Skip to main content

Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)


15 Western region states have cooperative college agreements that are beneficial to students. The states that participate are: Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Hawaii, Montana, Utah, Wyoming and Alaska. One of the primary programs is the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE). 
What is the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) and how does it work?
WUE (pronounced “woo-wee”) is the Western Undergraduate Exchange, and it is coordinated by WICHE. WUE is a regional tuition-reciprocity agreement that enables students from WICHE states to enroll in some 145 participating two- and four-year public institutions at 150 percent of the enrolling institution’s resident tuition. WUE is the largest program of its kind in the nation, and has been in operation since 1987! WUE is not a short term exchange—it is meant to be used for a full degree.

How much tuition will I pay if I am enrolled at the WUE rate? What would I save compared to paying full nonresident tuition?

It depends, but here is an example: If the resident tuition rate of “Best Western University” where you are enrolling is $10,000, then your WUE rate would be $15,000 ($10,000 x 1.5). If you were paying the full nonresident rate, you would pay $20,000, so you are saving $5,000 ($20,000 - $15,000) per year. Please note that this is just an illustration. Check directly with your enrolling institution to find out what their resident tuition rate is, in order to calculate your WUE rate. In the most recent academic year, more than 26,700 students saved $210.8 million by enrolling through WUE.
I am a resident of a Whiche state and plan to enroll in a WUE institution. Do I automatically receive the WUE discounted tuition?

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.
For more information go to their website at