Next Steps for New Freshmen

The following checklist items are broken down into three categories: RequiredRecommended and Bonus Points. Required are your must do steps – you won’t be able to enroll in classes without completing themRecommended items are steps that our most successful students complete. Finally, Bonus Points are steps that will be helpful to your transition to UWM, but will not have any direct bearing on your enrollment.

REQUIRED:

1. Check your PAWS account - often!
Your PAWS account is your connection to important information about your application and enrollment at UWM.  On PAWS, you’ve got a To Do List, which lists steps you need to take care of to get admitted and enrolled, and also any items the Financial Aid Office may have requested after receiving your FAFSA results. Access your account at uwm.edu/paws and check it often for updates!

Never been on PAWS? You must first activate your ePanther ID and create a password. You’ll use this login for PAWS, your UWM email (assigned just before New Student Orientation), and all other online UWM resources.

2. Pay your $150 Confirmation Deposit
Part of the $250 New Freshman Fee, this deposit confirms your intent to enroll at UWM. You can pay on your PAWS account by clicking on ‘Make a Payment’ in the Finances section. For other payment options, visit the Bursar’s Office website.

*Please note this deposit is not refundable if you attend a New Student Orientation (NSO) program or fail to cancel your NSO registration at least 10 days before your scheduled program.
3. Determine Living Arrangements
. Please note:  To better accommodate students due to the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, effective immediately, UWM will not be enforcing the residency requirement for Fall 2020 new students.  Typically, new full-time freshmen would be required to live on campus or ask for an exemption.

This change will have different effects, depending on where you are in the housing process.
  1. Students who have not signed a contract or started the exemption process will have an automatic exemption processed on their behalf. No action will be needed to become exempt. This exemption would not stop a student from signing a University Housing contract, if they decide they still want to live in University Housing.
  2. Students who started the exemption process but have not yet received an approval will have their pending exemptions granted without any further documentation or correspondence needed.
  3. Students who already signed a University Housing Contract are not affected by this change. However, they may now be able to cancel their contract, subject to the deadlines and terms outlined in it.  Students who have canceled their University Housing Contract on or before May 31 will only forfeit their $50 non-refundable portion of the deposit. The other $50 would be refunded via PAWS.

Living on campus

Living in University Housing is a great way to transition to college life. Whether you’re meeting up with your professor in the lounge after class, taking part in a volunteer project or just relaxing with friends in your room, you’ll discover that our residence halls sit at the intersection of classroom, campus and community. And research has shown that living on campus contributes positively to a student’s overall success.

UWM will be removing the Housing Checklist Items from the path to matriculation for Fall 2020 admitted students. The Housing Checklist Items will still be indicated in the student’s PAWS To-Do List, and must still be completed prior to the fall semester. Important to note:  even though the Housing Checklist Items have been removed from the matriculation path, it may still be in your best interest to complete your contract, and also list any specific hall or roommate requests. Don’t forget to consider our Living Learning Communities!

After submitting your Contract, you will be billed for your $100 Housing Prepayment/Deposit. Be sure to pay this deposit in PAWS to secure your spot in University Housing.

Living off campus

If you commute from home, don’t worry, we’ll help you get connected to campus! You’ll hear from your Peer Mentor, a student from the Student Success Center who will help you meet other students, show you around campus, and assist you with your academic success. You can also visit the Commuter Student Lounge located within the Inclusive Excellence Center in the Union.

The priority deadline for all Housing paperwork is June 1st. For more information, visit University Housing online.

4. Course placement
At UWM, placement testing isn’t required of everyone because a number of factors are considered when determining course placement. If you submit your ACT/SAT score to UWM, you will not need to do any placement testing as we will use those scores and other data from your application to place you in your courses. For those who may need placement testing, options will be available in the spring and summer and more course placement information will be sent in beginning in February. uwm.edu/freshmanplacement.
5. Register for New Student Orientation

1-2 days after you’ve paid your confirmation deposit, you’ll be invited to register for Orientation.

