I speak to students all the time that want to find the right college for their needs. Each student wants to know how prospective colleges will fit them. They want an answer, but may not be asking the right questions. For students in the Western half of the United States they have additional affordable options because of the Western Undergraduate Exchange Program. Here are some questions and answers about this regional agreement that may be beneficial to you.

What is it? – When a student attends a public school outside of their state, they pay a larger tuition rate than in-state residents. This can be a 300 percent increase from in-state students to out-of-state students! The Western Undergraduate Exchange program caps this increase at 150 percent for someone who qualifies. This can be thousands of dollars in savings, especially over the four years of college!

Who is part of the Western Undergraduate Exchange Program? - There are 16 states, plus territories, that participate in this program. They include states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. In this region there are more than 160 colleges that participate with students from these states.

When should I apply? – It is recommended that you apply early if you want to receive this benefit from a school. This means looking on the college’s website to determine their deadlines. It is a good idea to apply by the priority deadline or early action deadline if you can. Each college can have their own requirements with this special program, so it is best to be proactive.

Where do I apply? – You will apply directly to the college. There is not a centralized application for this WUE program. This means you need to follow the directions on the college’s admissions or financial aid page.

Why is this important? - Colleges are either public, private, or proprietary. Public colleges and universities seek to meet the needs of the students from their home state. By being part of the WUE program they are expanding their reach to be affordable for students from their region. Many of the states that participate have just a couple of public college options. This program helps colleges by providing more students to consider and helps students by providing more affordable college options.

How do I get the WUE tuition rate?  - You get the rate by being an eligible student, applying to an eligible college, and doing so within the timeframe they allow. Also, the WUE rate may be limited to only certain majors. This means doing the research for your situation so that you are not taken off guard.

At College Admissions Assistance we want all of our students to find a college that fits their needs. For those in the West, this may be at a participating WUE institution. Please look at the links below for more details, instructions, and to find out more about the participating colleges.


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