10 Best Colleges in Wisconsin

What’s Covered:

 

Wisconsin is a midwestern U.S. state known for its forests, farms, and dairy. The state offers a variety of cultural activities and events, fishing and boating, and some of the best hiking and biking trails in the country. Wisconsin also has an immense state history and a rich Native American cultural presence. While many consider this state to not be the most interesting place, this state is perfect if you are looking for good education, nature, and a calm environment to learn.

 

Our Ranking Methodology

 

Below is a list of the 10 best colleges in Wisconsin. The list was constructed with a focus on school quality, outcomes, and return on investment (ROI), along with considering a host of other factors such as retention rate, selectivity, endowment per student, student-faculty ratio, median earnings, and cost of attendance. You can find CollegeVine’s rankings in their entirety here. 

 

Best Colleges in Wisconsin

 

1. University of Wisconsin–Madison | Wisconsin

 

Location: Madison, Wisconsin

Acceptance Rate: 52% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1280-1450

Middle 50% ACT: 27-32

Undergrad Enrollment: 33,585

 

University of Wisconsin–Madison is a public institution that was founded in 1848. This Division I school is ranked #42 of all National Universities in the country and is known as a very rigorous college in terms of academics. The school competes in more than 20 NCAA Division I sports and is a part of the Big Ten Conference. Students can also get involved in nearly 900 organizations on campus and the active Greek life and social scene on campus, evident in Wisconsin’s reputation as one of the top party schools in the country. 

 

Learn more about the University of Wisconsin–Madison and what it takes to get accepted.

 

2. Lawrence University

 

Location: Appleton, Wisconsin

Acceptance Rate: 62% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1210-1450

Middle 50% ACT: 27-31

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,432

 

Lawrence University is a private institution that was founded in 1847 and is a liberal arts school with a conservatory of music. This rigorous liberal arts college is ranked #62 of all National Liberal Arts Universities in the nation, and nearly a quarter of its students complete degrees at the conservatory. Academics aside, there are more than 75 student clubs and organizations to check out, as well as Division III sports teams that compete in the NCAA’s Midwest Conference. All students—freshmen through seniors—must live on campus, whether in dorms, suites, quads, or university-owned houses.

 

Learn more about Lawrence University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

3. Marquette University

 

Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

Acceptance Rate: 82% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1150-1320

Middle 50% ACT: 24-30

Undergrad Enrollment: 8,024

 

Marquette University is a private Catholic Jesuit institution that was founded in 1881, within walking distance of downtown Milwaukee. The school is rated as the #83 National University in the country. Aside from its academics, the Marquette Golden Eagles are members of the NCAA Division I Big East Conference and incredibly competitive when it comes to men’s basketball. Students also have the opportunity to join over 300 clubs and organizations, and about 15% of the student body takes part in the Greek life system, which includes more than 20 fraternities and sororities. 

 

Learn more about Marquette University and what it takes to get accepted.

 

4. Beloit College

 

Location: Beloit, Wisconsin  

Acceptance Rate: 56% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1120-136o

Middle 50% ACT: 21-29

Undergrad Enrollment: 978

 

Beloit College is a private institution that was founded in 1846. Although the town of Beloit, Wisconsin, may be best known for having the world’s largest can of chili, Wisconsin’s oldest college also resides here. There are more than 60 student-run clubs and organizations and six fraternities and sororities at Beloit College. Beloit College also competes in the Division III Midwest Conference and has 19 intercollegiate varsity teams. Intramural, club, and varsity sports are very popular at Beloit, with about 70% of students participating in athletics. The college is ranked #75 of all National Liberal Arts Colleges in the country. 

 

Learn more about Beloit College and what it takes to get accepted.

 

5. Milwaukee School of Engineering | MSOE

 

Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin 

Acceptance Rate: 63% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1188-1370

Middle 50% ACT: 25-30

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,510

 

Milwaukee School of Engineering is a private institution that was founded in 1903 and is located in downtown Milwaukee next to both the historic East Town and the Theater District and just a few blocks from Lake Michigan. MSOE’s undergraduate bachelor’s programs are divided into six fields, and within each field, students can choose a more specific concentration. In addition to undergraduate studies, MSOE has a variety of graduate master’s programs in the business, construction, engineering, and health fields. MSOE’s varsity athletic teams, the Raiders, compete in NCAA Division III sports. The Kern Center athletic facility houses an ice rink, basketball arena, indoor track, fitness center, and field house.