Orientation is a virtual program required for all New Freshmen and is a great opportunity to become more acclimated to campus, meet your fellow Panthers, meet with an advisor, and register for classes. You will not be able to register for classes until you attend all parts of the virtual Orientation experience.

For more information and to register, visit our New Student Orientation website.

6. Submit Your ID Photo

All UWM students are required to have a photo identification card. Skip the inconvenience of having it taken on campus and send us your selfie!

Download the “Get Mobile” App or upload it here: https://uwm.edu/retailservices/use-your-selfie/[Make sure to complete this at least 48 hours prior to your Orientation program.]

7. Complete your University Credit Agreement
Every student must electronically sign the University Credit Agreement. This will appear on your To Do List on your PAWS account in the spring and must be signed before you can register for classes. For more information, visit the Bursar’s Office.
8. Send in your final High School transcripts
Be sure to work with your counselor to send us your final transcript once your final grades and graduation date have been posted. Transcripts can be sent electronically or mailed to:

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
P.O. Box 749
Milwaukee, WI 53201

9. Pay your tuition and fees
In July, and after you’ve registered for classes, tuition and fees will be posted to your account. One of those fees is the $100 New Freshman Fee which covers various costs for campus resources such as your campus ID and Fall Welcome programming.

Tuition and fees are due by the first day of classes, though installment plans are available. For more information, visit our Bursar’s Office.

10. Attend Panther Academic Welcome (PAW)
Panther Academic Welcome (PAW) is your first official day as a Panther! It’s usually the Friday of move-in week and is when you’ll get acclimated to academic expectations of UWM, get your Class T-Shirt and photo, participate in the Fountain Walk and meet the people you’re living and taking classes with! Make sure to block this day on your schedule as it’s required for all new freshmen.

RECOMMENDED:

1. Tour campus...See Milwaukee
Whether you are still considering several schools or you’ve already made your decision to attend UWM, planning a visit is the best way to experience all that UWM and the city of Milwaukee have to offer! Our See Milwaukee guided tours are open to all who want to get acquainted with UWM and Milwaukee. While on a UWM campus tour, you will have the opportunity to meet with an Admissions Advisor, take a tour with a current student to see our beautiful campus and its surrounding community, and pair your tour with information sessions about your potential area(s) of academic interest. For more information on all of our visit programs, head to uwm.edu/visit.
2. Plan to attend Go Milwaukee
Go Milwaukee is our spring event that’s made just for admitted students! Go Milwaukee is a full-day program where we will help you finalize your decision to make UWM your new home. Take the opportunity to connect with other future Panthers, tour the city of Milwaukee, and hear from alums and current students about why they love UWM. Visit uwm.edu/gomilwaukee for more information.

Missed Go Milwaukee? You can sign up for See Milwaukee, our campus tour, at any time: uwm.edu/visituwm.

3. Consider financial options and complete FAFSA
College is an investment – well worth it, but many students need help with the costs. To apply for financial aid, including grants (gift money you don’t have to pay back) and loans, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, more commonly known as the FAFSA. File this online at www.fafsa.gov. Our school code is 003896.

For the 2021-22 year, the FAFSA is available as of October 1, 2020. You will use your 2019 tax information. Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to import your tax information makes completing the FAFSA easier than ever. However, to make sure the process is secure, you won’t see the information that is imported. Apply as soon as possible to be given maximum consideration for funds that may be limited. The Financial Aid Office will use the results of your FAFSA to determine what kind of aid you’re eligible to receive, and notify you via email once we put together an award package for you. Having this information earlier should help you make important decisions about how to pay for college, building a budget, and determining housing options.

We also have lots of great information under the Finances section of the One Stop website! Learn about the different types of financial aid, how to apply, and read important announcements. Make sure to check out our cool budgeting tool, the UWM Total Cost Estimator. Still have questions? Please contact the Financial Aid Office for help.

