Madison, WI
Tuition (in-state)
$26,628 ($10,378)
Admission Difficulty
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4 College Sophomore

Diversity: There are some widely accepted stereotypes regarding different ethnic groups or people from specific geographical regions of the United States (for example "Coasties" from both the East and West Coasts). However, overall the level of acceptance for other students is very high. The students care more about shared values and ideas than shared ethnic/racial groups, economic background or sexual orientation.

2 people found this useful Report
3 College Sophomore

Diversity: As an overall campus Madison is very liberal and there is not a lot of ethnic and racial diversity.

3 College Freshman

Diversity: I am pretty conservative, and this campus is definitely a tough place to be conservative. That being said, I find that it's good to get involved in a group like College Republicans. Religious wise, I was raised Jewish, and not being from a megatemple and having a different socioeconomic status than most of the Jews that attend Wisconsin, I was not able to find a religious organizations I liked. Being Jewish also gave me less options in sorority recruitment, and those were options that did not fit me.

4 College Sophomore

Diversity: Very diverse school. People from all over the world come because so many different classes and languages are offered

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Diversity: I've never seen any issues with racial inequalities.

1 person found this useful Report

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 35th
    Most Liberal Schools
  • 1100th
    Most Open-Minded Schools
  • 1360th
    Most Conservative Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Marie Puissant
Green Bay, Wis.
Marketing and English
View all previous student authors

When it comes to campus diversity, for students, it’s more about how you define the term diversity. For those addressing differing personality and lifestyles, Madison is the leader of diversity. This is partly the result of campus-size. With over 45,000 students and hundreds of academic programs, people with every type of quirky element are drawn to UW. More so, many different organizations and clubs are set up to foster and nurture such contrasting people.

Racially, though, UW is less diverse. In the past two years, UW has gone up two percent in terms of diversity, as approximately 12.5 percent of students fall into minority categories, up from 10 percent in 2006. There is a growing trend of more international and study abroad students as well. Some students still find this statistic unfortunately low, however, and link it to the university’s Midwest location. But though UW's minority student population may be small, it is very strong in terms of presence. Many of the diversity clubs at the university are the ones offering the most activities and opportunities to students. These clubs will often hold information fairs, social gatherings, debate forums, and educational seminars. One downside is that students don’t feel minority groups spend much time on recruitment.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • California
  • Foreign countries
  • Illinois
  • Minnesota
  • New York
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 0%
18-19: 30%
20-21: 32%
22-24: 18%
25+: 19%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 2%
Asian American: 9%
Hispanic: 3%
International: 3%
Native American: 0%
White: 81%
Unknown: 2%
Gay Pride
There is a high acceptance for those who are lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender. LBGT is an organization geared specifically towards this student population. They hold information fairs, dances, and activity nights, as well as offering counseling services and support groups to students.
Political Activity
Due to the University’s liberal nature, UW and political activity share a long and colorful history. Since the school’s opening, students have been notorious for forming political rallies and protests. The presidential election between Obama and McCain was a prominent and heavily debated topic on campus. After the election, students spontaneously marched from the Capitol to Bascom Hill. There are several student organizations on campus like the College Republicans, Africa without Borders, the Central Asia Student Association, and the European Union Club.
Economic Status
While students’ financial backgrounds are as varied as the students themselves, a majority of people do come from middle- to upper-class families. Even so, many students depend on loans, government aid, part-time jobs, and scholarships to lessen the financial burdens of college expenses.
Most Common Religions
It’s hard to say that any one religion is more ‘popular’ than another. The student population is filled with those who are Lutheran, Catholic, Jewish, non-denominational, and anything else you can imagine. As a result, there are worshipping facilities for almost every religious sect.
Minority Clubs on Campus
Student organizations exist everywhere at UW and for almost any cause. Notably, 150 of those groups fall into the culture/ethnic category. There are groups for those who want to share their love of hip-hop, to those of Middle Eastern descent. The Multicultural Student Coalition is one of the more prominent groups on campus. They offer informational fairs, guest speakers, educational forums, and have massed a large student base. However, many of these clubs do not spend much time recruiting others. In the end, it is really up to the individual to find their cause or club.

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 96 responses

  • 11% Libertarian
  • 14% Not sure
  • 5% Very conservative
  • 10% Conservative
  • 21% Moderate
  • 33% Liberal
  • 5% Progressive/very liberal

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 95 responses

  • 3% Libertarian
  • 0% Very conservative
  • 3% Conservative
  • 14% Moderate
  • 7% Not sure
  • 54% Liberal
  • 19% Progressive/very liberal

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 95 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How diverse is your personal circle of friends in the following areas?    Based on 94 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 96 responses

  • 4% It's hard to be a minority here.
  • 2% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 41% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 53% Very accepting.


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