New Student Checklist

Students Studying

Congratulations and Welcome to the UW Colleges community!  Download the New Student Checklist to keep track of your tasks and deadlines or reference the list below.

In order to successfully register and enroll, follow the steps listed below.

1. If you haven't already...

  • Set up your student email to receive time-sensitive information.
  • Activate your PRISM account. PRISM is your student portal for campus business, grade and course transactions. You will need your student ID number.
  • Arrange for your final official transcript (high school and college if applicable) to be sent to UW Colleges Admissions Office, 780 Regent Street, Madison, WI 53715.
  • Apply for financial aid with the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at The UW Colleges school code is 003897 regardless of what campus you are attending. The application is available October 1.
  • Sign the UW Colleges Terms and Conditions Agreement found under Finances in your PRISM account.
  • Optional: If you will be living in on-campus housing, complete the contract and return it with the housing deposit.

2. Take Your Placement Exams

  • Specific instructions for testing dates and requirements will be sent to your campus email. You can register for placement testing dates through that email. Please plan to take your placement tests at least two weeks before your Advising & Registration (A&R) date, or before meeting with your advisor (transfer students). Visit for more information.
  • If you are a transfer student or have taken AP, Concurrent Enrollment or CAPP coursework during high school, please contact 1-800-INFO-UWC for clarification on which tests are needed. 

3. Register for Classes

  • Register for an A&R session. Information will be sent to your campus email with available dates.
  • Attend your A&R session and work with advisors to schedule classes according to your degree requirements.
    • Fall Semester: March—August
    • Spring Semester: November—January

4. Attend New Student Orientation

  • An email will be sent to your campus account with time, date and registration information. Attendance is required of all new students.
    • Fall Semester: Late August
    • Spring Semester: January

5. Start Your Semester

  • Get your UCard, the official UW Colleges ID, and pick up your text books. 
  • Attend the first day of all of your classes. If you do not attend class, you will be dropped from the roster.

6. Paying For College

  • Accept or decline your Financial Aid Award offer. Your award will be listed in your PRISM account, under Finances Accept/Decline. View additional information about Financial Aid.
  • Pay your tuition or set up a payment plan by the tenth day of classes. Your tuition is only viewable in PRISM. View all of the important dates to remember.

If you have questions contact the Solution Center at 1-888-UWC (888-463-6892).

Download the New Student Checklist!