University of Wisconsin–Madison

PEOPLE Application Information

  • Things to Consider Before Applying

    Things to Consider Before Applying to the Pre-College Educational Opportunities for Learning Excellence (PEOPLE):

    • Participating in PEOPLE requires a large time commitment. You should be prepared for a year-round college preparation program that requires up to 8 hours a week during the school year and a 3 to 5 weeks during the summer
    • Be ready to find your balance! Program staff fully encourage students to be well-rounded citizens, PEOPLE’s priority will always be making sure participants are solid in their academics. Being a PEOPLE participant will limit your ability to participate in sports, after school clubs, working a job, and participating in community activities.
    • Meeting all eligibility requirements for admission to PEOPLE does NOT guarantee admission in PEOPLE.
    • Your participation in the PEOPLE program does NOT guarantee Admission to the UW-Madison or any UW-System School or college.
    • Wisconsin residents
    • We encourage applicants to use the online application (linked below) to expedite application completion. For your convenience, the online application is accessible on mobile smart phones, tablets, and desktop computers.
    • The application deadline is March 10, 2017. All completed application materials must be postmarked by this date.
  • Minimum Eligibility Requirements

    Minimum Eligibility Requirements

    The Pre-College Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence (PEOPLE) is a pre-college pipeline scholarship program. Our mission is to help students successfully make transitions in the educational pipeline. PEOPLE students may be eligible to receive a tuition scholarship to the University of Wisconsin-Madison upon admission if they are eligible to complete the Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) and also meet the PEOPLE program requirements below:

    • U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) who are also Wisconsin residents (corrected 2/1/17)
    • Statewide: 9th grade students attending a affiliated school
    • 2.75 minimum GPA in the core subjects (Math, English, Science, Social Studies, and World Language)
    • Priority given to economically disadvantage according to USDA guidelines
  • Application Instructions

    How to Apply:

    1. Submit a completed application online or paper application.
    2. Submit a copy of your current school transcript.
    3. Submit a completed a DPI form (must be signed by a school official)
    4. Submit the teacher recommendation form included in this packet or a letter of recommendation from a teacher or guidance counselor.
    5. Submit a one-page autobiography.
    6. Submit a one-page essay responding to the following two questions:
      1. Why did you decide to apply to PEOPLE? In addition, please share with the academic and extracurricular opportunities you want to take advantage of as a participant. If applicable, provide details of any circumstance that could have had an impact on your academic and/or extracurricular involvement.
      2. Consider something in your life you think goes unnoticed and write why it’s important to you.
    7. If you choose not to apply online mail or fax application materials:


    Attn: Admissions
    PEOPLE Program · UW-Madison
    1305 Linden Drive · Suite 240
    Madison, WI 53706-1523Phone: 608.262.7415 · Fax: 608.263.0655
  • Completion Checklist


    Make sure you have completed and submitted all of the following required items by the application due date. Incomplete applications will not be considered for admission into the PEOPLE Program.

    ❒ Completed Application
    ❒ Completed DPI form
    ❒ Current School Transcript
    ❒ Completed Autobiography (1-page maximum)
    ❒ Completed Essay Questions (1-page maximum)
    ❒ Completed Letter of Recommendation or completed Recommendation Form

  • Download Forms
    1. Federal Guidelines for Free and Reduced Lunch Eligibility
    2. DPI Form
      • Please answer all questions and fill in all fields on this form
      • Incomplete forms will render your application incomplete
    3. Teacher Recommendation Form:
      • A letter of recommendation may be substituted
  • Summer Program Dates

    Menominee Middle School 3-week Career Exploration Program (Keshena, WI) 
    Rising 7th, 8th & 9th graders June 20 – July 8, 2017

    Madison Area Middle School 3-week Career Exploration Program
    Rising 8th July 10 – July 28, 2017

    Madison Area High School Transition Program
    Rising 9th graders July 10 – July 29, 2017

    High School 3-week Residential Summer Enrichment Program 
    (P1) Rising 10th  & (P2) Rising 11th graders  – June 18 – July 8, 2017

    High School 5-week Residential Internship Program 
    (P3) Rising 12th graders – June 18 – July 21, 2017

  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Q: When will I hear back about my application?
    A: We anticipate our review process to be complete on or after April 15th 2016. Families will be notified shortly after.

