PEOPLE Program

A PEOPLE Prep Program

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The UW-Madison PEOPLE Program (Pre-College Enrichment Opportunity Program for Learning Excellence) seeks to increase college enrollment and graduation rates of Wisconsin students of color, students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and first generation college attendees. The program focuses on promoting students’ pursuit of higher education, particularly at UW-Madison. PEOPLE was created in direct response to the achievement gaps among Wisconsin students of different ethnic backgrounds and to meet the growing demand for an educated and diverse workforce.

PEOPLE students enter the program as early as the second grade and continue through their undergraduate degree completion. Upon completion of the precollege segment of the program and upon admission to the UW-Madison, the participant is eligible for a four-year tuition scholarship to UW-Madison. In addition, excellent programming and strong leadership have yielded undeniable results:

  • 100% of PEOPLE students graduate from high school
  • 94% enroll in some form of higher education
  • 70% enroll in UW System, 51% UW-Madison, and 95% are retained at UW-Madison.

Every year, 1000 urban public school district students from Madison, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Kenosha, Racine and rural partnership schools serving Bad River, Ho-Chunk, Lac Courte Oreilles, Lac du Flambeau, Mole Lake, Oneida, Potawatomi, Red Cliff, St. Croix and Stockbridge-Munsee Indian Nations of Wisconsin participate in intensive summer programs at UW-Madison, as well as year-round academic and enrichment programs.

PEOPLE is Wisconsin’s largest and most successful precollege program; however, securing funding for scholarships and operations remains a priority. Demand for the PEOPLE program grows and interest far exceeds capacity. Only one in three applicants can be accepted into the program.

Gifts to the PEOPLE program can fund scholarships for elementary, middle, high school or undergraduate students and leadership development opportunities for precollege and college students. Annual gifts of any amount are welcomed. In addition, scholarships may be named in honor of donors or their loved ones. Endowment gifts, also named, are encouraged to help ensure the long-term viability of the program. Gifts at this level provide support for a scholarship in perpetuity and allow generations of students to realize their educational goals.