University of Wisconsin-Madison Top Questions

Is the stereotype of students at your school accurate?


Yes, in a way. The definition of party is strictly limited to jostling around in crowded dive bars waiting for overpriced drinks or wandering around house parties with one bathroom for fifty people. People do drink a lot, and the drunks all over town all the time are loud and obnoxious. Game day parties are raucous and largely annoying.


There are plenty that drink, plenty that party, plenty that go wild, and plenty that don't pass. There are also plenty that don't don't drink but still find time to have fun and pass classes. The opportunities are endless for personal enrichment too. Moderation in all things.


Well, we were named as the number one party school for a while and now we top the list for "lots of beer", but as much as we party, we study. The liberal part is true, I mean we have people from every spot on the political spectrum. There's never a day with out someone protesting something. I think with liberal, a lot of people think diverse, but it's not diverse at all. The majority are white kids from small Wisconsin towns, however that would be a stereotype as well. With a campus of 40,000 you are bound to find people from all walks of life.


As a student parent, I wouldn't know.


The sport spectator assumption is absolutely correct, the events (any of them) are fun to go to and usually there are many other badger fans to sing 'Varsity' with. With the liberal enviroment, I would say that Wisconsin allows protests and street preachers and gay pride pirades to happen, and that's a good thing. It opens up the air for dialogue and free speech to be excersized as it was intended. Not to say that all the students agree with what happens on campus, but regardless of whether or not you agree to it, you are exposed to it and that is what makes the campus thrive and stand out among the others in the state.


No. Wisconsin, especially Madison is an amazing place with plenty to do. Madison is a wonderful city with so many opportunities and events. The people are extremely kind and welcoming.


No, all False


students do indeed "party hard", but also are extremely competitive in their school work and study extremely hard - we like to follow the "work hard, play hard" plan. the student body is extremely active in both local, national, and world-wide issues.


They can be - Wisconsin is a very large school and there is definitely a large drinking scene, but there are also lots of other opportunities to get involved and meet people that don't involve drinking. I wouldn't let this stereotype deter you from choosing Wisconsin, it is only one aspect of the wide variety of social activities available and it can be as big or as little a part of your college experience as you want it to be.


I guess, but there actually is a lot of variation of different cheeses here in the school


If you want them to be. Wisconsin is diverse and big enough that you find whatever you are looking for out of the college experience.




It's about 50/50. There are a lot of parties and a lot of drunks, but there are also a lot of people who aren't completely sucked into that lifestyle. There are some hicks and farmers, but not as many as there are at other Wisconsin schools.


Not really, there are plenty of parties but there is also a lot of work to get done. Some students drink but plenty do not. It all depends on your choices.


In a lot of ways, yes. I live right off of Langdon St, which is basically Frat Row, and there are a lot of girls that are exactly like what the stereotypes say, which is why they're stereotypes. Every stereotype has a basis in fact. We are in a lot of ways on the same level as an Ivy League school, especially with our J-school and our research, so even though we're hung up on it, we do have a reason to be...


yes.. but somewhat skewed. we do party--there's on doubt about that. it's kind of a bummer that that's what teachers and parents first think of when you say you're going to madison. the school is TOP NOTCH and getting really really exclusive.. which i wish more people acknowledged than just those who have researched it. i believe we have 4.5 stars out of 5 for achedemics and 4 out of 5 for "social life" a.k.a..partying. another misconception is tha people are so happy with their social life in madison BECAUSE of the party scene. that's completely false. the entire city of madison will light up your life even when you're sober!!! it's so beautiful that it can't even be described--you have to experience it. you always see someone you know everywhere you go.. which i thought would be annoying but it's really comforting. also.. some of the partying aspects are skewed by parents to make the school sound more "badass" and rebellious. one adult said to me, "wow..madison huh? heard you guys are pretty crazy. i heard you actually have a BAR in your UNION!!" ...well yeah buddy.. that's true.. but it's not a crazy night time bar. it's a place where you go to get pitchers of beer and sit out on the terrace with friends in the afternoon or evening to RELAX after a hard day of exams/studying. it's where you sit out in an atmosphere of other carefree individuals in our terrace's signature colored chairs.. and just look at the water and laugh and kick back your heels. i wouldn't consider it an addition to our party scene.. but more an addition to our overall quality of life!


I agree with the stereotypes I listed


They are only evident if you choose to recognize them, most people just ignore it.


None of the above. These all represent a small portion of students on our campus, much as they would on any other campus.


For a lot of people here, the weekend starts on Thursday (sometimes Wednesday), but I definitely don't think that EVERYONE is a party animal. I'm a transfer student, so it's easier for me to make comparisons, and Wisconsin is more of a party school than most schools, but I feel like we balance our partying and our working fairly well. The stereotype about Asian Americans is true, they're everywhere! But it's nice to know that our campus is diverse.