    Q: What do you mean by Wisconsin Permanent Resident?
    A: Only permanent residents and U.S. citizens are eligible for PEOPLE.

    Q: What if I do not have a social security number?
    A: Only permanent residents and U.S. citizens are eligible for PEOPLE.

    Q: Where do I find the status of my application?
    A: We anticipate our review process to be complete by April 15th 2015. Application statuses will be provided to the application contact listed on the application. PEOPLE staff cannot tell you the status of your application before the review process is complete.

    Q: How do I know if anything is missing from my application?
    A: Check the application checklist on our website to make sure you submitted all materials.

    Q: How is my application reviewed?
    A: A review committee reviews all complete applications that meet our minimum academic and residency requirements. The committee uses a holistic admission process. The most common reason students are not admitted is lack of space, not sub-par application materials.

    Q: What does first generation mean?
    A: The University of Wisconsin – Madison PEOPLE program considers you to be a first generation college student if neither of your parents/guardians have a 4 year college degree.

    Q: What if I am a foster parent? Whose information should I use mine or the birth parents?
    A: We recommend using the information of the parent legally responsible for your care.

    Q: Should I have someone write a recommendation letter or use “counselor or teacher evaluation” as a recommendation?
    A: Either one would be sufficient, but we would rather the “counselor or teacher evaluation” be filled out

    Q: What if I do not fit the race categories listed?
    A: Choose “Other (Please specify)” and type in the race(s) you identify as

    Q: Who can sign the DPI?
    A: The DPI form can be signed by any school official who can verify your free/reduced lunch status. This includes counselors, meal staff, secretaries, or other appropriate staff. It does not have to be a school principal. Check with your schools office for their preferences on who can complete the form.

    Q: What if my mailing address and my permanent address are different
    A: Please use the address you would like to receive information about your application status

    Q: What if my address is going to change?
    A: If you anticipate your address changing after March 9, 2016, please notify our office ASAP.

    Q: What if we move out of state after we join the program?
    A: You must remain a Wisconsin Resident to participate in PEOPLE. If you leave a partnership school, but remain in the state, you will be eligible for PEOPLE Extension status. As a PEOPLE Extension student, you must continue to meet academic minimums for PEOPLE and attend the summer residential programs. If you get accepted into UW-Madison and you meet the scholarship requirements, you will be eligible for the tuition scholarship.

    Q: What if we want two separate status updates to two different addresses because my parents are divorced or separated?
    A: PEOPLE will provide one status update to whomever you list as the application contact. If accepted and enrolled into PEOPLE a broader range of contact preferences will be considered.

    Q: What schools are eligible for this program?
    A: Please see our list of affiliated schools here.

    Q: If my child is not eligible for free/reduced lunch, do I still need a signature on DPI form?
    A: No you do not need a school official to sign the DPI form, if the child is not eligible for free/reduced lunch.

    Q: What if my school counselor/teacher is submitting materials on my families behalf to complete my application, how will I know the school submitted those materials?
    A: We suggest reaching out directly to your school contact to confirm they’ve sent the materials. Due to the large number of applications to process, we are not able to give real-time confirmations on received items. If you suspect an item is missing from your application, we suggest re-sending it to be sure your application is complete.
    Q: What if I want my child to participate in another summer program that happens the same time as PEOPLE, is that allowed for the first year, considering we won’t hear admission decisions until program registration for other programs has passed?
    A: Attendance in PEOPLE’s summer programs are mandatory for all students, newly admitted and current participants. Our programming is offered at no cost to families, in return we ask for your full commitment. If your child is not able to attend the entire program, they will forfeit their spot. We fully encourage families to have a plan B in place, if their child is not offered admission into PEOPLE.

All ninth grade high school students who are Wisconsin residents and currently attend a PEOPLE partnered high school, except Madison high school students, click here to begin the 2017 PEOPLE Online Application. Madison high school students need to contact their school Multicultural Services Coordinator (search by  Job in MMSD Staff Directory) for a referral.