The WESTERN UNDERGRADUATE EXCHANGE (WUE) is a program of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). Students who are residents of WICHE states are eligible to request a reduced tuition rate of 150% of resident tuition at participating two- and four-year college programs outside of their home state.
The WUE reduced tuition rate is not automatically awarded to all eligible candidates. Many institutions limit the number of new WUE awards each academic year, so students should apply early!
WICHE states include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.
List of Transfer-Friendly Four-Year WUE Colleges and Universities (pdf)
What is WUE?
WUE (pronounced “woo-wee”) is the Western Undergraduate Exchange, a program of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). Through WUE, students in western states may enroll in more than 140 two-year and four-year college institutions at a reduced tuition level: 150 percent of the institution's regular resident tuition. The program began in 1987 and all WICHE states have now signed the agreement. Students from all WICHE member states are eligible to request the WUE tuition discount.
WICHE member states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming. Search the WUE Online Database to see which institutions participate and which programs are available at the discounted WUE rate. http://wue.wiche.edu/search1.jsp
Advantages of WUE
When states and their institutions participate in WUE, everyone wins.
Advantages for participating institutions. While the WUE tuition reciprocity arrangement does not provide financial reimbursement to institutions for WUE students, there are many advantages to the participating institution. WUE can help institutions to build an enrollment base to strengthen programs, improve efficiency by filing excess capacity, and provide student diversity. Some institutions that border other states value the program as it enables them to serve the citizens of the nearby communities. WICHE’s new online searchable WUE database will prove a valuable tool to promote your institution and its programs of study.
Advantages for the sending and receiving states. States benefit from WUE in several ways. Sending states’ residents are able to attend affordable institutions in other Western states at no expense to the state. Receiving states also benefit if a student decides to remain there following graduation, helping the state to build an educated workforce.
Advantages to participating students. WUE gives students from WICHE states affordable access to programs that may not be available in their home state or that do not have sufficient capacity. WUE also provides students with a more diverse array of institutions in which to enroll.
For more information:
Don’t forget: Some colleges and universities in the western United States are now accepting IGETC for full or partial fulfillment of their general education requirements!