Welcome Future Badgers! This information is for DOMESTIC FRESHMEN who will attend SOAR in-person. This page will help you prepare for your SOAR experience by providing:
- A full outline of the SOAR program
- A list all SOAR tasks due before your two-day on-campus experience
- How to make a SOAR reservation and troubleshooting information
Scroll down this page or use the navigation panel below to prepare for your upcoming SOAR experience!
Arriving in Madison
The program is scheduled to end at 9:45 pm on Day One of the program, so we encourage you to stay in Madison overnight. There are several options available, including staying in the Lowell Center (Residence Hall), more information is available at soar.wisc.edu/overnight-stay/. Reservations are required to stay in the Lowell Center and are NOT included in your SOAR reservation.
Parking can be difficult around campus, so reserved parking is available for the two-day program. If you haven’t done so already, we encourage you to pre-reserve your spot at Lot 17 (1525 Engineering Drive) near Union South on your SOAR Reservation. The cost for a two-day pass is $30 and will be added to your SOAR invoice. If you are staying at a local hotel, we recommend you verify parking and shuttle services in advance.
Travel to Madison
Getting to Madison is simple. For those needing to fly, the Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) is the closest airport to campus. Taxi, rideshare, or a local hotel shuttle is required to get downtown and campus. Two regional bus lines stop on campus: Badger Bus serves both the Milwaukee area and the Twin Cities metro and the Van Galder serves downtown Chicago and O’Hare Airport.
General Program Schedule
The SOAR domesitc freshman program is a two-day program. During SOAR, you will work with academic advisors to develop your academic plan. As part of SOAR, you will review degree and major requirements and enroll in your first-semester courses. You will also have an opportunity to learn about campus resources, participate in a campus walking tour, meet with current students, and discuss the transition to UW-Madison.
A detailed SOAR schedule is provided at check-in. You must attend all parts of the program in order to enroll in your first-semester courses. A general schedule overview can be found here.
The SOAR program strives to ensure all participants can fully participate in the program. For information about disability-related accommodations, please click here.
Due Before Your SOAR Session
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Complete Placement Testing
Placement test scores help academic advisors learn about your skills and help you choose courses at the correct level in each subject. This is one of the most important tasks to complete before SOAR. During SOAR, your advisor will interpret your placement test scores and how they impact your course options.
In order to participate in the SOAR program, you must complete their required placement tests at least 2 weeks before their SOAR session. Failure to complete your placement testing on time may result in an inability to register for all your Fall courses. The SOAR registration system will require you to confirm that you understand this requirement. However, signing up for SOAR does not register you for online placement testing.
More information can be found on the Placement Testing Page.
Make Final Edits to Your SOAR Reservation
Complete the Preparing for SOAR Module
We believe that your SOAR experience should focus on you! The information collected in the Preparing for SOAR module helps our SOAR staff and advisors personalize your SOAR experience and ensure you are connected with the appropriate advising group.
To access the module, use this direct Preparing for SOAR link.
Due Date: 1 week before your session (the Sunday before by 11:59 p.m. CST).
You will receive a reminder email with instructions for accessing this app in MyUW two weeks before your SOAR session week. You should complete the Preparing for SOAR module as soon as possible after you receive this email and is required.
Review Canvas Content
Your SOAR Academic Advising Canvas course will provide general advising information. In this course, you will:
- Connect with important information about the academic advising process and degree requirements
- Guide you through the course selection process
You will be able to complete this course at your own pace and you do not have to complete it all in one sitting. This course will be due the Sunday prior to your SOAR session. Canvas will save your progress as you go!
Other Important University Tasks
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Send Final Transcripts and Test Scores to the Office of Admissions
Final transcript deadlines:
- Fall Freshman Students: July 10*
*Or next business day if deadline falls on a weekend.
If you have any questions about the process or the status of your transcript, please contact the Office of Admissions & Recruitment.
If you have scores from the AP, CLEP, IB, or A-Level exams, you might be eligible to receive course credit for your scores. Request that CollegeBoard or International Baccalaureate program send your official scores directly to the Office of Admissions and Recruitment. Your scores will arrive electronically directly from the testing agency.
