New Freshmen – Waukesha and Washington County Campuses

I'm starting in the Fall

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 them. Recommended items are steps that our most successful students complete. Finally, Bonus Points are steps that will be helpful in your transition to UWM, but will not have any direct bearing on your enrollment.


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 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 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. 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 and an essay. 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 this area as well. Registration for placement tests opens February 1st and testing dates begin in March.

You must take your placement tests at your intended campus (UWM at Waukesha or UWM at Washington County) because the essay component is not offered elsewhere.

More information will be available at

4. Register for New Student Orientation

After you have paid your Confirmation Deposit and taken your Placement Tests, you will be invited to register for New Student Orientation (NSO). Orientation is a one-day 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. If you are ready to sign up for Orientation, you’ll see it as a To Do List item on your PAWS account. Registration begins in April.

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

5. 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:[Make sure to complete this at least 48 hours prior to your Orientation program.] 6. Complete your University Credit AgreementEvery 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.

7. 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

8. Pay your tuition 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 remaining $100 of the 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.

9. Attend Panther Academic Welcome (PAW)
Panther Academic Welcome (PAW) is your first official day as a Panther and is when you’ll get acclimated to academic expectations of UWM, get your Class T-Shirt and photo,  and meet the people you’re taking classes with! Make sure to block this day on your schedule as it’s required for all new freshmen (dates coming soon).


1. Visit campus
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 your chosen UWM campus has to offer.  UWM at Waukesha or UWM at Washington County
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 Our school code is 003896. Do not use the code for the Waukesha or Washington County campuses.

For the 2019-20 year, the FAFSA is available as of October 1, 2018. You will use your 2016 tax information—which you most likely completed months ago. 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.  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 at Waukesha or UWM at Washington County.


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 2019-20 Panthers 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
3. Find a Student Organization (or two, or three, or…)
Our branch campuses have a variety of student organizations – you’re bound to find one (or several) that interests 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! UWM at Waukesha or UWM at Washington County.