Are you taking advantage of The Western Undergraduate Exchange?

westAre you a student in Washington and have your sights set on a school in North Dakota but are discouraged to attend because of the out-of-state cost? Though you may not know it, there are actually programs that available for students exactly like you in mind. Sponsored by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, The Western Undergraduate Exchange was created in the late 1980s to help undergraduates who live in the west coast attend a public college or university outside their home state but within the western region.

So, what’s benefit of being a part of the program? Well, if you’re on the west coast and you’d like to stay on the west coast and attend a school in a nearby state, you’re eligible to receive a reduced tuition rate equal to 150 percent of the in-state rate of the other western state you’d like to attend. For example, if you’re a Colorado resident and you wish to attend the University of Northern Arizona, WUE participants receive a reduced tuition rate of 150 percent of the charge. This means numbers-wise, if the annual in-state tuition cost of UA is $10,000, a WUE participant would be charged $15,000 rather than the nonresident rate of $20,000 for a savings of $5,000 every year. With a total savings of $20,000 over four years, it is no wonder that about 36,000 students participate in the program every year. (Remember, this is an example, so actual numbers will vary according to each school’s tuition cost.)

As for the schools that participate, about 150 two- and four-year colleges and universities are a part of the WUE program in 15 states, including Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Does it seem like the WUE program is right for you? I invite to take a look at the complete listing of each state’s participating schools on the WICHE site. And of course, if you have any questions, please let me know and I’ll be happy to answer them.

My very best to you and your student!

Marc Ziegler
President/CEO Midwest College Planning, LLC 


  1. Judy Dyer says:

    Would like to find out which colleges have the exchange program with Nebraska.