3. Research Scholarship Options
Scholarships are a great way to help fund your education since they’re money you don’t need to pay back. They’re competitive but well worth the effort. Research potential scholarship opportunities at uwm.edu/scholarships.
4. Consider joining a Living Learning Community
You already know that living on campus has academic and social benefits, but imagine living with people who share the same interests! Living Learning Communities (LLCs) are a “community within a community,” grouping students together in the residence hall based on a common interest (and usually a class) – like the Arts, community service, or Health Professions. LLC students share an immediate connection with one another, creating a supportive community that, statistically speaking, results in higher GPAs and higher graduation rates than their peers.

Check out all the LLC Choices.

To sign up for an LLC, simply indicate which LLC you’re interested in when completing your contract. Note that all LLC choices must be made by June 1st.

Not living on campus? Don’t worry – we also offer a variety of Learning Communities geared to enhance your success your first year here. With a variety of styles and subject matter, you can connect with peers and better prepare yourself for the rigors of college.

BONUS POINTS:

1. Connect with UWM and fellow students on social media
Connect with other future Panthers by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Also, don’t forget to follow our Tour Guides, and connect with other future Panthers in your class on the Class of 2024 Facebook group.
2. Think about getting an on-campus job
UWM is committed to professional development of our student workers, so an on-campus job is more than just money in your pocket, it’s a chance to learn and grow as a young professional. Plus, many offer flexible hours and are easy to get to in between classes. While you can’t start working until you’re officially a student, check out what kinds of jobs are out there and prepare yourself at uwm.edu/careerplan.
3. Find a Student Organization (or two, or three, or…)
UWM has over 300 student organizations on campus! You’re bound to find one (or several) that interest you. Whether you’ve been participating in an activity for years and want to keep it up or you’re looking to venture out and try something new, our student orgs are a great way to get involved!

I'm starting in the Spring

Welcome to the Spring semester! While all the steps to enrollment are the same as students who start in Fall, the timeline is a bit different. The following checklist items are broken down into three categories: RequiredRecommended and Bonus Points. Required are your must do steps – you won’t be able to enroll in classes without completing themRecommended items are steps that our most successful students complete. Finally, Bonus Points are steps that will be helpful to your transition to UWM, but will not have any direct bearing on your enrollment.

REQUIRED:

1. Check your Paws account - often!
Your PAWS account is your connection to important information about your application and enrollment at UWM. On PAWS, you’ve got a To Do List, which lists steps you need to take care of to get admitted and enrolled; your Financial Aid award, where you accept your grants and loans; Finances, where you pay tuition and fees; and Enrollment, where you register for classes. Access your account at paws.uwm.edu and check it often for updates!

Never been on PAWS? You must first activate your ePanther ID and create a password. You’ll use this login for PAWS, your UWM email (assigned just before New Student Orientation), and all other online UWM resources.

2. Pay your $150 Confirmation Deposit
Part of the $250 New Freshman Fee, this deposit confirms your intent to enroll at UWM. You can pay on your PAWS account by clicking on ‘Make a Payment’ in the Finances section. For other payment options, visit the Bursar’s Office website.

*Please note this deposit is not refundable if you attend a New Student Orientation (NSO) program or fail to cancel your NSO registration at least 10 days before your scheduled program.
3. Determine Living Arrangments

If you’re interested in living in one of our residence halls, you’ll have to submit a Housing Contract and pay a $100 pre-payment/deposit. University Housing will send you an email when you are able to access to your online contract via the myHousing portal (about two weeks after you’ve been admitted). When you’re completing your contract, be sure consider our Living Learning Communities. The priority deadline for Housing Contracts and payments is December 1st.

Looking to rent a place in the neighborhood? Check out our Neighborhood Housing Office! We can help you find quality housing, roommates, and other resources.

If you’re going to commute to campus, learn about transportation options, parking permits, and other commuter student resources.

