Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE)

Be their HERO! Help your students save an average of $9,000 a year!

“Woo-wee!” You might hear that exclamation from students when they save thousands in tuition. It’s also how you pronounce WUE, the Western Undergraduate Exchange program administered by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). In keeping with WICHE’s mission to improve affordability and resource-sharing among Western U.S. colleges and universities, an entering college student may enroll as a nonresident at a participating two-year or four-year public college or university, and—thanks to a WUE program discount—pay 150% (or less) of the institution’s resident tuition. This year, WUE celebrates 30 years of tremendous student savings!

Consider these key questions and points as you advise your students about WUE:

  1. Is your student a resident of one of a WICHE member state or U.S. territory (CNMI or Guam)? Are they planning to study at a public college or university in another WICHE state?
  2. Which schools is your advisee interested in? Select from 160+ participating schools in our WUE network. Download a handy PDF list or check our database for the details.
  3. Does the student know his/her preferred area of study? Verify that your advisee’s prospective major is offered by his/her top-choice schools. Most majors are available at the WUE rate at most universities and colleges, but not always. Schools may exclude high-demand majors from the WUE rate. Once enrolled, if the student switches to a non-eligible WUE major, their school can charge them full nonresident tuition.
  4. Does the student meet that school's WUE admissions criteria? A student’s home state residency alone does not guarantee they qualify for the WUE rate. Some colleges and universities have additional criteria such as ACT/SAT test scores or high school GPA. Schools that award WUE based on merit set more rigorous criteria for WUE applicants. Consult each school’s WUE webpage for its most current admissions criteria.
  5. Apply directly to the schools. WICHE doesn’t process applications (there is no general WUE application); WICHE does not participate in the student-selection process. When the student applies, they must indicate they want to be considered for the discounted WUE rate. Some schools have a WUE checkbox on their application. If not, ask the school how to request the WUE rate. Usually the admissions office handles WUE requests, but at some schools, it’s administered through the scholarship or financial aid office.
  6. Apply early. Many schools have an early application deadline for WUE applicants. If the student misses the deadline, or applies after the school has reached its quota of discounted WUE seats, they could lose out. Tell them to be the first to apply!
  7. Help them be informed. Read our comprehensive WUE FAQ and see how much your students can save with WUE (updated every December). Depending on the student’s home state, it may cost the same or less to study out-of-state through WUE rather than through their chosen in-state school. Another valuable resource: WICHE’s Annual Tuition & Fees Report (published every November) outlines costs for all public institutions in the WICHE region.
  8. Advise students awarded WUE to study hard. If your student reaped a WUE discount, encourage them to keep all correspondence confirming their WUE award. To keep their WUE discount for the duration of their studies, students must remain in good academic standing. Some schools require a minimum number of credit hours per term. Students are responsible for confirming all requirements directly with their WUE school.
  9. Hosting a college night or a college fair? Thank you for helping us get the word out about WUE! Here are some materials to share with students and parents.
  10. Questions or Suggestions? If your questions are specific to a certain school, please call the school’s admissions office. If you’ve read these tips and the WUE FAQ, but still have general questions about the program, contact us at info-sep@wiche.edu or 303.541.0270. Share your insights on how we can better help you promote WUE to your students; email us at info-sep@wiche.edu.