Higher Ed Administrator Testimonials

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources

WICHE is closely monitoring the outbreak of “SARS-CoV-2,” and the disease it causes, which has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). To inform and facilitate your response to a rapidly changing situation, WICHE has compiled the following set of resources, which will be updated as new information becomes available.

  • "As an MBA focused on training future social entrepreneurs, it is crucial to keep costs low for students so they graduate with as much financial freedom as possible. We want to enable our alumni to pursue whatever career or entrepreneurial endeavor they are most passionate about, that can make a difference in the world, and to do that, they cannot be saddled with enormous debt. WRGP is an important piece of the financial aid puzzle for many of our students, and we are very grateful to be part of the program. "
    — Kathryn Ernst, Colorado State University, Global Social and Sustainable Enterprise MBA,
  • "It has been great to have more out-of-state students in our occupational therapy program, bringing greater diversity and enabling us to graduate students who will serve needs within the region. We think it helps broaden their horizons too, allowing them to see how practice in another state compares with their home state, and giving them the chance to gain professional colleagues that come from across the western states and beyond. We were able to attract two excellent students from Montana over the past two years because of WICHE’s PSEP program. "
    — Susan Burwash, PhD, OTR/L, Eastern Washington University, Department of Occupational Therapy,
  • "In the 70s, few universities in the West offered OT degree programs. I had to leave my home state to obtain my degree. The WICHE PSEP program minimized my student loan debt to become a practicing occupational therapist. With little debt, I was able to complete my post-professional MS degree in occupational therapy, followed by my Ph.D. I helped to establish and teach for Northern Arizona University's doctoral program in occupational therapy, which now accepts WICHE PSEP occupational therapy students, helping students to serve in one of the fastest-growing health professions in the US!"
    — Patricia Crist, PhD, Northern Arizona University Occupational Therapy,
  • "Participating in the Western Regional Graduate Program has benefited both individual students and the overall quality of student recruits for the Ph.D. Program in Second Language Acquisition & Teaching. We have been able to offer full tuition funding for WICHE students whose research or professional goals require them to spend extended time in the field. These students are often unable to accept on-campus GA positions that would provide tuition support, and SLAT would be unable to support them at the out-of-state rate."
    — Kelley Merriam-Castro, Ph.D. Program in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching,
  • "This field is for administrative use only. Don't forget to click the SUBMIT button below. Thank you."
    — Julie Surina, Northland Pioneer College,
  • "WUE has been a great program for Colorado Mesa University. Hundreds of students have taken advantage of WUE. Participation in the program has given us great exposure and positive publicity. "
    — Michael Poll, Vice President for Enrollment Management, Colorado Mesa University,
  • "Central Arizona College is in the heart of Arizona and offers top-notch academic programs, residence life, and a nationally recognized athletic program. Thanks to the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) program, we can offer an affordable education to students who otherwise might not have the opportunity to attend college away from home. "
    — Veronica Duran, Interim Dean of Student Enrollment, Central Arizona College,
  • "The WUE program makes Mayville State University a very affordable option for students and families. Many times we are able to offer total costs under what students would pay if they had stayed in their home state. Getting students to consider studying away from their families and friends is a challenge, but money still talks! WUE helps us stay competitive and sustain healthy enrollment numbers. "
    — James Morowski, Director of Admissions, Mayville State University,
  • "WICHE's PSEP program helps attract many high quality applicants to our Doctor of Physical Therapy program. As the "ninth island", Las Vegas is a great option for students from Hawaii to have access to wonderful educational opportunities and still maintain a close connection to home. Thank you for helping our program to be a part of the professional development of many fine students from Alaska, Hawaii, and Wyoming as they pursue their doctor of physical therapy degree. "
    — Keoni Kins, Administrative Clinical Coordinator, Doctor of Physical Therapy program, University of Nevada, Las Vegas,
  • "Eastern Washington University's Occupational Therapy Program was established in the Inland Northwest because of the lack of programs which can attract students from rural settings. Our program emphasizes community-based and interdisciplinary service delivery models essential for successful practice in rural, underrepresented and underserved areas. We are committed to supporting access to occupational therapy services in the region and encourage students from WICHE states to take advantage of PSEP financial support to offset the out-of-state tuition. WICHE's PSEP is essential to our mission."
    — Roberta Snover, Director of Admissions and Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy Program, Eastern Washington University,
  • "The financial support provided to our Doctor of Physical Therapy students through WICHE's PSEP permits us to achieve our goal of graduating exceptional physical therapists who will be leaders in healthcare and in the communities they serve in their home state. Knowing that they have PSEP financial support allows our students to focus on their academic studies and clinical experiences, which ultimately helps them achieve their goal of becoming an evidence-based and caring healthcare provider."
    — Thomas McPoil, Director of Professional Programs, Regis University,
  • "Students from the Southern California College of Optometry (SCCO) at Marshall B. Ketchum University (MBKU) have benefited from PSEP support for more than 35 years. WICHE's PSEP has brought our program a rich diversity of students who come from other states and different backgrounds. In the latest graduating class, PSEP students graduated with 54 percent less debt than their classmates. We look forward to the future when MBKU students from our new pharmacy and physician assistant programs will be able to benefit from this great program as well. "
    — Tami Sato, Sr. Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid, Southern California College of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University,
  • "WUE has been a game-changer for my students in Southern California! Currently, students face a very challenging admissions environment with both the UC and CSU systems, due to record numbers of freshman applicants. This has led to impacted majors and campuses throughout the state. WUE mitigates these issues by offering students an array of affordable college options in the West. Most WUE institutions have availability in most majors, and they offer families a significant tuition savings and the opportunity for students to graduate in four years. "
    — Becky Marchant, Co-Lead Guidance Counselor, Brea Olinda High School,
  • "WRGP helps us offer opportunities for school psychology training for students from states that either do not offer training in school psychology, or don't offer the specific training emphases that students are looking for. This is imperative, given national shortages of school psychologists. WRGP provides affordable options for students in our region."
    — Michelle Athanasiou, Professor and Chair, University of Northern Colorado,
  • "The WRGP tuition break is a wonderful recruitment and retention tool. It has helped UND's Department of Counseling Psychology and Community Services increase the diversity of our graduate cohorts by supporting the education of students from Western states who identify as first generation college students and/or racial-ethnic minorities. Most importantly, the diverse cohort of students attracted thanks to WRGP has greatly contributed to diversity of thought within our graduate programs, which is necessary for the advancement of our field."
    — Rachel Navarro, Associate Professor and Department Chair, University of North Dakota,
  • "The debt level of veterinary students has a significant and negative impact on their future lifestyle. WICHE PSEP sponsorship for veterinary students means the difference between a prohibitory debt load and a manageable one. Colorado State University is very proud to be a WICHE-affiliated school and we recognize the positive impact that WICHE sponsorship has on western students. WICHE helps students to pursue their chosen career path and to become satisfied and productive members of the veterinary profession with significantly less stress related to their debt. "
    — Dr. Christine Hardy, DVM, MBA, MPH, Senior Director of Professional Veterinary Medicine Student Services, Colorado State University,
  • "I visited four high schools in Saipan and student interest was high; 30 to 100 students attended each presentation and many have applied. They were hungry to learn more about college options and were appreciative that a representative would travel a great distance to meet with them. Many have never been to the mainland and wondered how they would adjust and wanted to know the resources available to help them succeed so far from home. Many are high achieving students and enthusiastic leaders in their communities. Many are bilingual and have much to contribute culturally to any campus community."
    — Kenley Jones, Associate Director of Admissions, Southern Utah University,
  • "The University of Arizona’s College of Optical Sciences has enjoyed a long relationship with WICHE. Over the years, WRGP has allowed more than 70 students to pursue their dreams of a graduate degree in optics. The significant savings provided to students makes their educational goals more accessible and attainable. We’re also happy to see many underrepresented groups in our field take advantage of the WRGP program. Thank you for providing this amazing service!"
    — H. Brown, Graduate Academic Progress Coordinator, University of Arizona, College of Optical Sciences,
  • "The Speech, Language, and Hearing Science department at the University of Colorado Boulder offers a master's in Speech Language Pathology and the Doctorate of Audiology through WRGP. Thanks to WRGP, we now have students from Alaska, Hawaii, New Mexico, and North Dakota. They bring a wonderful diversity of experiences to our program. Students are delighted to hear about the savings, especially in audiology, which is a four year degree. Some of our students have said that a more reasonable debt load will enable them to consider jobs in the public sector, which sometimes don't pay as well."
    — Brenda Schick, Professor and Coordinator of Graduate Studies, Speech, Language, & Hearing Sciences, University of Colorado - Boulder,
  • "The Colorado School of Public Health is committed to serving and training our region’s health professional workforce. Participation in WRGP enables us to recruit from among our region’s brightest graduate and professional students, offer them access to an affordable and quality education, and graduate them into the region’s growing health professional fields. I recently met with a prospective student from New Mexico who was overwhelmed with the news that she would be eligible for in-state tuition. For this student and many like her, attending our school would not be a possible without WRGP."
    — Jennifer Pacheco, Admissions Specialist, Colorado School of Public Health,
  • "As a first year partner program in WICHE's WRGP, we have been pleasantly surprised by the number of inquiries and subsequent applicants we have received to our Master of Science in Communication Disorders program. WRGP has enhanced our recruitment of outstanding applicants. The first recipients remarked that the award has enabled them to continue with their graduate education at the institution of choice."
    — Robbie Jackson, Graduate Program Director, Communications Disorders Department, Eastern Washington University,
  • "For many years WICHE's PSEP has supported over 10 percent of our graduate occupational therapy students to gain their OT degrees and practice credentials. The program has enabled students who may otherwise not been able to afford graduate study to advance their careers and address society's health needs for higher quality and more independent living. WICHE PSEP students have enhanced the diversity of our student body and thus strengthened our program and profession to provide effective services to a wider variety of clients."
    — John White, Program Director, School of Occupational Therapy, Pacific University,
  • "WICHE's WRGP has helped our Urban Design program immensely by expanding our applicant pool and allowing us to recruit top talent from the 15 Western states. These students nearly always cite the WRGP discounted tuition as one of the major reasons they applied to our program and accepted our offer of admission. The program is invaluable and I recommend it to all program administrators! "
    — Jeremy Nemeth, Assistant Professor and Director, Master of Urban Design, University of Colorado Denver,
  • "Valley City State University prides itself on a student-centered atmosphere. Participating in WRGP is just one more way we can meet the needs of our students. The Education degree we offer through WRGP is online and provides access to teachers who may be working in rural areas. As an institution, we are aware of the indebtedness a graduate student can incur when completing an online degree. WRGP has made our program affordable for those rural students who do not have access to face-to-face programs."
    — Terry Corwin, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Valley City State University,
  • "ISU's program in Communication Sciences & Disorders is new to WRGP this year, and we are very happy to be able to provide a tuition reduction to students from our fellow WICHE states. We have been very pleased with the quality of WRGP applicants to our program. The continual increase in tuition has made higher education in the health sciences out of reach for many students, but WRGP makes it more accessible and affordable. WRGP demonstrates that learning passes well beyond the boundaries of individual states, as do the benefits of education."
    — Tony Seikel, Professor & Associate Dean, Idaho State University,
  • "The University of Washington's PharmD program routinely accepts WICHE PSEP students from Alaska, Hawaii and Nevada. WICHE students bring cultural and community perspectives that enhance and enrich classroom and student community dynamics. They engage in a wide variety of mentoring and leadership roles in academic and student professional organizations, as well as in patient care outreach activities in the community. WICHE graduates return to their home states, returning the gift of support and paying it forward by providing innovative and quality care in their communities. "
    — Michaelene Kedzierski, Clinical Professor and Associate Director of Counseling Services Office of Academic & Student Programs, University of Washington School of Pharmacy,
  • "WRGP has allowed us to fund more students through tuition waivers. Being able to fund students at in-state rates makes a great difference to us as we allocate our limited tuition resources."
    — Kelley Merriam-Castro, Sr. Program Coordinator, Second Language Acquisition and Teaching at the University of Arizona,
  • "Both students and administrators consider it a great advantage to participate in WUE. It enables students to meet tuition costs for their studies and it makes it possible for institutions to recruit out-of-state students whose presence enhances the diversity of the student body. As we talk to students, they express their gratitude to be spared insurmountable debt burdens, thus allowing them to pursue their professional dreams. And, they can focus on their studies. The collaborative effort between WICHE staff, the participating institutions and their states, and the students is inspirational."
    — Amber Cook, Accounting Specialist, Financial Aid & Scholarships, University of Utah,
  • "WRGP has helped CSU’s Master’s in Integrated Resource Management recruit and retain students of diverse backgrounds with strong credentials. Every week, I field inquiries from prospective students and quite often, WRGP makes our program financially feasible for them. What's more, the diversity that WRGP has added to our student cohort has been extremely valuable; thus far, two Native American students have enrolled through WRGP. All of our WRGP students have contributed greatly to classroom discussions and group projects, lending perspectives not represented by other students."
    — R. Kraig Peel, Director, Western Center for Integrated Resource Management, Colorado State University,
  • "Western University of Health Sciences, its students, and its community are grateful for a program like WICHE's PSEP. It’s allowed students to pursue their educational goals even though their chosen field of study is not readily available in their home state. The amount of support students receive dramatically reduces their total indebtedness! We are thankful for the WICHE program, and hope eligible students can continue to receive support."
    — Najia Siddiqui, Financial Aid Counselor, Scholarship Coordinator, Western University of Health Sciences,
  • "Western Oregon University boasts a long history of providing graduate degrees in Rehabilitation Counseling with the Deaf. There are very few programs nationwide that prepare students to provide rehabilitation services to clients who are deaf, hard-of-hearing, or deaf and blind. Each year up to half of our students are enrolled through WRGP. Over the years we have had students who hail from all of the WICHE states, and most of them return home with their graduate degrees to provide services to this underserved population. Participation in WRGP has made our program affordable for these students."
    — Dr. J. Smith, Associate Professor/Advisor/Coordinator, Western Oregon University, Rehabilitation Counseling with the Deaf,
  • "WRGP students have brought a diversity of knowledge and experience of resource management in other places to Central Washington University’s graduate program. This sharing has been a great benefit to our "homegrown" students and faculty, allowing all to see how resources are managed in other places, and how those strategies might work in the Pacific Northwest. Without WRGP, few of these students could have afforded to attend CWU, and our program would have suffered from their absence. Thanks to WICHE we are a more diverse, vibrant, and regionally-applicable program."
    — Karl Lillquist, Co-Director, Resource Management Program, Central Washington University,
  • "The WUE program has allowed our coaches to broaden their recruiting scope while maximizing their scholarship budgets. We have a significant number of student athletes who receive partial or no athletic aid, and WUE allows them to attend Metro State at an affordable rate, participate on a highly competitive Division II team, and pursue the major of their choice. Student athletes account for about 15-20 percent of our WUE enrollment. WUE has allowed us to remain competitive in the recruiting process and attract talented and diverse students from the West at an affordable tuition rate."
    — Ellen Boswell, Director of Institutional Research, Metropolitan State College of Denver,
  • "WRGP has allowed us to successfully recruit some of our best graduate students. These students are highly desired by research labs because the cost of in-state tuition and fees is not as prohibitive as the out-of-state rate. WRGP helps students from states within the Western region compete for graduate slots and obtain advanced degrees more affordably."
    — Mark Quinn, Professor and Department Head, Veterinary Molecular Biology, Montana State University,
  • "WICHE's Professional Student Exchange Program has offered a fabulous opportunity to several out-of-state students to enroll in our Doctor of Pharmacy program -- students who otherwise may not have been able to attend. Because our nation’s economy is so bleak and our students come to us from a diversity of economic circumstances, we continually strive to find a variety of ways to enable students to pursue their dreams; it's our most important goal! We are so thankful for the WICHE program; it has been a tremendous help to our students. "
    — Marian McDonnell Horton, Pharmacy Student Services, Washington State University, College of Pharmacy,
  • "The students who have attended Montana Tech as part of the WUE program have been a great asset to the school. They bring new perspectives into the classroom and generally excel academically. Many of these students have gone on to be significant contributors both intellectually and financially as alumni. Without the WUE program, Montana Tech would not have its current regional presence and many of these students would not have been able to afford to study at our school."
    — Tony Campeau, Director of Enrollment Management, Montana Tech of the University of Montana,
  • "Cal State East Bay is proud to be a WICHE partner and offers both WUE and WRGP, permitting students to live and study in the San Francisco Bay area which is a thriving educational and cultural center in the West. WUE and WRGP offer students a top-quality education at a reasonable cost. Students who enroll through these programs don’t have to give up their dreams to pursue their educational goals. To study at CSU East Bay; to live in an area rich with educational and career opportunities; and to save money too--adds up to a winning combination."
    — Dave Vasquez, Asst. Dir. of Regulatory Compliance for Planning, Enrollment Mgmt., and Student Affairs, California State University, East Bay,
  • "Most of the Western states have been severely affected by the economic downturn and decreased funding for higher education. WUE gives students the ability to widen their horizons and take advantage of exciting educational opportunities that are out-of-state, yet at an affordable price. New Mexico State University is benefitting from WUE; we are seeing an influx of students who are looking to escape daunting tuition costs. In fact, some NMSU students enrolled through WUE are paying less than they would in their home state."
    — Candace Aragon, Coordinator Admissions/Records, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces,
  • "In this time of extremely restricted funding to state institutions, the Western Regional Graduate Program has allowed our department to recruit outstanding candidates who might otherwise turn down admission because of nonresident tuition costs. It’s not feasible to fully fund all incoming graduate students, but fortunately, WRGP allows us to offer the equivalent of $15,000/year tuition reduction awards to students who would otherwise not receive any financial support--without direct expense to our program or department. Thanks, WICHE!"
    — Robyn Sandekian, Managing Director, Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities, University of Colorado at Boulder,
  • "The WUE program has been a wonderful boon to Cal State East Bay. It has allowed us to attract a very talented and diverse group of students from other western states to our campus in California. This not only offers opportunities at a very affordable rate to those students who are joining us, but it also enriches the experience of our California residents studying here, by exposing them to perspectives and experiences different from their own. "
    — Greg Smith, Associate Vice President, Planning, Enrollment Management, and Student Affairs, California State University, East Bay,