7 tips for high schoolers on creating a successful Badger Precollege application

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Badger Precollege is designed for high school students looking to study alongside peers from around the world who are as motivated and curious as you.

We look for serious students who want new academic challenges and a real college life experience. We want to admit students who will be successful in our programs and contribute to a rich academic and social life, whether you’re on campus or online. Remember, you are applying to a program and not a course!

We use a holistic application process in evaluating students, taking into consideration your essay, extracurricular activities, personal interests, letter of recommendation and grades. Our goal is to accept a diverse group of students who will bring their own unique passions and experiences to our community of learners.

With that in mind, we offer these seven tips to help you make the most of your precollege application.

  1. Choose the best program for you. Badger Precollege offers a variety of program options, both online and in person, with varying levels of time commitment. Please be sure to review our website, and evaluate the program you are applying to before beginning your application.
  2. Let your personality shine. We want to learn about you as a student and a person, so take your essay seriously and give yourself time to prepare. Be sure to respond to the essay prompts. A good essay should be at least 100 words and honestly represent you. Make sure you include a clear and interesting narrative, correct grammar and clean formatting.
  3. Choose good references.* A teacher or mentor with whom you have an established relationship will be able to write a personal and insightful letter of reference. Make sure to secure your references as early as possible to give others enough time to write a thoughtful reference that speaks to who you are, both as a student and as a person. (*References are optional for all programs.)
  4. Submit your grades correctly. Grades must come from one or more high school academic terms, including those from your current classes. Official or unofficial transcripts or a grade report sent from your school is the acceptable way to submit this information. It is important to show progress, as well as your overall GPA. Documents must contain your full name and an explanation of the grading system.
  5. Apply early. Popular courses and programs fill quickly, so the earlier you submit, the sooner you will receive an admission decision and be able to register for the classes you want.
  6. Do an application double-check. A complete application consists of an application form, essay, letter of recommendation (optional), official transcript and an application fee. In some cases, additional application materials may be requested by the admissions team. Applications cannot be reviewed until all materials have been received.
  7. Keep an eye on your inbox. Throughout the application process, you will receive messages from the admissions team by email and on the student portal. Keep an eye out for these communications so you don’t miss important information.

If you have questions about programs or need help completing your application, you can speak with Badger Precollege staff Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. central time, by phone at 608-890-3260 or by email at info@precollege.wisc.edu.

We’re here to help you succeed and look forward to receiving your application!