University of Wisconsin?? Pros vs. Cons

<p>I am considering University of Wisconsin-Madison, but so many people are telling me that the weather is terrible, and my tutor advised me to not go there. I don't really know his reasons, but I was wondering for anyone who went or is currently attending this school, if they could tell me anything good or bad about it. I know that their opinions shouldn't matter, but I would still like to know for myself.
Thank you!! (:</p>

<p>-JJ</p>

<p>Are you from Wisconsin? I'm assuming you haven't applied yet. Wisconsin is a great school but it's hard to say without knowing anything about your stats/background.</p>

<p>Hi,
No I am not from Wisconsin, but one of my relatives used to live there so he had
somewhat an experience from the area. Im not so much worried about getting for right now, but more like how the school and surrounding area is. I don't wanna end up wasting money for a school that I end up not liking, so thats mostly why I am just asking about the university's background.</p>

<p>Great academic programs, nice college city, fans passionate about athletics, reasonable cost...Wisconsin is one of the complete All American college experiences.</p>

<p>Pros: Madison is one of the nicest cities in the U.S., school excels academically, has some of the best need-based financial aid among public universities (in my personal experience, they offered to meet 100% of my need, a package of $36k in grants and $4k in loans), great engineering programs, legendary ChemE program, strong in virtually any field you could ask for, enormous number of options, party scene if you're into that, athletics, attracts a large number of speakers/bands/events to campus.</p>

<p>Cons: Some very large courses, high pricetag for most OOS students, very spread out campus (not convenient if you don't have a car), lack of direct interaction with professors in lower level courses, need to put in extra work to really stand out among the sea of faces.</p>

<p>Pro or con: Situated in a fairly large city.</p>

<p>The weather can get below zero in the winter, but it's not like you're in Alaska. It shouldn't be an issue unless you come from Florida or Cali or something.</p>

<p>UW-Madison was my second choice. I would definitely recommend it to you if you're interested and can afford it.</p>

<p>Thankkss!! But do you know about the weather? My parents think I will hate it because apparently its supposed to be cold up there for the majority of the year and the lake effects are pretty bad. I am not sure if that is right but it would be really great to know.</p>

<p>You really have to get into the specific pro's and con's and the why's really matter because, as you realize, you do have to choose for yourself. Don't go especially on an uninformed hunchor vague impression or something someone 'heard'. My daughter is in grad school there so I can't comment too much on undergrad academics except there are some very good departments. Check out if there es any activity on the UW forum.</p>

<ol>
<li><p>Madison is a great cool little city. A real college town, and the state capitol too. There's always something going on. You can bike around most anywhere and the public transportation is good. It is a great music town, with music and events all over the place, and on campus. Next to the school is a pedestrial street with all kind of hangouts and eateries. The campus has a huge student union with a terrace on the lake:
About</a> - Wisconsin Union</p></li>
<li><p>My kid grew up in San Francisco and L.A. and doesn't complain about the weather in Madison. But she is always happy when it's bike riding weather. In winter, the bike lanes get plowed early and all streets are efficiently plowed so it is easy to get around. It would be hard for me, I think, but people who live there are prepared for it and dress accordingly. If you go you will buy clothes for the weather so that you are comfortable (Land's end has their main wareheouse nearby.) I visited in October when it was just getting nippy, not very cold. I had a great time and loved it. A great eating town, not just brats and cheese, but a Laotian population with popular restaurants.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>Kudrayka...Do you have very high stats? It's not typical for an out of state public to offer that kind of FA package unless the "aid" is somewhat merit based. </p>

<p>For many OOS students at publics, they would not get a FA package like that.</p>

<p>BlueJJay....what is your major? </p>

<p>Tell us more about yourself...what do you like to do in your spare time?</p>

<p>What are your stats? GPA and test scores?</p>

<p>How much are your parents willing to pay each year?</p>

<p>What state are you from (so we'll know what weather you're used to.)</p>

<p>I'm a senior from Wisconsin who is hoping to get accepted to the school this fall. I can't comment on the academics, but I have been to Madison many times. </p>

<p>You're looking at a big research university with 70,000 undergrad and graduate students in attendance in the capital of a decently-sized state that's had some pretty turbulent politics in recent times. Point being: there's always something going on. </p>

<p>The campus can be summed up in two adjectives: Big and Loud. I say loud because the school itself has a legendary party reputation and there's always construction going on. One thing that Wisky has that many of its Big 10 peers do not is a beautiful campus located between two lakes. There are some really nice lake-front activities and bike trials in the area.</p>

<p>Sometimes sports teams (and the crowds they draw) can be over-hyped. All I know is that when I went to Madison for a Purdue game (my parents went to Purdue), all I could see was an ocean of red for miles and miles. I'm not big into sports, but having a winning team puts everyone in a good mood. Of late, Wisconsin's basketball and football teams have been pretty good.</p>

