Student and Graduate Testimonials
Here's what students and graduates are saying about WICHE's Student Exchange Programs
"I've always known I wanted to study marine biology, but that's difficult in my land-locked home state. Thus, I began looking at schools on the West Coast and fell in love with Western Washington University. The WUE program allowed me to turn down full-ride scholarships from local universities and study what I was passionate about in the Pacific Northwest, without burdening my parents too much. Without WUE, I'd most likely be pursuing a major that didn't hold my interest and waiting for graduate school. At Western, I have the opportunity to get hands-on experience through engaging labs, study in a university-owned marine center, and even go on study abroad trips to learn about tropical marine biology in Mexico!"
— Kaitlyn, Utah resident, Class of 2014, Western Washington University, Creative writing and Marine Biology
"I have been a professional boat captain for seven years. I am paying for school myself, without help or assistance from outside sources. I never imagined being able to afford to go back to school until I heard of the WUE program. I wanted to attend California Maritime Academy for several years and thanks to WUE, it became reality. With the degree and license I will receive, I'll be able to secure the job of my dreams. I never could have done it without the immense help and support of WICHE. Thank you so much. "
— Brian, Hawai'i resident, Class of 2016, California Maritime Academy, Marine Transportation
"Being from Alaska, I've been around boat and the water my whole life. I looked into Cal Maritime for maritime studies, and didn't think my family could afford it until we found out about the WUE scholarship. It was the deciding factor in making my education at Cal Maritime possible. Thanks to WUE, I'll get to fulfill my dream of working on the water anywhere in the world."
— Sanford, Alaska resident, Class of 2016, California Maritime Academy, Maritime Studies
"The WUE program has provided an affordable option for my college studies. My options for majors were limited since my home state has only one university, so studying out-of-state was the best solution for me. WUE has allowed me to attend an excellent school and pursue a field of study that interests me, and graduate with less debt."
— Ashley, Wyoming resident, Class of 2013, Montana Tech of the University of Montana, Metallurgical Engineering
"The WUE program is helping me to reach my goals. Without it I would not be able to study at one of the top research institutions in the nation and pursue my dream of becoming a doctor. Thank you!"
— Josh, Idaho resident, Class of 2014, University of Utah, Biology
"The WUE scholarship is one of the most important programs I have ever been apart of. The nonresident tuition for California Maritime Academy is drastically higher than the in-state rate. Thanks to the reduced WUE tuition, I can feasibly pursue my passion without amassing astronomical student loan debt. The maritime industry transcends state lines and I am happy that WUE provides a means for students in the West to pursue studies in this area."
— Thor, Washington resident, Class of 2016, California Maritime Academy, Marine Transportation
"I'm not sure how I ever would have been able to pay for Cal Maritime's out-of-state tuition. With WUE, I was able to save a lot of money and attend this school at a reasonable price. Thanks to WUE, my education is more affordable."
— Brandon, Hawai'i resident, Class of 2016, California Maritime Academy, Mechanical Engineering USCG License Option
"The California Maritime Academy is one of seven maritime academies and the only one on the West Coast. Cal Maritime offers very distinct and focused disciplines of study. I was interested in political science, international relations, and ocean security when I was looking at colleges as a senior in high school. Cal Maritime had a program that met ALL my interests and all rolled into one four-year program -- something my home state universities didn't have. I thought I couldn't afford to attend because of the high out-of-state tuition costs. Luckily, I was awarded WICHE's WUE discount and that made it feasible. I encourage our Western legislators to continue supporting WICHE student exchange programs to help students who can't get their major in their home state. Without WICHE I would not be a cadet at Cal Maritime, receiving a degree in global studies and maritime affairs. "
— Emily | Class of 2015, Washington resident, Class of 2015, California Maritime Academy, Global Studies & Maritime Affairs
"Due to the tuition reduction provided by WUE, I was able to attend school at CSU in Fort Collins, CO. I am very interested in the environmental impact that humans have on our environment and in improving ways of quantifying this impact. By attending school at CSU, I was able to meet many high-profile researchers and scientists working in this field. I worked in a research lab for four years and then was given an opportunity to work on remote-sensing technologies being developed for the next generation of NASA satellites while being paid to obtain my master's degree. This technology is exactly what I wanted to work on, as it provides a means of accurately measuring the levels of the ocean and large inland bodies of water globally."
— Thaddeus, Alaska resident, Class of 2012, Colorado State University, Electrical Engineering
"I’m a junior in the respiratory care program at Oregon Tech from Puyallup, WA. WUE made it possible for me to finance my education and pursue the career that I’ve always wanted. My class sizes are small, my professors know me by name, and I won’t graduate with a lot of debt. Attending college out of state has been a great experience, and the WUE program made it affordable for me."
— Tiara, Washington resident, Class of 2013, Oregon Institute of Technology, Respiratory Care
"I will be the first person in my family to graduate from college, and the Western Undergraduate Exchange has helped me tremendously! WUE helped so much with my tuition cost; if I'd had to pay the entire out-of-state fee, it would've almost doubled my cost, and my parents don't make enough to cover the extra fees. Now I can finally go to school without taking out any loans, so I won't be in debt when I get out. I am so thankful for WICHE’s Western Undergraduate Exchange!"
— Demitrius, Washington resident, Class of 2015, Lewis-Clark State College, Hospitality Management
"WUE has helped me be able to attend a second year of college with less stress because I no longer work full time (just part time). That's increasing my grades and improving my college education."
— Macaulay, Oregon resident, Class of 2012, lCSC Lewiston Idaho, Collision Repair
"Without the WUE waiver, I would not be able to go to school here. The atmosphere at this school is the best. I wouldn't want to go anywhere else, and this waiver made it all possible. I'm so thankful that I received it, and I will do everything I can to keep up my hard work. Keeping this waiver is the most important thing to me!"
— Colby, Washington resident, Class of 2014, Lewis Clark State College, Business Communications
"My parents were not able to finish high school or earn their college degree because they had me at a very young age. They worked hard to give me a life they were not able to have themselves as children. Going to college was the only thing my parents ever asked of me. We are of a lower-income bracket, and I have three younger siblings, and we are all very close in age. We have all graduated or are graduating college. Without WUE there would’ve been no way for me to attend college for financial reasons. I am now in my third semester at Montana Tech. My estimated cost of tuition is around $19,000 because I am out of state. However, with WUE, I am paying about the same as an in-state student. Thanks to WUE I’m able to continue my degree, get a good job, and pay my parents back for every ounce of effort they put forth to raise me and help me get where I am today"
— Shelby, Idaho resident, Class of 2015, Montana Tech of the University of Montana, Mining Engineering
"WUE allowed me to attend school without racking up extreme student loans. After graduating from high school, I received a scholarship for $2,000 a year for four years, but aside from that I was on my own. My parents got divorced when I was young, and because of expenses related to that, they had no money to help me or my brothers with college. The other schools I was looking at in Oregon were too expensive, unless I was going to take out tons of student loans. Lewis-Clark State College looked like a great choice for the price, plus it was highly recommended by my aunt, who had gone there; the only problem with LCSC was the out-of-state fees. Applying through WUE meant I didn't have to pay most of those fees. Without WUE I either might not have gone to college at all or dropped out shortly after starting. WUE made it so that I can work hard in the summers and during the school year and keep my student loans to a minimum. I know of several other people who are in a similar position and wouldn't be able to go to school without WUE, one being my little brother, Jared. I hope that my story and the stories of others will affect any decisions made about WUE. "
— Jacob, Oregon resident, Class of 2014, Lewis-Clark State College, Elementary Education