We also encourage you to have score reports for credit-bearing exams and unofficial transcripts of college coursework available for your SOAR advising process. If you were admitted with university courses in-progress, please have either your final transcript or a grade report for these courses available during your SOAR session week. Admission consultants will confirm you meet the provisions of your admission before you will be allowed to enroll in classes at SOAR.
Complete the Pre-Enrollment Checklist
Before enrolling each semester, you are required to complete the Pre Enrollment Checklist (PEC), also known as the Financial Responsibility Agreement. The Pre-Enrollment Checklist includes you understanding and agreeing to financial responsibility terms & conditions.
To release this hold, follow these step-by-step instructions for completing the PEC. After you’ve done these steps, the hold will be automatically removed and the PEC should no longer appear in your Tasks tile. If your Tasks tile does not show the Pre-Enrollment Checklist, then you have completed all necessary steps needed for this task before SOAR.
If you need help completing the Pre-Enrollment Checklist or experience technical issues, contact one of the following offices:
- Office of the Registrar – firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-262-3811
- DoIT Help Desk – email@example.com or 608-264-4357 (select Option 3 for MyUW support)
Review Your MyUW Student Center for Holds or Tasks
You may have a hold on your account that must be completed to enroll in Fall courses, such as sending your final transcripts or self-reporting certain academic information to the Office of Admissions. Follow these instructions to check if you have any holds in your MyUW Student Center.
Update Contact Information in MyUW Student Center
It is important to ensure your contact information is accurate on your UW-Madison profile. Follow this step-by-step guide for updating your contact information. Please ensure that your Wiscmail (@wisc.edu) is set as your preferred email.
Activate Your NetID Services
When you change your status at UW-Madison (for example: from an applicant to a full student, deferring from a previous semester to a new term), you should make sure that you have all campus services available to you as a new student. This includes your Wiscmail account (@wisc.edu) and your UW-Madison accounts for campus software. Follow these Activate your NetID Services instructions to complete the process. If you have forgotten your NetID password, use the NetID Recovery Tool.
If you need help with this process or have questions about your NetID, please contact the DoIT Help Desk.
Review Tasks on your New Student To Do List
Review and complete all necessary tasks on your New Student To Do list.
Completing the SOAR Canvas Course
This section will guide you through how to complete the online SOAR content in Canvas, the University’s online learning platform. Before your SOAR session, you must complete the required online course in Canvas. You will receive access to a course titled “SOAR Academic Advising, Summer 2022,” and the completion of this course is required prior to coming to your SOAR session.
UW-Madison faculty use Canvas for your courses, so SOAR will also an opportunity for you to get comfortable using the platform before classes begin.
These modules contain text and video content that match the module theme. All SOAR video content in the Canvas course has captioning available. You can also access a transcript of the presented material or opt to view the content with American Sign language (ASL) Interpretation.
How do I access the SOAR Academic Advising course?
To be able to get access to your SOAR Academic Advising course, you must complete your SOAR reservation.
To access the course in Canvas:
- Log in to Canvas using your UW-Madison NetID credentials.
- You should see a Dashboard for courses. If the SOAR course does not automatically appear, click the Courses icon on the left menu and a list of courses should appear.
- Find the course titled “SOAR Academic Advising, Summer 2022” course and click on it.
- Follow the completion instructions within the course.
The SOAR Academic Advising, Summer 2022 course consists of the following informational modules:
- Academic Advising at UW-Madison
- Introduction to Academic Courses
- Introduction to Course, Search and Enroll
- Building Your Course Schedule
- Preparing for Your SOAR Advising Experience
This course can be completed in any order and at your own pace and will take about 60 minutes. Please complete this Canvas Course by the Sunday before your SOAR session.
Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities
SOAR is committed to creating a program where everyone can participate. We value disability as an aspect of diversity and want to ensure that you are able to fully participate in all programming available to you.
Click the button below for more information requesting accommodations for placement testing, the SOAR program, and the academic year (all of which are separate processes):