When PEOPLE students are...

...provided at an early age with academic enrichment and enhancement to prepare them for college eligibility;

...and are positively influenced by many individuals along their journey:

  • parents and counselors keep students motivated and on task

  • teachers and UW mentors encourage, challenge and instruct

  • peer interaction builds lasting bonds and a social support network

...they are unstoppable!

  • 99% graduate from high school*

  • 94% enroll in higher education

  • 67% enter UW-Madison (52%) or other UW System School

  • 91% average retention rate at UW-Madison**

  • 79% pre-college students have GPAs above 3.0

* 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 cohorts who completed the pre-college portion of PEOPLE.**Retention and Student Data Views Fall 2006

PEOPLE is a pre-college pipeline for students of color and low-income students, most of whom are the first in their families to potentially attend college. Their journey prepares them to apply, be successfully admitted and enroll at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. PEOPLE accepts highly motivated students into a rigorous program to build study skills, explore and strengthen academic and career interests, and gain a positive experience on a world-class campus.

PEOPLE (Pre–College Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence) is the UW's most successful venture in creating such opportunities and thereby improving campus diversity.


Collaborative work with the K-12 educational system is expanding the pool of students from underrepresented groups who qualify to attend college.

Teachers in the public schools, and those studying to become teachers as UW undergraduates, gain practical experience in multicultural learning environments.

Partnerships with private sector employers who value a diverse workforce are providing internships and financial support to prepare the next generation of leaders.


Nationwide, statistics continue to show a disproportionately low percentage of students of color and low-income students enroll in and graduate from college.

Numerous studies have demonstrated enrollment and graduation rates can be increased by pre-college programs that (a) encourage students to aspire to opportunities available through higher education and (b) assist students in developing critical academic skills.

PEOPLE challenges motivated students by providing personal discovery, academic improvement and career exploration. Throughout the program, students demonstrate an increased understanding for college life and expectations as well as improved confidence in their academic abilities and preparation.


PEOPLE currently serves students in the Madison, Milwaukee, Racine, and Waukesha public school districts, and the Ho–Chunk, Menominee, and Lac Courte Oreilles, Lac du Flambeau and Bad River Nations Indian Nations.

For Madison–area residents, the six–year program begins in the summer when students have completed the sixth grade and continues until the students have graduated from high school. All other PEOPLE locations accept students when they are in ninth grade.

Priority for admission is given to students eligible for the free and reduced hot lunch program.

Upon graduation from high school, students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents, who have been admitted to UW-Madison and who complete the Bridge–to–College Program will be eligible for a tuition scholarship for up to four years.

NOTE: Completing the PEOPLE Program does not guarantee admission to the University of Wisconsin-Madison.