Start College Now

Start College Now is a program that allows qualified high school students to take college-level degree courses at Madison College.

If you are a student looking for opportunities to learn beyond what is offered at your high school, Start College Now may be for you.

Start College Now classes are tuition-free. Your local school district pays for your participation.


Start College Now is open to any Wisconsin public high school student in 11th and 12th grade who has displayed the level of responsibility and maturity needed to succeed in a college level course. You may not have any significant disciplinary problems on your student record.

The course must be approved by your school district and must be different from courses available at your high school.

For more information, contact the Early College Programs and Partnerships at (608) 243-4595 or

Step by Step Process
  1. Fill out a Start College Now form (PDF) and submit it to your school district. (Due by March 1 for fall semester and October 1 for spring semester). 
  2. After approval by the school district, the forms should be sent electronically, by high school staff, to as soon as possible.
    Application materials can alternately be hardcopy mailed to:
    Early College Programs
    Madison College
    1701 Wright Street
    Madison, WI 53704
  3. Set up your student account.
  4. Ensure all class prerequisites are met, if necessary. This may include any or all of the following: placement testing, high school transcripts, ACT scores. Nursing Assistant students have additional requirements. Please see the Nursing Assistant program page for health and background screening information.
  5. You will be contacted with Start College Now enrollment dates and procedures.
  6. Enroll in your approved class or classes using your Student Center.
  7. Obtain your books from the Madison College Bookstore using third party billing. Please check with your high school first, as some may have alternative methods for buying books and supplies.
  8. Attend your Madison College Start College Now classes
Class Suggestions

Looking for a Madison College course to fill your high school schedule? Check out these 4-year transfer options that do not require prerequisites or test scores.

Creative Writing
3 credits
Health & Fitness for Life
1 credits
State and Local Government
3 credits

For a more comprehensive list of Liberal Arts classes that are transferable to 4-year colleges, please email an Early College advisor at

Frequent Questions

What is the high school to college credit ratio for Start College Now courses?
The statute does not specify a specific ratio, leaving it at the discretion of the school district.

Is the Start College Now program available for summer courses?
No, the statute states only fall and spring courses are eligible for Start College Now.