 

Learn more about Milwaukee School of Engineering | MSOE and what it takes to get accepted.

 

6. Saint Norbert College

 

Location: De Pere, Wisconsin  

Acceptance Rate: 78% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1030-1210

Middle 50% ACT: 22-27

Undergrad Enrollment: 1,867

 

As one of the nation’s top Catholic liberal arts colleges, St. Norbert enjoys a proud history and a foundation rooted in tradition. The college strives to instill values of the Norbertine order (community, action, contemplation, and faithfulness) in its students through opportunities like study abroad, online classes, and internships. St. Norbert also offers students a Four-Year Graduation Guarantee, where if students fulfill the necessary requirements yet fail to graduate after four years, the college will waive tuition for the rest of their time as a student. De Pere has the ideal mix of a small-town community with bigger-city versatility—as it’s located only minutes from downtown Green Bay—always giving students something to do. 

 

Learn more about Saint Norbet College and what it takes to get accepted.

 

7. Ripon College

 

Location: Ripon, Wisconsin  

Acceptance Rate: 69% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1000-1210

Middle 50% ACT: 20-27

Undergrad Enrollment: 816

 

Ripon College, established in 1851, is Wisconsin’s best-value private college and a national leader in innovative liberal arts education. Within six months of graduation, 98% of alumni are employed, in graduate school or student-teaching. After 10 years, Ripon graduates are among the highest earners from all Wisconsin colleges and universities. Ripon offers more than 80 areas of study along with unique pre-professional programs and is ranked #128 in National Liberal Arts Colleges. 

 

Learn more about Ripon College and what it takes to get accepted.

 

8. Carthage College

 

Location: Kenosha, Wisconsin

Acceptance Rate: 68% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1020-1250

Middle 50% ACT: 21-27

Undergrad Enrollment: 2,641


Founded in 1847, Carthage is located on the beautiful shore of Lake Michigan in Kenosha, Wisconsin, midway between Chicago and Milwaukee. Widely recognized for excellence, Carthage provides students with rare access to opportunities and facilities that cultivate the dynamic skills needed for careers. Carthage College has a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio and offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Education, Master of Music, and Master of Science degrees. Carthage College is also one of only two liberal arts colleges in the country to lead NASA’s Space Grant Consortium.

 

Learn more about Carthage College and what it takes to get accepted.

 

9. University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

 

Location: La Crosse, Wisconsin 

Acceptance Rate: 71% 

Middle 50% SAT: 1060-1250

Middle 50% ACT: 23-27

Undergrad Enrollment: 9,479

 

University of Wisconsin—La Crosse is a public institution that was founded in 1909 and a member campus of the Madison-based state university system. There are close to 90 undergraduate majors and a variety of study-abroad options that about 20% of students utilize. Students have more than 180 clubs and organizations to choose from to get engaged on campus. The official motto of the university is “mind and body” which students take to heart: 87% of the campus participates in a recreational sport and the average GPA for student-athletes is 3.20!

 

Learn more about the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and what it takes to get accepted.

 

10. Concordia University-Wisconsin

 

Location: Memphis, Tennessee 

Acceptance Rate: 65% 

Middle 50% SAT: 980-1220

Middle 50% ACT: 20-26

Undergrad Enrollment: 3,095

 

Concordia University Wisconsin is a Lutheran higher education community committed to helping students develop in their devotion to Christ and the Church. It’s a part of the Concordia University System, a nationwide network of colleges and universities that are each independently run but all affiliated with The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Students have the opportunity to learn about pre-seminary studies, Lutheran teacher training, parish music, and church ministries leadership, in addition to traditional liberal arts subjects.

 

Learn more about Concordia University-Wisconsin and what it takes to get accepted.

 

What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?

 

Wondering what your odds are of admission at one of these great Wisconsin schools? CollegeVine can help. Our free chancing engine uses quantitative data like grades and standardized test scores along with qualitative factors like extracurricular activities, awards, and achievements to predict your odds of acceptance at hundreds of schools all across the country.

 

Our chancing engine can also help you build a balanced school list. By providing you with your odds of acceptance, you can strategically assign safety, target, and reach schools and put yourself in the ideal position to get into a great fit school. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!


Short Bio
Angelica is 2020 grad of the University of Minnesota with a degree in quantitative economics. She is a Founder and CEO of a strategic business consulting firm that helps startups, small enterprise and entrepreneurs with their goals. In her free time, she likes to read and travel.

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