Local Atmosphere

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

Local Atmosphere: Definately a Badger themed school, city and state! Lots of fun for all ages, especially the college aged.

4 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: I love the city of Madison, the homeless people are a little scary in the summer but the whole atmosphere is amazing and the scenery with the two lakes is breathtaking.

4 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: Madison is a great place for students to live! If I just had to rate this school on location and friendliness towards students my overall impression of the school would be much much higher. I really enjoy State Street and all it has to offer, and other shopping options are not too far away. UW students are pretty much isolated from the other college students in the area at Madison College and Edgewood, but that is because they choose to segregate themselves because those other two schools are seen as "lesser" than UW.

3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: The campus has a very unique atmosphere and has wonderful scenery with many lakes and parks

5 people found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Local Atmosphere: There's always something to do here. I absolutely love it.

3 people found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

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

With two large lakes bordering opposite ends of campus and the Capital building sitting at the top of State Street, visually, there aren’t enough positive things UW students can say about the locale of this college. Apart from the gorgeous aesthetics, students find the areas near campus to be very accessible. State St. offers a multitude of restaurants, shops, bars, and cafés. Capital Square also offers dining and shopping, but at a little higher price. Students acknowledge the nearby universities, but at the same time, admit to not interacting with them much. In general, students feel the placement of campus creates a very picturesque and “college-esque” atmosphere.

Madison itself is a comfortably-sized city located in the heart of the Midwest. Most students feel its locality creates a friendly and safe environment. The UW campus sits right next to the city’s trendiest street, complete with shops, restaurants, and bars. However, the campus is also close to a strong business district. The meshing of these two worlds exposes students to college life, and that of the ‘real world’. Overall, students at Madison will be provided with the comforts of a small town, as well as the opportunities of a large city.

Facts & Statistics

Fun Local Trivia
  1. According to Forbes Magazine, Madison is ranked 2nd in the nation of top places for overall education.
  2. Madison is the 82nd largest city in the U.S.
  3. The cornerstone for the capitol building was laid down in 1837.
  4. The original population of the city in 1846 was 626 people.
  5. Madison is known as the "The City of Four Lakes." Those lakes being Lake Mendota, Lake Monona, Lake Kegonsa, and Lake Waubesa.
Notable Natives
  • Chris Noth - "Sex & the City" actor known as Mr. Big, originally from Madison
  • Phil Hellmuth - famous championship poker player, born in Madison and attended UW-Madison
  • Meinhardt Raabe - born in Wisconsin, attended UW-Madison, and currently living in Madison, he is the only surviving munchkin of The Wizard of Oz movie.
  • Butch Vig - drummer for the band Garbage, grew up in Madison
  • Chris Farley - comedian and actor, born in Madison
Local Slang
  • Bubbler: Water fountain ("I need a drink from the bubbler.")
  • Cheese-head: Wisconsin native ("Oh, you're from Madison? You cheese-head!")
  • Disc-Golf: A hippie sport that incorporates golf and frisbee ("Wanna play a few rounds of disc-golf?")
  • Doozy: Unfortunate situation ("She dumped you, now that's a doozy!")
  • Froke: Past tense of freak ("I failed my test and froke out right in class.")
  • Jack: To assault or attack someone ("I'll jack you!")
  • Salty: A way one feels after being defeated ("After we lost at disc-golf I was feeling pretty salty.")
  • Soda: Carbonated beverage ("To drink? I'll just have a soda.")
  • Tight: A phrase to show approval ("You have a date tomorrow?! Tight!")
  • Tyme Machine: ATM ("I need to get cash, where's the closest tyme machine?")
Points of Interest
  • Camp Randall
  • Capital Square
  • Lake Mendota
  • State Street
Shopping Centers
  • East Towne Mall
  • University Square Mall
  • West Towne Mall
Movie Theaters
Eastgate Cinemas - Madison
5202 High Crossing Blvd.
(608) 242-2117
Movie Theaters
Orpheum Theater
216 State St.
(608) 255-8755
Movie Theaters
University Square Theaters
62 University Square Mall
(608) 251-FILM
Major Sports Teams
  • Green Bay Packers: football
  • Milwaukee Brewers: baseball
  • Milwaukee Bucks: basketball
Distances to Nearest Major Cities
  • Chicago: IL: 3 hours
  • Milwaukee: WI: 2 hours

Student Polls

Rate the local atmosphere on the following topics    Based on 113 responses

Very poor
  • Cost of living
  • Dining
  • Friendliness of locals toward students
  • Museums/cultural attractions
  • Nightlife
  • Parking
  • Parks and recreation
  • Professional sports
  • Safety
  • Scenery
  • Shopping
  • Transportation

What is the local atmosphere like at your school?    Based on 113 responses

  • 0% Painfully remote.
  • 4% In or near a big city, but there's not much to do off campus.
  • 4% Small town with plenty of charm.
  • 32% Vibrant college town. There's no big city, but there are plenty of things to do off campus.
  • 59% City living at its finest. There's always something fun and interesting going on.

What is the proximity to other universities? Is there much interaction?    Based on 111 responses

  • 17% There aren't any nearby schools.
  • 41% There are nearby schools, but students do NOT interact much.
  • 41% There are nearby schools that students often interact with.

Can you see yourself living here after graduation?    Based on 111 responses

  • 13% No way.
  • 54% Maybe, if I could find a good job.
  • 33% Totally.



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