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Badger Ready program to provide new pathway for students to finish degrees

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Former UW-Madison students who dropped out and believe in second chances may very well have another opportunity to attain their degree through a new program called Badger Ready.

Badger Ready — a program developed by Adult Career and Special Student Services and the Office of Admissions — aims to give former students the chance to transition back into the university as transfer students, allowing them to complete their undergraduate degrees.

“Over the years, [ACSSS Director Martin Rouse] has seen opportunity for a pathway like this to exist, and we didn’t have a clear track for returning adult students that had some college credits,” Student Services Coordinator Autumn Sanchez told The Daily Cardinal. “We saw a need to serve students in this capacity, and we found a way to create that pathway.”

Adults who are at least 25 years old, or are veterans of any age, and have previously completed 24 credits will be eligible to apply to the program, as long as they’ve taken off at least two years from attempting to earn their degree.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, meaning there are no deadlines for any given semester. For the pilot year of the program, Sanchez estimates between 20 and 30 applicants will be admitted.

Once accepted into the program, applicants will be enrolled as special students, or students who aren’t considered to be seeking a degree.

Previous GPAs will not impact applicants’ eligibility or chances of getting accepted into Badger Ready, as is the case when applying to enroll as a transfer student, according to the program’s website.

Advisors will meet with applicants to discuss the specifics of their records during the application process to address any potential previous academic struggles in the hopes of preventing those issues from reoccurring.

Upon successful completion of the program — which involves earning a minimum of 12 on-campus credits with a 3.0 GPA or better — students will then be admitted to the university as transfer students and will be able to continue their path to obtaining a degree.

Once they become transfer students, Badger Ready participants will be eligible for financial aid — something that won’t be available to them as they maintain special student statuses. While categorized as special students, participants will be able to apply for various scholarships to help cover tuition costs, however.

“We’ve researched other schools and universities but I don’t think we found anything in the Big Ten that was similar,” Sanchez said. “We know [Badger Ready] is a unique program.”

Badger Ready will begin accepting applications Tuesday.

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