The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

The Student News Site of Shorewood High School

Shorewood Ripples

Navigating the trek of college application

Discover the differences of Wisconsin’s state and private institutions

Here we are again, a new school year, for the hundredth time (literally). Entering a new grade is always exciting, because the possibilities of the upcoming year are seemingly endless. Though for the seniors of the world, a new anxiety overpowers most other sentiments. 

Recently, college admissions have gone through significant changes. Earlier this summer, the Supreme Court ruled that affirmative action was classified as race discrimination, and banned race from being considered in admissions decisions. The ruling ended a 40 year precedent of race-conscious admissions policies. This change will mostly impact America’s more selective colleges, which may have been more likely to consider race during admissions. Though some schools never practiced race-conscious admissions, others have had to shift their policies.

Additionally, many colleges and universities are also continuing test-blind or test-optional admissions policies into the 2023-2024 application season. This policy allows students who do not wish to submit their scores to be considered holistically without them.

In light of these changes, we wanted to provide Shorewood high schoolers a refresher on how to start the college search and admissions process, and provide a range of different institutional options. 





Marc Young, the Executive Director of Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, believes that college is not a one size fits all scenario, and he considers it the University’s duty to provide all of the resources for individuals to thrive in a cross-section of humanity. 

“We want the students to define what success looks like for them,” said Young. “We feel it is our responsibility to help educate and help that student navigate their path to success.”

Differing from private schools, the UW system offers a range of campus sizes, from UW-Madison’s near 50,000 student enrollment to UW-Platteville’s almost 7,000, and UW-Milwaukee’s 27,156 current undergraduate students.

Young believes this is one of the state’s advantages.

“There is a pathway for really any type of learner in the state of Wisconsin, and that’s [something] I’m really proud of about the state, not forcing any one path on a student.”

Young also mentioned that state schools have low tuition rates compared to private schools, a key factor in a student’s decision.

In terms of the admissions process at UW-Milwaukee, Young says that any information provided will only make a positive difference. In other words, submitting your score will never hurt your chances. 

“We are going to review the information you have disclosed to us that will only help make a positive admissions decision on a student’s application,” Young said.

UWM is an R1 research university, along with UW-Madison– the only two in the state. This classification means that it awards 20 or more doctoral degrees each year and spends at least 5 million dollars of money on research. Only 146 universities nationally hold the R1 classification, demonstrating very high research activity. This means that there are a plethora of research opportunities for undergraduates– in fact, over 1,000 undergraduates assisted in research collection in the past year.

We feel it is our responsibility to help educate and help that student navigate their path to success.

— Marc Young, UWM Executive Director

 Young explained the benefits for undergraduate students. 

“As early as the summer of their upcoming freshman year, [students] can get involved in research that our faculty are conducting, all through their senior year and into grad school and doctoral programs,” Young said.

 UWM also offers a program called SURF (Support for Undergraduate Research Fellows), paying undergraduates for their work in graduate labs. The SURF program is for all levels of education and across all of UWM’s majors, and provides students with opportunities to connect with prestigious professors in their field, and, often, to do graduate-level work. 

When reading applications, Young believes that when a student is their authentic, full self, their chances of admissions are raised significantly. 

“Oftentimes students put unnecessary pressure on themselves to be the perfect applicant, whereas we are really looking for a student to show us who they are,” Young said. “Not overthinking the application process is really the best way to position yourself for admission.”

He advises high school students to take their classes seriously, and demonstrate academic rigor. Taking dual enrollment or cap credit courses will help a student save both time and money, Young suggests. 

Milwaukee is the largest city in Wisconsin, housing industry opportunities in its downtown that surpass or rival Madison’s. Six Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Milwaukee: 

For many, college tuition is a staggering figure leading to hesitancy when applying or acceptance. Looking out for both institutional and departmental aid or scholarships, Young believes, is important to making UWM more cost effective. 

The UW system did not consider race in any admission decision, and will not see a change in their admissions process after the Supreme Court’s ban on affirmative action.

Young stands by UW-Milwaukee’s mantra, “Forge your own path, your way.”

“We want the students to define what success looks like for them and we feel it is our responsibility to help educate and help that student navigate their path to success.”





Lindsay Barbeau, Assistant Director of Communications for Admissions Recruitment and Visit Programs for Marquette University, believes that at smaller universities, students are more than just a number.

“Specifically at Marquette, you are part of a family and community…that is something we really pride ourselves on,” Barbeau said. 

Typically, private, liberal arts colleges have student body sizes ranging from 1,500-5,000, Marquette consists of around 11,000 undergraduate students. Class sizes fluctuate from 25-33 students depending on course level.

Barbeau believes there are many benefits of having small classes and smaller student to faculty ratios.

“I think people really get to know you,” Barbeau said. “Students build connections with staff and fellow peers.”

“We have smaller class sizes, and those class sizes are almost always taught by a professor,” Barbeau said. 

Often at larger state schools, general education classes are taught by graduate student teaching assistants who do not yet have a PhD or teaching experience. Marquette is different from other schools in that aspect.

We don’t want to teach students what to learn, we want to teach students how to learn…

— Lindsay Barbeau

Another differentiator is Marquette’s Jesuit identity. The Jesuit religion started with Saint Ignatius Loyola and his Roman Catholic missionaries. 

“We are very mission-driven … you’ll see that because of that Jesuit identity, students have to take what we call it ‘core curriculum’ [or] a liberal arts-based curriculum,” Barbeau said. “We don’t want to teach students what to learn, we want to teach students how to learn, how to take knowledge and interpret it and come up with their own viewpoints.”

For students worrying about the cost of private liberal arts colleges, Barbeau suggests looking for scholarships narrowly tailored to the location of experience, then branching out to more competitive scholarships.

“In general, use a radius map,” Barbeau said. “You want to first touch the scholarships that you have direct contact with, so maybe it is specific to [the college] or specific to Shorewood High School, so those that are close to you. That next circle that is a little bit farther away, those are Wisconsin-specific scholarships, [or local organizations]. That last layer of scholarships, that last circle that I like to talk about is the really far out ones… where you can search on your demographics, your background, what you are interested in… there are just so many people competing for those you are less likely to get them, but [still worth a try]. I would start close to you and your local library community and expand out.”

Marquette offers a range of scholarships, including six that are full-ride. They also have work-study programs for students with demonstrated financial need and offer on-campus job opportunities, similar to UWM.

“A private school tuition can be as much as a public school tuition,” Barbeau said. “But it will take you longer to figure that out because you have to figure out where all those scholarships lie.”

Barbeau encourages students to tour the campus to get a feel for the community.

“Our faculty, staff and alumni really create a cohesive family…we [would] love to get to know you as a person,” Barbeau said.