Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to pay the $30 application fee if I apply to more than one technical college?
Yes, an application fee needs to be paid to each technical college to which you apply. Some colleges may require an additional application fee at enrollment time.
What is the difference between types of programs?
There are several different types of degrees offered by the technical colleges. Your career area of interest often determines the type of degree.
Courses & Registration
Can I take technical college courses while still in high school?
In some instances, you can take college courses early. The Youth Options program allows high school juniors and seniors to attend a Wisconsin technical college for courses that are not offered in high school. Students who are in good academic standing and have no record of significant disciplinary problems may begin college early or prepare to enter the workforce while in high school. Youth options offers credit toward both high school graduation and a college degree. Talk to your local high school counselor to determine if you are eligible for Youth Options. More on youth options.
Youth Apprenticeship is another way you can earn college credit while enrolled in high school. Graduates of two-year Youth Apprenticeship programs may be awarded credits in specific Wisconsin Technical College programs. You may earn credits in one of two ways: college courses within Youth Apprenticeship programs; or through advanced standing when you enroll in a technical college within 27 months after high school. Technical colleges may also grant additional credit through local transfer agreements. Check with your local technical college for specific requirements on agreements and obtaining credit or download the list of Youth Apprenticeship Programs available.
If I am admitted to my program does that mean I am also registered for courses?
No. Admission into a program is separate from registration for classes, which is done directly through your college.
Can I take classes if I am not admitted to a program?
Yes. If you are not admitted to a program and would like to take a class, you are considered a "non-degree” student and will be allowed to register with the general public. If you register for courses as a "non-degree" student, you can only register for courses for which you meet the pre-requisites and for courses that are not "program restricted.” Note: “Non-degree” students are not eligible to apply for financial aid.
What is the best way to ensure that my credits will transfer to a four-year school?
The best way to ensure that your credits will transfer is by securing documentation from the Transfer Information System website. The website serves as the clearinghouse for all program-to-program transfer agreements between Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges and University of Wisconsin System schools. For future verification purposes, be sure you print and save any transfer agreements for which you have interest. There are also a number of program-to-program transfer agreements between Wisconsin’s Technical Colleges and Wisconsin’s private four-year colleges. Visit the individual college transfer sites for more specifics.
When do I register for classes?
If you have been admitted to your program, you will receive registration information in advance of the registration period. Registration dates are also posted on the technical college websites.
Financial Aid can be confusing. Where do I begin?
The first step is to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, which is available from the U.S. Department of Education at www.fafsa.ed.gov or 800-4FED-AID, or from your high school counselor or college financial aid office. Students need to fill out the FAFSA after January 1 for the following fall enrollment. The Department of Education will return a Student Aid Report (SAR), which includes all the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Colleges of interest (which were specified on the original FAFSA) are provided with student FAFSA data. Each of these colleges calculates the financial need of each student, which is the cost of education less the EFC. Grants, scholarships, loans and student employment are determined by student financial need level. The college financial aid departments are the best resource for student financial aid. For an Introduction to the Financial Aid process, visit the Wisconsin Higher Educational Aids Board.
If I have questions regarding my FAFSA, who do I contact?
May I decline all or part of my Award Offer?
Yes. Declining some of your awarded aid will not affect your other awards.
If I add or drop credits, will my financial aid change?
Yes. Your financial aid is based on the number of credits you enroll in; therefore if your number of credits changes, your financial aid may change. If you drop a course after starting it, your financial aid may change.
How do I re-apply for financial aid for next year?
To apply for financial aid for subsequent years all you will need is your U.S. Department of Education PIN. If you have forgotten your PIN, you can request a duplicate from the PIN website, you can ask to have your PIN sent to you by e-mail or U.S. postal mail. You will receive your duplicate PIN in 4 hours by e-mail or in 7-10 days by postal mail. Once you have your pin all you need to do is complete the Renewal FAFSA. This can be done anytime after January 1.
