Daily Bread for 12.8.23: A Direct-Admissions Proposal for the UW Schools

 Good morning.

Friday in Whitewater will be partly cloudy with a high of 55. Sunrise is 7:13 and sunset 4:20 for 9h 07m 29s of daytime. The moon is a waning crescent with 19.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

 On this day in 1941, President Roosevelt declares December 7 to be “a date which will live in infamy,” after which the U.S. declares war on Japan.

Corrinne Hess reports UW system will launch direct admissions initiative with 2024 senior class (‘Students will get college admission letters in July 2024 before applying to college’):

Starting next year, high school students could be accepted into University of Wisconsin schools without even applying.  

The Universities of Wisconsin is rolling out its direct admissions initiative to boost enrollment across its campuses. UW system administrators hope to reach first-generation college students and other potential students who might not have considered attending a four-year school.  


Participating high schools and participating UW campuses will enter student grade point average data and campus admission requirements into two large student information systems used by many public school districts in Wisconsin, Infinite Campus or Skyward Schools. From there, students will receive admission letters to the campuses where they are matched for fall 2025. 

Rothman said most UW campuses have similar GPA requirements. He said GPA is being looked at because it is a good predictor of future college performance.  

“We can start to have a conversation about what a university journey will look like, financial aid and what that process is, and really take some burden off of high school counselors,” Rothman said. 

Hess reports that other states have had success with a direct-admissions approach:

Idaho adopted the nation’s first direct admissions system, proactively admitting all high school graduates to a set of public institutions in 2015. Idaho’s program raised first-time undergraduate enrollments by just over 8 percent and in-state student enrollment by almost 12 percent by the 2017-18 school year, according to an article by Research in Higher Education.

The state of New York created a direct admissions program this year for more than 125,000 graduating high school seniors. In fall 2024, Georgia will roll out a direct admissions program similar to Wisconsin’s.  

It’s a good idea — schools will send out offers of acceptance based on academic performance in participating high schools but students need not accept an offer. The program removes a burdensome application process many might have experienced. Less in this case is more. 

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