Well Read Bucky Badger statue at Alumni park

Badger Ready: Frequently asked questions

General questions

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What is Badger Ready?

Badger Ready is a transitional opportunity for returning adult students who are at least 25 and/or veterans of any age who have some college credit and may face barriers to completing their degree. Accepted applicants will complete a program agreement with the Badger Ready coordinator that includes specific academic criteria.  These criteria will likely include, but are not limited to, the completion of at least 12 additional UW–Madison credits as a University Special student with a cumulative minimum 3.0 GPA taken over the course of 1-4 semesters. Satisfactory completion of program agreement criteria as a University Special student through the Division of Continuing Studies will lead to admission as a transfer student through the Office of Admissions and Recruitment and the opportunity to graduate from UW–Madison with a four-year degree.

Can I attend Badger Ready part time?

It depends. Badger Ready is a comprehensive program that may take multiple semesters to complete but could possibly be done in a semester. However, after you have successfully completed Badger Ready and are accepted as a transfer student, the ability to take courses part time may change. Degree policies vary by program and some, such as engineering, require full-time attendance. Please review requirements of Undergraduate Schools and Colleges for details.

What is transfer credit?

Credits taken at other post-secondary institutions may count toward a degree at UW–Madison. Transferable credits must be completed at accredited institutions recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Visit the Office of Admissions and Recruitment for more information.

I need a few more university-level courses to graduate from another school. Can I take these at UW–Madison?

Maybe. You will need to check with your home institution to see if credits taken at UW–Madison as a University Special student can be transferred back to complete your degree there.  Badger Ready will work best for students with 24 to 90 transferable credits. UW–Madison also requires that all degree students complete at least 30 degree credits on the campus.

What is the difference between Badger Ready and admission as a transfer student?

Badger Ready

Badger Ready is designed for community adults who may not qualify for transfer admission due to previous academic history. The program provides the opportunity for adults to enroll at UW–Madison for a short period of time to provide evidence of their current academic skills with the eventual goal of admission to UW–Madison as a transfer student if requirements are sufficiently met.

Admission as a transfer student

The Office of Admissions and Recruitment has specific information about transfer admission requirements on their website: https://www.admissions.wisc.edu/apply/transfer/.

Not sure which is right for you?

If you have questions about whether you should apply to Badger Ready or directly as a transfer student, please contact the Badger Ready program.

Eligibility questions

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Who is eligible?

Adults over the age of 25 and all veterans who typically have:

  • a minimum of 24 transferable college credits,
  • core academic units met (one year each of high school algebra, plane geometry, and college-preparatory math, and two high school years or two college semesters of a single foreign language),
  • a cumulative break in education lasting at least 2 years,
  • proven success in a nonacademic area of life, and
  • GPA that is currently a barrier to transfer admissions.

Eligibility exceptions may be granted at the discretion of the program coordinator, but are not guaranteed.

Can international students apply for Badger Ready?

No. However, if you are a permanent resident of the United States (green card holder) or a refugee living in the Madison area, you are eligible for Badger Ready.

I did very poorly when I began college several years ago. What are my chances of being admitted to Badger Ready?

Badger Ready is focused on the present and your current level of academic readiness. The details around why you did poorly in the past should be addressed during the application process. Prior GPA alone will not be a barrier to admission.

What if I am 25 but have no college credit and want to complete a degree at UW–Madison?

You should apply as a new freshman through the Office of Admissions and Recruitment or consider starting your degree at Madison College or another institution that offers a Transfer Contract with UW–Madison. For more information on transferring visit the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

I was previously a degree student at UW–Madison. Is this for me?

No. If you are interested in returning to UW–Madison, you would simply apply as a reentry student through the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

I already have an undergraduate degree and would like a second undergraduate degree. Is Badger Ready for me?

No. Badger Ready is for those seeking to finish their first undergraduate degree. For more information about completing a second degree at UW–Madison visit the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

Would I be eligible for this program if I have an associate degree?

Generally associate degree credits that are earned at a CHEA accredited institution and that are college transferable will count towards the 24-credit minimum.

Application questions

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What should I consider before applying for Badger Ready?

Some important questions to ask yourself may include:

  • Does UW–Madison offer the degree I want in the class format (in person, online, or hybrid) I need?
  • Are there enrollment restrictions in the UW–Madison school or college I’d like to earn a degree from?
  • What are my current time commitments and responsibilities, and how flexible can I be when deciding to go back to school?

Where do I apply for the Badger Ready program?

You may apply through Adult Career and Special Student Services.

Is there an application deadline?

Yes. Please see the “Application” tab on our Pathway page for up-to-date information on deadlines. Admission is a multi-step process and requires attention to many variables which you will discuss with a Badger Ready advisor.

How many applicants will Badger Ready accept?

There are a limited number of spots available each semester, so apply early for best consideration.

If I completed the online application for an earlier term but did not submit all other required documents and transcripts, do I need to reapply?

Yes. Apply through Adult Career and Special Student Services.

I've taken classes elsewhere since my previous application. Do I need to submit new transcripts?

Yes. Official transcripts should be sent by mail to: ACSSS, 21 N. Park St., Madison, WI 53715; or by email to: badger.ready@wisc.edu.

Tuition and scholarship questions

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Do I have to be a resident of Wisconsin for tuition purposes to be in the Badger Ready program?

No. Wisconsin residency is not a requirement. However, Badger Ready is designed for local adults who are able to take courses at the UW–Madison campus. Most Badger Ready students will likely meet Wisconsin residency criteria, which then qualifies them for in-state tuition rates. See the Office of the Registrar for more information about residency and the Bursar’s Office for tuition rates.

How much will tuition cost for me as a Badger Ready student?

Tuition and segregated fees are posted by the Bursar’s Office. University Special students pay the same rate as Undergraduate students.

Are there scholarships available for me as a Badger Ready student?

Yes. Adult Career and Special Student Services offers scholarships for Badger Ready students based on financial need, academic plans, and personal goals. Due to rolling admission, scholarships are continuously awarded to eligible applicants who have completed all steps. There are limited funds each year.

Is Badger Ready a financial aid eligible program?

No. As a Badger Ready student, you will be categorized as a University Special student. University Special students are not eligible for financial aid. After successfully completing the Badger Ready program, you will be admitted to UW–Madison as a transfer student and may then use financial aid, if eligible, to help cover the cost of attending. For more information about financial aid, visit the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Is Badger Ready a Bucky's Tuition Promise eligible program?

You may be eligible for Bucky’s Tuition Promise once you successfully complete the Badger Ready program requirements and are admitted as a transfer student to UW–Madison.

How can I help support Badger Ready program scholarships?

Give to our Badger Ready Scholarship Fund fund. Your gift will be appreciated!

Military and GI Bill questions

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Will I receive credit for serving in the military?

You may be eligible to receive credit for your military experience. Your transcripts will be evaluated for any additional transfer credit. For more information, visit the Office of Admissions and Recruitment.

Can I use my GI Bill benefits to help pay for credits taken through Badger Ready?

Yes. The Badger Ready program courses can be certified for both state and federal benefits. For details on which requirements must be met, please contact the Veteran Services & Military Assistance Center.