Madison, WI
Tuition (in-state)
$26,628 ($10,378)
Admission Difficulty
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Reviews 2070 total reviews with an average rating of 3.7

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2 College Sophomore

Guys & Girls: Coasties Everywhere! I never knew what a coastie was until I came to Madison. Coasties are kids from either the west coast or east coast. They are mostly from wealthy families and spend their parents money like nobody else. Otherwise, there are the native hippies and the beer-drinking jocks who do nothing but party.

3 College Sophomore

Facilities: Many Styles of Architecture – The campus has many buildings built over the last 200 years. Some are very new, others very old. The facilities, however, are all in working order and get the job done. There is alot of construction going on. They say there are two seasons in Madison- Winter and Construction.

1 College Sophomore

Diversity: An honest opinion – I'm a huge fan of the UW, and being here I have found almost everything to be perfect minus the winter months and the extreme lack of diversity - and for whatever diversity there is, it is not a melting pot. Being Chinese-American, and very enveloped in both racial groups (although more so with Caucasian friends) I've noticed that the majority of black students on campus are athletes. A few years back, UW Madison even photo shopped a black student into their brochure in order to attract more black students. Essentially, the student body is average Caucasian students from
small towns with closed minds. This is not to say that there aren't plenty of students with open minds looking to find new friends, learn about different cultures, and change their worldviews. Currently, I live with a black guy, and three white guys making our household one of the most diverse on campus -- at least the top 1% for household diversity. This shows how unlikely it is for people to make friends of different races, so if you are coming here to learn about different cultures, and make life long friends of different races - it definitely can be done but it will be much more difficult when compared to other schools such as UCLA.

5 people found this useful Report
2 College Junior

Parking: If you don't absolutely need a vehicle, don't bring it. Parking on campus is quite expensive and can be hard to find, depending on the area of campus in which you live. However, if you live off campus, parking is much better.

4 College Junior

Campus Strictness: Not Very Strict – Regarding social life and rule inforcement in the dorms:
Many people drink in the dorms. As long as you basically keep to yourself and aren't making too much noise, there will *usually* be no problems. It does depend on the RA, however. If one gets caught either twice or three times drinking in the dorm, they WILL get kicked out of university housing.

When it comes time for finals, there are 22-hour quiet hours, which is nice for studying, but at the same time can make it difficult for socializing in the common areas. The quiet hours are often strictly enforced.

Regarding social life and rule enforcement around campus:
Campus police are very friendly. If you don't give them a reason to be strict, they won't be. For example, during a block party, don't drink in the street, and they will leave you alone. In fact, they are typically very freindly.

3 College Junior

Off-Campus Housing: The Pros and Cons of Madison's Apartments – Madison has a wide variety of apartments, and that variety is always growing. However, the renting process begins right after the school year starts up, which sometimes makes it difficult for people to find a good apartment even after just a few months into the school year. The quality is generally good, with good landlords. There are apartments grouped together in the southeast area, as well as spread across the other parts of campus, allowing students to find an apartment that is close to the class buildings for their major.

5 College Student

Facilities: Tons of Student Orgs – There is such a variety of places to go and groups to join that it allows students to find people with simular intrests.

3 College Student

Diversity: More and More – This university is becoming more and more diverce in reguards to racial and ethnic groups. I think the atmosphere and relations between people of different cultures and backgrounds could use improvment.

3 College Student

Off-Campus Dining: Campus Food Is Average – Campus food is extreamly cheap for students with a food/housing plan. The food is ok tasting but usually makes my stomach upset.

4 College Freshman

Weather: We Got a Snowday – It's Wisconsin weather, sunny and hot one day to be snowy and cold the next. Last semester we got dumped with more than a foot of snow and they basically shutdown campus. For the students we got a free day and we used it. The Lakeshore dorms had a massive snowball fight against the southeast dorms for hours.

3 College Freshman

Campus Housing: Lakeshore: the Way to Go – I grew up in a small town of trees and fields. Lakeshore dorms are the best transition for a person like me because it's more slowed down than state-side dorms (southeast dorms).

4 College Junior

Transportation: All students get a free bus pass, so you can always take the city bus if you need to get off campus, or from one end of campus to the other in a rush. They don't run very often on the weekends so you have to check the schedule and make a plan before you just take a bus anywhere, but the website is easy to use. There's also a thing called "Safewalk" or "Saferide" if it's late at night and the buses aren't running anymore... you can call a number and they'll send someone to walk with you or send a taxi.

