Wisconsin Legislature passes bill guaranteeing admission to UW campuses for top high schoolers

A view of a building on University of Wisconsin Madison campus.
An outside view of Bascom Hall on the campus of the University of Wisconsin.
Mike McGinnis | Getty Images 2013

The University of Wisconsin-Madison would be required to admit all high school students who finish in the top 5 percent of their class, and other campuses would have to admit those in the top 10 percent, under a bill passed Tuesday by the state Legislature.

The measure is part of a deal reached between the Legislature and university in December 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.

The university said in a statement 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.”

The Senate passed the bill 23-9. The Assembly approved it on a voice vote. It now heads to Gov. Tony Evers for his consideration.

Create a More Connected Minnesota

MPR News is your trusted resource for the news you need. With your support, MPR News brings accessible, courageous journalism and authentic conversation to everyone - free of paywalls and barriers. Your gift makes a difference.