Your Milwaukee College Prep Guide 

Know a prospective student? We’ve rounded up high schools that have remarkable track records of college admission success, as well as local colleges and universities offering quality education in a wide range of majors.  

Photo courtesy of Brookfield Academy

College Preparatory High School 

Brookfield Academy 

3462 N. BROOKFIELD RD., BROOKFIELD | 262-783-3200

Founded more than 60 years ago, Brookfield Academy offers a robust curriculum that prepares students to succeed at college-level coursework. With a 1:9 teacher/student ratio and average class sizes between 11 and 17, each student receives personalized attention and guidance to help them achieve their goals. 

The college planning process focuses on the individual. Beginning their freshman year, students consider their interests and build a portfolio of activities, sports, fine arts, service and more. As students progress to junior and senior years, Brookfield Academy’s college counselors continue to work with each student and family to help them find and focus on colleges and universities that are truly a good fit based on a broad range of factors including academic interests, passions and ultimate career goals.  

Through this process, 100% of Brookfield Academy students are accepted to four-year colleges, and many attend prestigious universities across the country. The 87 students who graduated from BA in 2023 earned 447 college acceptances at 180 different institutions and approximately $20 million in scholarship offers. 

Marquette University High School 

3401 W. WISCONSIN AVE. | 414-933-7220

The Marquette University High School class of 2023 earned nearly $14 million in college scholarships. Of the 217 students, 10 were National Merit Scholar finalists, and graduates will be attending Stanford University, Duke University, Marquette University, Boston College and many more excellent institutions around the country. Beyond that, 28 of those students will be the first generation in their families to attend college. 

The accomplishments of MUHS’ most recent class are indicative of the school’s rigorous college prep curriculum and dedication to student enrichment. The all-boys Jesuit Catholic high school cultivates a sense of community and brotherhood in its student body. Along with intellectual rigor, the school aims to develop its students’ characters and values. These efforts include MUHS’ Campus Ministry office, which organizes service opportunities for students, with 130 hours of service required before graduation. That service work culminates in the Senior Shared Life program, a two-week immersive service experience, such as volunteering at a local school or nursing home.  

The school’s high standards have not gone unnoticed. In 2021, MUHS was named a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School, the only high school in Wisconsin to receive this recognition of academic excellence that year. 

Photo courtesy of Marquette University High School

Colleges and Universities

Alverno College 

3400 S. 43RD ST. | 414-382-6000

Last year, U.S. News and World Report named Alverno College the most innovative school in Wisconsin. The distinction recognized Alverno’s ongoing work to reach underserved communities and offer an effective, enriching education. 

Alverno’s “8 Abilities” set the college’s students and alumni apart. Instead of traditional grades, Alverno students are evaluated through these 8 Abilities. They are tools and skills that will help students succeed both personally and professionally. Woven into every course, the 8 Abilities empower students to become agents of change and principled leaders who meaningfully engage with their communities. Thanks to the 8 Abilities, Alverno graduates are equipped to change the world. 

Alverno offers dozens of undergraduate- and graduate-level degree programs. Some of the most popular include nursing, behavioral health and psychology, and business. Each program offers multiple pathways and timelines for degrees, including a three-plus-one business program that allows students to obtain a business degree and master’s in only four years.  

The college also welcomed a new president this year, Christy L. Brown. “To lead Alverno College – embracing its unique identity, Franciscan values, dedication to women’s education and commitment to social justice, inclusion and equity – will be a privilege and extraordinary opportunity to continue to impact the city from which I come,” Brown said. 

Carroll University

100 N. EAST AVE., WAUKESHA | 262-547-1211

Wisconsin’s first four-year college, with over 175 years of history, Carroll University now offers more than 95 areas of study at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The curriculum is balanced between marketable skills and a commitment to the character-building values of a liberal education.  

The university is known for its robust nursing department, but also offers many more majors and minors. Two of Carroll University’s most recent new degree programs are video game design and aviation science and drone technologies. The video game design major gives students a leg up in a booming industry and is meant to be paired with a major in a related field like computer science, graphic design or even English. The aviation science and drone technologies major is the first of its kind offered in Wisconsin and was created in response to the growing demand for unmanned aircraft specialists. Graduates will learn to lead cutting-edge work with other focus areas like agriculture, criminal justice and marine sciences, while becoming experts in the use of sensors, data gathering and visualization. 

Service is also a crucial aspect of a Carroll University education – students log roughly 14,000 total hours of service every year. Those hours are part of what Carroll calls its ethos, the values it works to inculcate in its student body: respect, integrity 
and stewardship.  

Photo by Getty Images

The Institute of Beauty and Wellness 

327 E. ST. PAUL AVE | 414-227-2889

The Institute of Beauty and Wellness, with one campus in the Third Ward and one in downtown Madison, offers students multiple paths into the beauty industry. It offers courses in barbering, massage therapy, manicuring, cosmetology, Ayurveda esthetics and much more.  

The school uses sustainable, environmentally friendly products and practices in all of its courses, and students are able to work directly on people, not just mannequins. The faculty is made up of experienced instructors with years of professional experience in the industry.  

Every program also offers career and business training, including job search and interview skills, as well as retail education, cost management and human resources to help students succeed in the job market and even start their own businesses. You’ll find Institute of Beauty and Wellness graduates in salons and spas across Wisconsin. 

The institute’s students also get hands-on experience, with externship opportunities at local spas and salons.  The externship program was launched in 2021, and just that year over 82% of students who participated found a job through the program.   

Specialized Education

Shepherds College 

1805 15TH AVE., UNION GROVE | 262-878-562

Shepherds College is the largest post-secondary school in the country exclusively serving students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, the Christian college has roughly 90 students at its residential Union Grove campus. It offers a comprehensive curriculum, with students choosing from three courses of study: culinary arts, horticulture or technology. Along with those occupational classes, students learn social and life skills training to help them achieve what the college calls “appropriate independence.” Students have come to Shepherds College from over 34 states and eight countries. In their last year on campus, students are placed in jobs related to their field of study, working up to 20 hours a week. Over 80% of Shepherds College graduates are employed, with many able to live with much greater levels of self-sufficiency and independence.  

Photo courtesy of Shepherds College


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine’s September issue.

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