I’m a senior in high school, and I’m submitting a 3.6 gpa early action with 10 extracurriculars listed. Is there anything specific that Wisconsin looks for in its applicants that will allow me to boost my chances?
Quick note, be careful not to toe the line of a chance-me question! I think you're okay as you're asking for advice but I wouldn't risk it in future.
Anyways, firstly I would recommend going through their website. They have some clear requirements/recommendations that they have for applicants. Look for blogs or other information from current students or previously successful applicants.
According to their admissions site, UW-Madison looking for high academic achievement (average GPA of 3.87) in rigorous classes (Honors, AP/IB). This means that your GPA currently isn't very competitive for this school, so you will have to boost your profile elsewhere. Do you have a heavy course load? That would help make up for a lower GPA. What extracurriculars do you have? It's all very well having 10, but if they're all low-level, they won't help you very much. It's better to have four or five very strong extracurriculars than lots of weak ones.
Do you have any test scores? UW-Madison is test-optional, but high test scores can make up for a lower GPA and can really boost your application. The middle 50% of test scores for Madison is 1310-1490 (SAT) and 27-32 (ACT), so I would recommend sending in anything that is a 1450 SAT or 30 ACT and above. If your score is a 1300/27 or lower, that puts you in the 25th percentile of applicants, so I would not recommend sending them as they might ending up harming you rather than helping. One site I looked at said that UW-Madison actually requires a GPA of 3.5 and an ACT of 27 minimum, so definitely look into it a bit more and decide based on that.
UW-Madison also has two supplemental essays along with the main essay. Really good essays are great padding for less competitive applicants. Work hard to perfect these essays - research previous successful essays (but don't copy them!), go on YouTube for advice, do your best to come up with an original topic and get a lot of peer review.
Hope this helped!! Best of luck.
This is a bit of a chancing engine question, so you should definitely check out our engine for the quantitative metrics of admission.
As for the qualitative measures, you can check out our blog articles on this school for some direction on what UWM is looking for in a candidate:
You can also check out this panel we did with UWM students to learn more about their experience to better inform your application.
Hope this helps!
To keep this community safe and supportive: