ALL WICHE Publications, Papers, and Reports



    Regional collaboration has been an essential part of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education’s (WICHE) mission since its founding in 1953. The organization’s roots trace back to a time when there simply were not enough professional schools to supply each state with the doctors, dentists, and veterinarians it required to meet the needs of a burgeoning post-World War II populace. A number of Western states had yet to build a medical or dental school; unless other states came to their aid and accepted nonresident students at their professional schools, their residents would go unserved. WICHE was created to help states in the West meet critical workforce needs by fostering interstate agreements and programs to broaden access, initially in three professional fields and over the years expanding to include a broad range of undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs.

    Today, our region needs more skilled professionals than ever before, and needs them in a multitude of diverse fields. Our Professional Student Exchange program now includes 10 fields, from optometry to occupational therapy, providing a collaborative, cross-border assist to the states and people of our region. WICHE’s Western Regional Graduate Program offers tuition savings to students enrolling in 314 master’s, certificate and doctoral programs that run the gamut of disciplines. Broadening access to reduced cost undergraduate education (150 percent of resident tuition) is another of WICHE’s collaborative hallmarks; during academic year 2013-14 nearly 34,000 students benefited from the Western Undergraduate Exchange and saved an estimated $264.7 million in tuition. For the states where demand for higher education outstrips availability, WICHE’s valuable interstate programs ensure that capacity in other states can be tapped to benefit students throughout the West.

    —Dianne F. Harrison
    WICHE Chair

    Pages: 16 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 108 KB
  • Beyond Borders, a report on WICHE's Multistate Longitudinal Data Exchange Pilot Project

    A Report on WICHE’s Multistate Longitudinal Data Exchange Pilot Project

    Pages: 70 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size:
  • Equity in Excellence for Colorado's Future Cover

    A Policy Audit and Analysis

    In 2013, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Ford Foundation, the Center for Urban Education (CUE) at the University of Southern California and the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) launched a two-year project, Equity in Excellence, to support the implementation of Colorado’s higher education reform agenda. With a focus on the metropolitan Denver area, the project intends to align the state’s higher education policies with concrete, equity-focused actions at its public community colleges and four-year institutions. The purpose of this policy audit is to inform project, state, and institutional leaders about current policy and practice in Colorado with respect to equity as they work with CUE to assess and analyze how to better align state policy with equity-focused actions at the institutional level. Specifically, this audit analyzes alignment, gaps, and opportunities in state, system, and institutional policies, as well as the interaction between them, with an eye toward intentional and unintentional outcomes. It provides an external, objective perspective, with the goal of assisting Colorado’s state and institutional higher education leaders in designing (or redesigning) policies to achieve the goals laid out in the state’s master plan and to make those policies equitable toward all students.


    Pages: 24 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 374 KB
  • A Glimpse Beyond State Lines cover

    Student Outcomes from WICHE’s Multistate Longitudinal Data Exchange Pilot Project

    Pages: 59 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 525 KB

    The perceived value of postsecondary education to economic competitiveness and individual success is driving innovation in higher education. Competency-based education (CBE) is the latest disruption that seeks to respond to the growing sense of national urgency to boost education attainment. The target audience generally includes those adult learners with some college but no degree already participating in the workforce. Competency-based education also seeks to create greater transparency in learning outcomes to show how well individuals can apply identified competencies in the work-world. Yet, competency-based education is hard to understand and communicate. For those educators who are thinking about initiating competency-based education programs on their campuses, you need to know what others have learned in the process of designing CBE programs and the kinds of questions you should ask yourself at the outset.

    Pages: 16 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size:
  • Tuition and Fees in the West 2013-14 cover

    WICHE's Policy Analysis and Research unit has released a new Policy Insight covering our most recent survey of published tuition and fees prices in all public institutions in the West in 2013-14. The report summarizes those findings and discusses state budget levels, higher education appropriations, state financial aid programs and related state finance policy innovations.

    Pages: 8 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 157 KB
  • WICHE Commission Meeting Agenda Book cover
    MAY 12-13, 2014
    Pages: 169 ~ Media Type: ~ File Size:
  • WICHE and its 16 member states and territories work collaboratively to expand educational access and excellence for their citizens. By promoting innovation, cooperation, resource sharing, and sound public policy, WICHE strengthens higher education’s contributions to our social, economic, and civic life.

    Pages: 19 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 173 KB
  • States in the Driver's Seat cover

    Boulder, CO — A comprehensive framework for redesigning state financial aid programs has been proposed in a concept paper from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). The report, which was one among many commissioned by Lumina Foundation to consider comprehensive financial aid reform, makes a series of proposals to align governmental and institutional policies and leverage financial resources to promote the greatest possible access, affordability, and eventual success in attaining higher education.




    Pages: 40 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 306 KB

  • This year WUE helped almost 34,000 students and their families save an estimated $264.7 million by paying 150 percent of resident tuition, instead of the full nonresident rate at 154 participating WUE institutions.

    Pages: 174 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 2,684 KB

  • Developing collaborative networks of key stakeholders focused on improving postsecondary access and success for low-income students is an emerging strategy that College Access Challenge Grant programs are using to help sustain their activities and improve services offered to students. This brief focuses on research into the successful characteristics of collaborative efforts and highlights three examples that will be of interest to those working with this population.

    Pages: 8 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 145 KB

  • This report covers fall 2013 enrollments for WUE, WRGP, and PSEP and details the funds that flow between students’ home states and the enrolling PSEP institutions that receive them.

    Pages: 24 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 898 KB


  • Benchmarks: WICHE Region 2013 presents information on the West’s progress in improving access to, success in, and financing of higher education. The information is updated annually to monitor change over time and encourage its use as a tool for informed discussion in policy and education communities.

    Pages: 16 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 198 KB

  • After years of tight state budgets, cuts to postsecondary institutions, and rising costs for students, there was good news for higher education in the West in 2013. Increased state revenues allowed some -- though certainly not all -- states to appropriate more money to colleges and universities and look for ways to offer more financial aid and avoid steep tuition increases. By no means are the hard times over, but as long as state legislatures in the West continue to develop innovative approaches to the design and delivery of higher education, access, quality, and success can continue to improve for all students in the region. This Policy Insights brief summarizes key themes from the 2013 legislative sessions and highlights some emerging issues to watch in the West.

    Pages: 6 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 169 KB

  • This report is the latest update of WICHE's annual report on tuition and mandatory fees at public institutions in the West, including a state-by-state and institution-by-institution historical review of tuition changes from year to year, as well as those from one, five, and ten years ago. Beginning with 2010-11 and continuing this year, this report presents published tuition and fees amounts as averages both unweighted and weighted by full-time equivalent enrollments. Unlike unweighted averages, which treat each institution equally no matter how big or small it is, enrollment-weighted averages provide a truer estimate of the published price a typical student faces based on enrollment patterns. Appendix E provides more information regarding enrollment weighting. In addition to the full report, all tuition and fee data tables are available to download in Excel format below.

    Download the Full Report

    Pages: 64 ~ Media Type: PDF ~ File Size: 2.20 MB