Do I have to include my parent(s)' information on the FAFSA?
The IRS and U.S. Department of Education (ED) have different rules for whether or not a student is considered dependent versus independent. Moreover, a student could be considered independent by IRS rules but dependent by ED rules. The only way a student can be considered independent by ED rules, and therefore not be required to include parental income on the FAFSA, is if the student can answer "yes" to one of the following:
- For the 2010-11 school year, the student was born before January 1, 1987; or
- the student is married; or
- the student has a child or children who receive more than half their support from the student; or
- the student has dependents (other than a child or spouse) who receive more than half their support from the student, and who also live with the student; or
- the student is enrolled as a graduate or professional student (pursuing a master’s degree or doctoral degree); or
- the student is a qualified veteran of the U.S. military, or currently serving on active duty in the U.S. armed forces for purposes other than training; or
- the student is an orphan (both parents deceased) or ward of the court or in foster care at any time after turning age 13, or was a ward of the court until age 18; or
- the student is/was in legal guardianship; or
- the student is/was an emancipated minor; or
- the student was an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or at risk of being homeless on or after July 1, 2009; or
- the student has special and unusual extenuating circumstances that can be documented for his or her college financial aid administrators, who may then request a “dependency override” on the FAFSA application. (Note: Exceptions are granted very rarely and only in extreme cases.) Students should contact the financial aid office at the school they will be attending for additional information.
If the student answers "no" to all of the above the student is required by ED to include parental income regardless of whether or not the parents claim the student on their taxes. If the student answers "yes" to at least one of the above the student is not required by ED to include parental income, again regardless of whether or not the parents claim the student on their taxes.
I am an international student. Can I receive financial aid?
In order to be eligible for federal or state financial aid, you must either be a U.S. Citizen or an eligible noncitizen. Generally, you are an eligible noncitizen if you are: (1) a U.S. permanent resident with a Permanent Resident Card (I-551); (2) a conditional permanent resident (I-551C); or (3) the holder of an Arrival-Departure Record (I-94) from the Department of Homeland Security showing any one of the following designations: "Refugee," "Asylum Granted," "Parole" (I-94 confirms paroled for a minimum of one year and status has not expired), or "Cuban-Haitian Entrant." If you are in the U.S. on an F1 of F2 student visa, or a J1 or J2 exchange visitor visa, or a G series visa (pertaining to international organizations), you are not eligible for federal or state financial aid.
Are the technical colleges accredited?
All 16 colleges are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA). Accreditation means colleges have been certified and meet established criteria for providing quality education
How to I choose a program of study?
Once I enroll in a program, what are my next steps?
Once you've submitted the completed Enrollment Application form and fee, the college of your choice will send you admission requirements and instructions. The college you have selected will request official copies of your academic transcripts, from high school, GED, HSED and college or university. You will be responsible for contacting your former education institution(s) to have your official transcripts mailed directly to the admissions office of the college you have selected. If you are currently enrolled in high school, send a transcript of the courses you have completed, along with a list of the courses you will complete prior to graduation. Many Wisconsin Technical Colleges require testing for acceptance into specific programs. Test results generally assist the college in placing you in courses and/or programs to help you succeed academically. If you have taken the ACT or SAT, please send your score report to the college. This website offers a complete list of enrollment procedures and timelines.
Help & Assistance
How can I get help for a disability that I have?
Every college provides support and services to students with disabilities based on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. A wide range of special accommodations are provided. If you need special assistance or accommodations, please contact the student services contact at the college you plan to attend.
How can I improve my basic reading, writing and math skills?
Adults can improve their basic reading, writing and math skills at no cost through Adult Basic Education Services. Individualized, self-paced, instruction is provided in basic academic skills up to, and including, high school equivalency.
Do the technical colleges assist with job placement?
Most of the colleges offer career services, which provide individuals with tools for career planning and for planning and conducting a job search. Also, the online Tech Connect website provides graduates with access to employers across the state.