Next Steps for Freshmen
at UWM at Washington County and Waukesha

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 IDand create a password. You’ll use this login for PAWS, your UWM email 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. Course Placement

At UWM, placement testing isn’t required of everyone because a number of factors are considered when determining course placement. To complete your course placement requirement, you will need to either submit ACT/SAT scores or take a math placement test. Optional testing may also be needed for those enrolling in foreign language courses depending on your previous coursework. If you do not have ACT/SAT scores on file at UWM, you will need to email us at for the Waukesha campus or for the Washington County campus to determine how you will place into your math and English courses.

4. Register for New Student Orientation

After you have paid your Confirmation Deposityou will be invited to register for New Student Orientation (NSO). Orientation is a half-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 (Spring Admits- November.)

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 Agreement

Every student must electronically sign the University Credit Agreement. This will appear on your To-Do List on your PAWS account 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 and fees

In July (Spring Admits – January), 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 Panther Academic 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.


1. Visit campus

Whether you are still considering several schools or you’ve already made your decision to attend UWM at Waukesha or UWM at Washington County, 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. For more information on all of our visit programs, head to

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 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 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 the Scholarship Portal.

4. Submit AP/IB Scores IEP or any college work


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 at

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 Handshake.
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).