post_parent)->post_name; ?>post_parent)->post_title; ?>

Acceptance Questions

Applications are reviewed and students are accepted on a rolling basis. Typically you may expect to receive a decision within 2-4 weeks of applying.

Application Process

GEM: Completing grades 1-4, Winter Saturday and Summer Day Camp options

PACE: Completing grades 5-8, Summer Day Camp program

STEP: Completing grades 7-8, Summer Residential Camp with Day Camp option

ALP: Completing grades 9-12, Summer Residential Camp with Day Camp option

All forms can be found under resources and forms. New Students: Please submit application, application fee, grade report, teacher recommendation, and statement of purpose*. Optional: examples of previously completed course work and/or additional recommendations. Returning Students: Please submit the application, application fee, grade report, and statement of purpose. GEM Students: Please submit application and one of the following: grade report, teacher recommendation, or student work sample. *Please note: GEM students do NOT need to complete the statement of purpose.
Returning students do not need to turn in a teacher recommendation form, however, we do ask for an updated grade report. The statement of purpose is also required each year for students applying for PACE, ALP, and STEP.
You may submit the most recent grade report you have for your child, this may include midterm grade reports. If your child is home-schooled we are flexible; past home-schooled students submitted examples of their work which they believed best represented their abilities. We will also accept recommendations from an adult familiar with the student’s abilities (i.e. a troop leader, home-schooling group leader, or a leader of a service organization). Please call the WCATY office with any questions.

Financial Questions

Fees vary by program and if your child is participating in a residential (overnight) or commuter (day) program. Please view the tuition chart on the financial information page.

Financial aid forms may be found online with other forms and application materials. There are two avenues available to students applying for financial aid: 1) students that qualify for free or reduced lunch will fill out the DPI Precollege Scholarship Application form. Please ensure the bottom portion of the form is completed by the student’s school to verify eligibility. 2) Students who do not qualify for free or reduced lunch may apply for scholarships and their requests are considered based on a scale of income-to-family-size. Families are asked to submit the first page of their most recent tax return. Families may also include a personal statement detailing any special circumstances they believe impact their financial situation.
The deadline for financial aid will be January 3 for winter GEM and April 10 for all summer programs. The priority deadline for financial aid is in early April and awards recipients are notified in late April. After the priority deadline has passed, additional requests will be reviewed and funds will be allocated based on availability. All financial aid requests must be submitted by the posted deadlines for full consideration.
Tuition refund amount depends on the proximity of cancellation to the program start date. Application fees are nonrefundable. For more detailed information, please review the refund policy section of the financial information page.


Photography and video: By registering for this program, I understand WCATY at UW–Madison Continuing Studies may take photographs and/or videos of participants and activities. I agree that Continuing Studies shall be the owner of and may use such photographs and videos for the promotion of its programs. I relinquish all rights that I may claim in relation to the use of said photographs and videos.

If you want to give us more information that will help us take care of your child while at camp, consider filling out the Academic and Personal Profile Form. You may also contact the WCATY office. Requests will remain confidential.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is committed to creating an accessible and inclusive campus experience. If your child needs an accommodation, please contact the McBurney Center front desk at (voice/relay 711) 608-263-2741, (text) 608-225-7956, or

Registration Questions

Once the student has been accepted, they will receive a letter in the mail as well as an email. Included in these materials are various forms that will allow the student to get set up for camp. Parents and students should go through those together and return them to WCATY. ALP students will also have the opportunity to sign up for additional weekend opportunities.

Staffing Questions

Many WCATY instructors return to teach year after year and bring with them their passion for their chosen fields, as well as their passion for educating advanced learners. Backgrounds of our instructors vary widely—from seasoned classroom educators, to innovative professionals eager to share their knowledge with our students, to current UW-Madison faculty and aspiring academics seeking to broaden their community outreach skills.

Students remain under the supervision of program staff at all times while at WCATY. Each student will be assigned to a Residential Assistant (RA). Traditionally, the RAs are college-aged or young professionals, many of whom are former WCATY students. Each RA will be responsible for approximately 12-14 students and will live within their students’ section of the residence hall. The RAs are responsible for the residential aspects of camp and will be working closely with the students to create a fun and educational atmosphere at camp.

All health-related aspects of camp including administration of medication are handled through the University Health Services (UHS) at UW–Madison. WCATY staff and the UHS staff work closely to make sure students with medical needs are receiving appropriate care. There is a nurse on duty 24/7 and a doctor on call. Once admitted to the program, the system will prompt all the attendees to submit their health/medication information directly to UHS.

WCATY Office: 608-890-3260 WCATY Fax Number: 608-262-1694 Program Coordinator for STEP and ALP: Katie Effertz: Program Coordinator for GEM and PACE: Denise Ksioszk: