No, the WUE reduced tuition rate is not automatically awarded to all eligible candidates. In fact, most institutions are becoming more and more selective. Even if you meet the institution’s WUE admissions criteria (which can be more rigorous than its regular admissions criteria), there are no guarantees. Many institutions limit the number of new WUE awards each academic year, so apply early! And make sure you request to be considered for the WUE rate at the time you apply for admission.
Online education enrollment has continued to grow according to the new report, Digital Learning Compass: Digital Education Enrollment Report 2017. The overall enrollment in higher education, however, has fallen in the past three years.