4. Take your placement Tests
Placement tests determine which courses you are ready for and maximize your chances for success. All incoming New Freshmen must complete placement testing in Math and English (there are options for both native and non-native speaker English testing). Students interested in taking Chemistry and/or Foreign Language courses who would like to try and place beyond introductory college levels are encouraged to take placement tests in these areas as well. Registration for placement tests opens October 1st and testing dates begin in November.

Get more information about testing options and register at newfreshmentesting.uwm.edu

5. Register for New Student Orientation

Orientation is a required virtual program for all New Freshmen and is a great opportunity to become more acclimated to campus resources, meet your fellow Panthers, meet with an advisor, and enroll in classes.

For more information and to register, visit our New Student Orientation website.

6. Submit Your ID Photo

All UWM students are required to have a photo identification card. Skip the inconvenience of having it taken on campus and send us your selfie!

Download the “Get Mobile” App or upload it here: https://uwm.edu/retailservices/use-your-selfie/[Make sure to complete this at least 48 hours prior to your Orientation program.]

7. Complete your University Credit Agreement
Every student must electronically sign the University Credit Agreement. This will appear on your To Do List on your PAWS account in the spring and must be signed before you can register for classes. For more information, visit the Bursar’s Office.
8. Pay your tuition and fees
In January, and after you’ve registered for classes, tuition and fees will be posted to your account. One of those fees is the $100 New Freshman Fee which covers various costs for campus resources such as your campus ID and Winter Welcome programming.

Tuition and fees are due by the first day of classes, though installment plans are available. For more information, visit our Bursar’s Office.

RECOMMENDED:

1. Tour campus
Whether you’re still considering several schools or you’ve already made the decision to attend UWM, visiting us in-person or engaging with us virtually are great ways to experience what life as a Panther is like. Our on campus tours are open and led by a current student. For your safety, you are required to wear a mask and the tours are limited in size to adhere to social distancing guidelines. We also have virtual live and recorded opportunities to meet with an Admissions Advisor, take a virtual tour, and information sessions about your potential area(s) of academic interest. For more information on all of our visit programs, head to uwm.edu/visituwm.
2. Consider financial options and complete FAFSA
College is an investment – well worth it, but many students need help with the costs. To apply for financial aid, including grants (gift money you don’t have to pay back) and loans, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, more commonly known as the FAFSA. File this online at www.fafsa.gov. Our school code is 003896.

For the 2020-21 year, the FAFSA is available as of October 1. You will use your 2019 tax information. Using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool (DRT) to import your tax information makes completing the FAFSA easier than ever. Apply as soon as possible to be given maximum consideration for funds that may be limited. The Financial Aid Office will use the results of your FAFSA to determine what kind of aid you’re eligible to receive, and notify you via email once we put together an award package for you. Having this information earlier should help you make important decisions about how to pay for college, building a budget, and determining housing options.

We also have lots of great information on the Financial Aid website! Learn about the different types of financial aid, how to apply, and read important announcements. Make sure to check out our cool budgeting tool, the UWM Total Cost Estimator. Still have questions? Please contact the Financial Aid Office for help.

3. Research Scholarship Options
Scholarships are a great way to help fund your education since they’re money you don’t need to pay back. They’re competitive but well worth the effort. Research potential scholarship opportunities at uwm.academicworks.com.

BONUS POINTS:

1. Connect with UWM and fellow students on social media
Connect with other future Panthers by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Also, don’t forget to connect with other future Panthers in your class on the Class of 2024 Facebook group.
2. Think about getting an on-campus job

UWM is committed to professional development of our student workers, so an on-campus job is more than just money in your pocket, it’s a chance to learn and grow as a young professional. Plus, many offer flexible hours and are easy to get to in between classes. While you can’t start working until you’re officially a student, check out what kinds of jobs are out there and prepare yourself at uwm.edu/careerplan.

3. Find a Student Organization (or two, or three, or…)
UWM has over 300 Student Organizations on campus! You’re bound to find one (or several) that interest you. Whether you’ve been participating in an activity for years and want to keep it up or you’re looking to venture out and try something new, our student orgs are a great way to get involved!