New Student Application Process

Applications for all WCATY programs are considered on a first-come, first-served basis for course placement upon receipt of a complete application. Early applications are encouraged.

You are considered a new WCATY student if you have NOT participated in any of the following WCATY programs: 9 week online Academy challenges, 4 week online Project A missions, or any summer program (ALP, STEP, PACE, YSSP, or GEM).

Online Students:

New online students registered by their families are asked to submit the WCATY Recommendation Form.

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GEM Students:

New students applying to GEM should see School Year Forms for more information and necessary paperwork while applying. During the application process it may be helpful to follow the Guide to the Application Unit for Gem and use the Application Check List to assure you have completed necessary steps. Following completion of the online application form, the following steps need to be completed to finalize and submit the application.

New Students to GEM Need: Online application, New Student Recommendation form, one supporting document (grade report, test scores, or work sample), and the application fee.

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Summer Programs:

New  students applying for a summer course will need to submit the paperwork listed below in STEP 3. WCATY will notify families of decisions up to four weeks after receiving a complete application. All accepted students will receive a welcome packet, course placement information, and a student handbook about a month before the program begins.

Families: How to Register NEW students for Summer Programs

STEP 1: Look through the class options for the Accelerated Learning Program (ALP), Summer Transitional Enrichment Program (STEP), Preparatory Academic Campus Experience (PACE), or  Young Student Summer Program (YSSP).   Decide on your first AND second class choices.

STEP 2: Log-in to the registration unit. If you have never completed an online application through the application unit, you will need to create a username and password for the system. Please make sure you write down your username and password for future reference. Next, complete the online registration form and pay the $30 or $60 non-refundable registration fee. Submitting the registration fee can be done online, by calling the office, or by sending in a check made out to UW-Madison. Click here for full instructions on how to register online.

STEP 3: Upload the required forms directly into the application unit:

A. Current grade report (Any format; Does not need to be an official copy from the school.)

B. Academic writing sample (There are no subject or length requirements, but should be from this current school year.)

C. Copy of standardized test scores (PSAT, ACT, WKCE, NUMATS, etc.) If test scores are not available, submit copies of class work in a field of study similar in nature to the selected WCATY course.

D. One letter of recommendation (From someone who can speak to academic ability: teacher, tutor, etc.) Additional recommendation letters may be requested. 

E. OPTIONAL: Financial aid form

*NOTE: If you are unable to upload your .pdf or .docx documents directly into the application unit, you may email the documents to the following email address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

STEP 4: Check the status of your application by logging back into the registration unit. Students will be notified of their acceptance by mail. Complete and send back the forms included in the acceptance package to the WCATY office.

STEP 5: The following are required after admission:

A. Health Form (An email will be sent to you from the CampDoc website at least a month before the program begins)

B. Student Rules Contract (review ahead of time and bring/sign during camp check-in)

C. COMMUTER STUDENTS ONLY: ALP, STEP, PACE or YSSP Commuter Policy (send or email to the WCATY office)

OPTIONAL: Roommate Request Form and T-Shirt Contest Submission