Policy

Evers signs bill requiring UW to admit top Wisconsin high school students

Gov. Tony Evers signed into law a measure requiring UW-Madison to admit all high school students who finish in the top 5% of their class, while other UW campuses would have to admit those in the top 10%.

Associated Press

February 20, 2024

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The U.S. and Wisconsin flags fly at the top of a flagpole affixed to the sloped roof of a multi-story stone masonry building with a pediment atop its front entrance with a sign reading Bascom Hall, with multiple other modernist concrete and glass buildings visible in the background under a clear sky.

Sunshine reflects off the roof of Bascom Hall on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, with Van Hise Hall, which houses the offices of the Universities of Wisconsin administration, visible in the distance, on April 22, 2020. Gov. Tony Evers signed into law on Feb. 20, 2024, a measure that requires UW-Madison to admit all high school students who finish in the top 5% of their class, while requiring other UW campuses to admit those in the top 10%. (Credit: PBS Wisconsin)


AP News

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers on Feb. 20 signed into law a bipartisan measure that requires the University of Wisconsin-Madison to admit all high school students who finish in the top 5% of their class.

All other UW campuses would have to admit those in the top 10%, under the measure Evers signed.

The new law is part of a deal reached between the Legislature and university in December that also limits diversity positions at the system’s two dozen campuses in exchange for money to cover staff raises and construction projects. A legislative committee gave final approval for the pay raises in December, and now a series of bills are working their way through the Legislature enacting other parts of the deal.

Evers said the new law will help address the state’s worker shortage.

“Our UW System is a critical partner in this work as a major economic driver and a critical resource for building our state’s next-generation workforce by helping train and retain the talented students we already have here in Wisconsin,” Evers said in a statement.

The university said when the Legislature passed the measure that it supported the guaranteed admission proposal “because it will help encourage the top students in Wisconsin to remain in-state for their postsecondary education, and will encourage more of these students to remain here after graduation.”

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