5 College Junior

Athletics: Everyone gets really into athletics at Madison, especially football. There are die-hard fans of every sport, but everyone gets excited about football. Game days are obvious because the entire city wears red, there's huge fan support and school spirit. And the teams are all usually pretty good too, so they're worth cheering for. There are also lots of inturmurals for people who want to play just for fun.

2 College Senior

Parking: There is barely any parking available and is not recommended or convenient to have a car on campus.

3 College Senior

Off-Campus Housing: There are some apartments and housing avaliable off campus but there is limited to no parking available and some are not so close to campus.

4 College Senior

Off-Campus Dining: There are so many choices for off-campus dining at University of Wisconsin. State street has a vast amount of restaurants that are open late and some even offer student discounts. Although it is costly to eat out all the time, off campus dining is definately an amenity to be enjoyed on occassion.

3 College Freshman

Weather: Late Spring and Summer are fairly nice, assuming you get used to the cold. Autumn, early Winter, and early Spring are known for their tooth-numbingly-cold winds, and Winter is known for snow and ice. Lots of it. It's just something you get used to, though. And the bus systems around campus (particularly the 80) are great for those horrible days.

3 College Freshman

Guys & Girls: Uppity Undergrads and Sundry Scholars – Almost every guy on this campus is athletic in some way. As far as looks go, you have to go far out of your way to encounter a guy who's below average. Girls are fairly average all around, with the occasional Coasties popping up here and there. Social life for the girls pretty much consists of listening to them complain about how their eighty-ninth boyfriend just doesn't feel right and, especially during midterm seasons, how much worse their life is than everyone else's. For guys, the social life is all over the board. Don't be surprised to encounter a hoodie gangster well-versed in neuropsychology, or the like.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Senior

Campus Housing: So Many Choices – I don't live on campus yet, but I move in in August. From choosing a dorm, I learned that there is the perfect dorm for everyone. From learning communities to smaller dorms, there's something for every single person.

5 College Senior

Local Atmosphere: The Perfect College Town – Madison is a town centered around the college campus. It is extremely diverse. There are a lot of activites and things you can do at UW. As an added bonus, it is a beautiful campus. Also, for me, it is close to home but not too close!

4 College Student

Campus Dining: Good Food, Lots of Choices – Eat anytime, lots of places... good choices for fast eating.

5 Recent Alumnus

Facilities: Perfect Balance – UW-Madison students have first-rate knowledge of how to have fun and be professional at the same time. The campus is respectfully wild on weekends, but as professional as they come during the week. Purely enviable.

5 Recent Alumnus

Overall Experience: The Best College Experience, Period. There is absolutely no other place on earth that gives a college student the type of experience they receive at UW-Madison. Beautiful campus catered to student's needs, large city, campus life is abundant and lively. You have everything you need here, and every experience is positive. The academics are hard but great and worth it, and the student life is enviable and great.

3 Recent Alumnus

Drug Safety: Only If You Want to – There is plenty of drug and alcohol abuse, but only if you go look for it. If you don't want to do anything, there is relatively no peer pressure for it. Plenty of police around to bust things up too.

5 College Sophomore

Health & Safety: Campus Is Very Safe--Don't Need to Worry About Much – It's very safe here; you can leave your stuff alone for a while and go do tasks, and then come back and your things will still be there.


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Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Marie Puissant
Green Bay, Wis.
Marketing and English
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Students put a lot of time and energy into their undergraduate education. Luckily for those at UW, many feel it has been a positive experience. The college atmosphere, expansive campus, and intense academics are only some of the reasons students enjoy UW so much. Students feel they are able to form relationships with other students, as well as their professors. Furthermore, UW leaves them prepared for their future.

An individual’s undergraduate experience is one of the most exciting times in their lives. It is often the first time they are away from parents and making serious decisions about their future. Therefore, it is essential to pick the best university to spend these busy years at. UW offers amazing academics, an inviting atmosphere, and energetic student body. Its location geographically makes it comfortable as well as gorgeous. The facilities are very accommodating, as is the transportation system. Though like any school, there are things that can be improved upon or changed. Parking remains a prevalent issue, for instance. Fortunately, though, issues such as diversity and improvements to the quality of the dorm food are being addressed. Students generally leave the school feeling satisfied and prepared for what’s to come. Wherever you decide to spend your undergraduate years, definitely consider the University of Wisconsin as a practical, exciting, and fulfilling option.

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