financial Aid Committee. All requests will be considered and maintained in confidentiality. As part of the application process, please remember:

  • Wisconsin students are given preference for scholarship aid, but it is available to everyone.
  • Applicants should first check with school officials to see if local monies are available for program costs.
  • Applicants should inquire about local financial support through businesses, service organizations, etc.
  • All materials supporting your application must be received by Badger Precollege no later than the financial aid deadline.
  • Applicants will be notified of awards before the first payment deadline.
  • Aid is determined by analyzing family income and extenuating economic circumstances according to the Income Eligibility Guidelines used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s School Lunch Program.
  • Available funds for financial aid vary from year to year and past aid awards may not be an indication of current available support.
  • Additional information may be requested from students and/or families prior to notification of aid.

The application fee is nonrefundable. Refunds may take up to eight weeks to process, starting from the time a written request is received by the Badger Precollege office.

Cancelation Policy

Badger Precollege reserves the right to cancel classes when necessary, including those for which enrollment numbers are not sufficient, or those for which a highly qualified instructor is unavailable. In the case of course cancellations, we will be happy to help you choose an alternative course. If no acceptable alternative is available, we will refund any tuition paid, minus any non-refundable application fees or deposits.

Refund Schedule

All program applications must be accompanied by the nonrefundable application fee before they can be processed.

Period Percent of Refund
Withdraw during the period of registration up to one month prior to the first day of the program: 100% refund

Full refund will also be issued in the following cases, regardless of date:

  • A course of choice is canceled.
  • All course choices are closed.
  • Financial aid is not adequate for participation.
  • Student injury or illness.
Withdraw during the period of one month prior to the first day of the program – two weeks before program start 90% refund

Nonrefundable 10% is used to cover class supplies, books, transportation, and administrative fees and teacher salary costs incurred during this period of program planning.

Withdraw during the period of two weeks before program start – opening day of camp 80% refund

Nonrefundable 20% is used to cover risk management fees, University Health Services fees, class supplies, books, transportation, and teacher salary costs incurred during this period of program planning.

Other 0% refund

Students dismissed for disciplinary reasons are not eligible for any refund. Students voluntarily leaving while the program is in session are not eligible for any refund.

The jump forward activity was my favorite part! It really helped me understand the college admission process. I was really stressed before about how I am going to apply to colleges but, now I am really excited to start applying with the information I obtained from this course.

Badger Summer Scholars Student

Daily Schedules

The residential student experience includes a full day of coursework, the Jump Forward Series, activities, and more. It is designed to be a full immersive pre-college experience.

Time Activity
7:30–8:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:30–9:00 a.m. Morning Meeting
9:00–11:30 a.m. Class Period
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Lunch
12:30–2:15 p.m. Class Period
2:30–3:30 p.m. Jump Forward Series
3:30–6:30 p.m. Free time and open study period
5:00–6:30 p.m. Dinner
6:30–10:30 p.m. Block meetings, Recreational Activities and dorm time
10:30 p.m.–7:00 a.m. Quiet Hours and Room Checks

The commuter student experience is offered for students who are interested in the course and Jump Forward series experiences only. Commuter students arrive in the morning to meet with their class and leave after the Jump Forward series has concluded each week day. Weekend and evening activities are not included in the commuter experience.

Time Activity
8:15–8:45 a.m. Arrival and check in
9:00–11:30 a.m. Class Period
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Lunch
12:30–2:15 p.m. Class Period
2:30–3:30 p.m. Jump Forward Series
3:30 p.m. Check out and Dismissal

More From Badger Precollege

Make the most of your summer with Badger Precollege and sign up to be with us the entire summer! Check out Badger Precollege Online and ALP, for additional opportunities for high school students.