<p>As for the weather, there's no getting around that Wisconsin is cold in the winter. It sucks. There's no getting around it. On the other hand, there's something mystical about admiring the freshly cut lawn before you go to bed and waking up to see two feet of snow has covered it. I dunno, maybe that's just me.</p>

<p>Finally, I know I don't know anything about academics since I don't go there, but I've heard that the "Public Ivy" image is a tad disingenuous. It's not an "intellectual" school. It may be a Public Ivy for the top 15 to 25 percent, but the majority of people are there to party it up, get their BS/BA, and move on.</p>

<p>Peace.</p>

<ul>
<li>great academics, great location, great campus life and college experience</li>
<li>weather -- but that's actually not so bad. you will begin to enjoy it once you had the first few snow falls. cold from nov to feb.</li>
</ul>

<p>
[quote]
cold from nov to feb

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Make that mid oct thru early may</p>

<p>The weather in Madison is similar to that in Cambridge, MA. People rarely refuse to attend Harvard on account of the weather.</p>

<p>@mom2collegekids, I was offered that aid through the Banner program, which is designed for OOS students with extremely low EFCs. I couldn't find any information about whether selection for this program is entirely need based or also partially merit based.</p>

<p>My stats were... well, odd. I had a 34 ACT and 3.0 GPA. I considered UW-Madison a match, and I was deferred from EA to regular decision, so I doubt merit played a major role. I was under the impression it was entirely need based.</p>

<p>


</p>

<p>Hardly. The average November-March lows for Madison are about 15 degrees colder than for Cambridge.</p>

<p>Average</a> Weather for Madison, WI - Temperature and Precipitation</p>

<p>Average</a> Weather for Cambridge, MA - Temperature and Precipitation</p>

<p>I guess it depends on what you consider cold. October and May might be chilly but not freezing. I think November thru March is the worst. A lot of kids are still wearing shorts and/or short sleeves in October and start again in April.</p>

<p>A lot of good information has been shared although I'd like to comment on/clarify a few points as well as share some of my own son's experiences (current junior). </p>

<p>Re: Kudryavka's post...it is great that you got such a great aid package, but others should be aware of and take into consideration that the big OOS publics, including UW, are not known for offering great need-based aid. Also, while the campus is indeed spread out, a car really is not necessary. There is a good bus system and many bike paths, and my son finds that he walks almost everywhere - many of his daily activities/classes tend to be within a reasonable walking distance from each other, especially as you get into your major. For example, since he is in the Business School many of his classes are in Grainger. If you live in the SW dorms, you would use the SERF for athletics and the cafeteria between Sellery and Witte, while if in the Lakeshore area, you'd use the facilities on that end. There are 2 unions as well as multiple libraries so you can almost always find something you need fairly close by. </p>

<p>Re: the cold. Yep, it is pretty cold, especially between November and March. April is still chilly. For my Virginia boy it was a bit of an adjustment and is still not his favorite part of Madison, but he would not trade being there for anything. The key is dressing properly. He was used to just throwing on a fleece, even in cold weather. In Madison, he wears boots, a big down parka, a hat, and gloves during the real winter months.And usually fills a travel coffee mug with hot coffee/tea in the morning as he heads to class so he can have the warm drink to help stay warm. But, the fall is just gorgeous as is late spring. He stayed in Madison this past summer and it was awesome. </p>

<p>@Wiscogene - the actual number of students at UW (undergrad plus grad) is actually more like 42,000 according the the UW website, not 70,000. Approx. 28,000-30,000 are undergrads. Also, while Madison is known for having an amazing social scene...great music, sports, parties, and restaurants, I don't think it is fair to say it is not intellectual at all and that the majority are there just to party. One of the things that draws people to UW is the combination of excellent academics in many disciplines and the vibrant lifestyle. For those that are there just to party, they either have to learn to balance that quickly or they will not be successful as a student. Perhaps on your visits you've been there for fun time, but not necessarily spent your time around the libraries or been there during class on a Tuesday. There are all sorts of folks at UW, but even the ones who like to play hard need to work hard, too. </p>

<p>It is a large school and classes can be huge. There is help is you need it and seek it out, but no one will hold your hand. Son has gotten pretty much all the classes he's wanted, but a big U is not for everyone. It is best for independent and self-motivated folks. The quality of teaching can vary - many professors and TA's very good, some not so much. He has found most students to be cooperative and willing to work together on projects or form small study groups before exams and such. </p>

<p>Hope that helps! Good luck with your search. No place is perfect or all things for all people, but UW and Madison have been a great fit for my son. (On the other hand, my Son #2 will not even consider such a large school...he is much more interested in a small LAC experience).</p>

<p>The lake keeps the temperature relatively stable so it'll be around 5-15 at the worst. My brother goes there and he says it isn't bad. Then again were from Minnesota...</p>