To a point. There is more diversity (of race, of thought, etc) than is imagined, but less than there ought to be.


I would say the student's nature to let go on the weekends is pretty accurate. The social life on this campus is intensely centered on drinking; there is never a shortage of booze anywhere. I think this is complemented by the fact that most of us students do an incredible amount of work both in and outside of the classroom with student orgs. We definitely have the study hard play hard mentality.


For the most part, yes. Most of the stereotypes about coasties have been accurate. Farmers from small towns are relatively sheltered.


pretty much, yep.


To an extent. While there definitely are two different classes of student here, there really isn't so much animosity. Everyone exists on a continuum between those two extremes, and I suspect it's the same at most large colleges.


I think a lot of the stereotypes are based on generalities that come from truth, but obviously there are many exceptions. I am from MN and I don't fit any of the above-mentioned stereotypes.


In some cases, yes. Not for me. :)


for the most part


Both of these stereotypes are very accurate






The drinking and partying is actually pretty fair. I think if you compared the amount of time and alcohol consumed by Wisconsin students to other college students, UW student would drink prove to drink/party more. Wisconsin student are NOT stupid although there some students who are not all that bright which is reasonably expected at a university of this size. Most students/people from wisconsin are not hicks with few exceptions.


Yes indeed


1. Definitely. Probably a dozen options every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. At the same time, people do stay in too and it's not a big deal if you don't go out at all. 2. There are over 600 clubs to join and a lot of intermurals. 3. It's gorgeous, except right now there is a lot of construction. A LOT! 4. Very hard. It is essential that you study any spare moment you have if you want good grades. 5. Yea, for the most part first semester is planned around football games. 6. Not true. Actually, the students here are not fat at all. Surprised me. 7. Very true! Leave 15 minutes earlier and take the bus if you can! Wear multiple layers and you won't look uncool if you actually wear a hat. Your ears will thank you. 8. True. 3.5 college GPA if you want a chance (which is much harder to get than High me!) 9. Used to be. They tried to turn it around a lot this year and it worked. Not as crazy as people make it sound, but still probably the most nuts weekend of first semester. 10. Not true at all. Honestly, the majority of the African Americans you see are in a sport.




These stereotypes, for the most part, are quite accurate. While any day of the week one can find people hitting the bars, there are as many people spending the night in one of our many libraries. Students here at Madison work hard, and party even harder.


we do know how to party, but i have studied on a friday, and even a saturday night, with a slight amount of ridicule however


I would not say that everyone from Wisconsin are from small towns and are sheltered. But the rest are pretty true.


The campus was in mourning when Brett Favre retired, and some classes devoted much discussion time to this tragedy, but on the whole Wisconsin natives have much more culture than just cheese, cows, and Brett Favre. The university includes the best students from the state, and to be admitted into the school you must understand more than those basic subjects. Madison does have a history of being ultra-liberal, and extreme protests during the Vietnam War. However, there is never any political riots on the campus today. There may be riots for a crazy Halloween party, but never any fires and arrests over the policies of George W. Bush. The school is primarily liberal, and has elected one of the most liberal representatives in the US government, but not to the point of extremism that depicted the campus in the 1960s.


for the most part.


I think so, however people don't understand that we drink all night, and then go to class. We are a very intellectual group of students who party just as hard as they study.




It is a big party school, but in my opinion it is no different than any other school. The stereotype about the in-state students is not true. I would say that the school does work very hard and does have a lot of fun as well, but we always get our school work done first.


Wisconsin is a predominantly white campus (but our diversity rates are higher than many institutions) that is rather liberal (but there's a great deal of political vigour on both sides - it's more true that we're a very political campus than that we're just a liberal campus). Our (pre-)professional schools have exacting standards for admittance, but those schools are so strong that many come to Madison for the opportunity to get into those programs. There is a sizeable "Coastie" population, but not all those who dress "Coastie" are from the coasts. We are rabid Badger fans - we have an incredible amount of school spirit that bleeds into many aspects of university existence. Wisconsin has a reputation for partying, but we also have a reputation for exellence in academic achievement as well.


YES! But all the midwest people hate them and we always have a good time making fun of them.




The ones I outlined above are. Yes it is cold most of the year and yes your friends from Arizona, Florida, California will make fun of you and you will be jealous. But, Wisconsin students know how to have fun, but they also know how to study and what needs to get done in order to succeed academically.


While there are a multitude of bars and house parties to frequent on any given night (and certainly people who do), Wisconsin has such a big and diverse student population that this lifestyle by no means characterizes the majority of students. As for "coasties," I think that the stereotype can be accurate to an extent. Being from California I definitely experienced people putting me in a box, assuming I lived in a certain private dorm and had joined a sorority -- both of which I hadn't done. In the end it's less about the coasts though, and more an issue of money and acting entitled.


yea pretty much


I think that the stereotypes are accurate to a certain extent...but we also work really hard academically. Work hard.