University of Wisconsin-Madison

Freshman Applicants: Decisions - Office of Admissions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Freshman Applicants: Decisions - Office of Admissions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison


Application Decisions

We cannot begin to review your application until all required materials are received. Review our application materials to ensure you submit a complete application.

We make one of three admission decisions upon first review:

  • Admit: In 2011, approximately 50 percent of our freshman applicants were admitted. To enroll, follow the steps outlined on the admitted student checklist for your term.
  • Postpone: Applicants that upon initial review who are neither admitted, nor denied. Postponed applicants have the potential for success at UW-Madison, however, we would like to review midyear grades and other supporting material prior to making a final decision. Decisions on postponed students will be made by the end of March. Review the Frequently Asked Questions for Postponed Applicants (PDF) for complete details.
  • Deny: Students who are not competitive for admission or who fail to meet our application deadlines are denied admission.


Admitted freshmen students may request to defer enrollment for up to one year. Transfer and reentry students cannot defer enrollment. Read more about freshman deferred enrollment here.

Appealing a Decision

Every application denied has already been through an extensive review. For an appeal to have merit, it must bring to light new compelling academic and/or personal information, as well as details pertaining to extenuating circumstances that were not addressed in the initial application. Essentially, the appeal must present information that clearly shows the student to be stronger than had been earlier evidenced.

Appeal letters must be written and submitted by the applicant within 30 days of the deny decision to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Email is an acceptable format for submission. Be sure to clearly outline the reasons for appealing and present new and compelling information. Do not simply repeat information that was presented at the time of application. At the time of appealing, the letter should accompany any other appropriate documentation as needed.

Postpone and waitlist decisions cannot be appealed. Any application that is incomplete or late will not be eligible for an appeal. Applicants can only appeal once and decisions resulting from an appeal are final. We will not accept appeals filed on behalf of the student by a parent, counselor, teacher, friend, etc.

It is our usual practice to respond to appeals within four to six weeks of the date we receive them. While all appeals are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, the rate of a decision being reversed based on an appeal has historically been very low. Application fees are nonrefundable regardless of the result of an appeal. Appeals should be sent directly to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

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