What is the Western Undergraduate Exchange?


What is the Western Undergraduate Exchange?

What is the Western Undergraduate Exchange?

The Western Undergraduate Exchange (or WUE) is a regional tuition-reciprocity agreement. If you are a resident of one of the 15 western states that participate, you are eligible to recieve a reduced tuition rate at participating public colleges within the region.  Approximately 160 colleges participate in WUE. 

Participating WUE States

Which states participate?

Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. 

Do all public schools in these states offer a WUE tuition discount?

Unfortunately, the answer is no. Some schools that are pretty popular with our students--schools like the University of Washington and the University of Colorado Boulder--do not offer discounted WUE rates. For a complete list of WUE colleges, click here!

How much is the discount?

You would pay no more than 150 percent of the enrolling institution’s resident tuition—a significant savings over regular nonresident tuition.

What are the average annual savings?

The average WUE university student saves about $9,600 per year.

How about a specific example?

Let’s say you are a California student interested in attending Boise State University (Fun fact: their mascot is Buster the Bronco #themoreyouknow). The out-of-state tuition is normally $24,980. This is way higher than the in-state tuition, which is only $8,060. However, if you qualify for the WUE scholarship, you will instead pay 150% of that in-state rate, which ends up being $12,120. Congratulations--you’re going to save $12,860 dollars per year!

Boise State University 

I plan on applying to a school that is part of WUE. Will I automatically receive the WUE discounted tuition?

Not necessarily. At many participating schools, the WUE admissions criteria is more rigorous than its regular admissions criteria. For example, at UN Reno, the minimum general admission requirements are a GPA of 3.0 or above. If you want to qualify for WUE, however, you’ll need at least a 3.25 GPA or an 1160 on the SAT.

Is the criteria similar at other WUE schools?

Again: not necessarily. Every WUE school sets their own criteria and selection process. You will have to look up the specific admission requirements for every WUE school you are applying to.

How can I improve my chances of receiving the WUE rate?

Other than maintaining high grades and obtaining a high SAT or ACT score, your best bet is to apply early! Many schools limit the number of WUE scholarships, so applying early can increase your chances of receiving one.

Can I establish in-state residency while receiving a WUE scholarship? 

Unfortunately, the answer is no. According to the official WUE website, "if you want to build time towards establishing residency in another state, schools require you to pay the full nonresident tuition until that residency is legally established." 

Which schools give out the most WUE discounts to California students?

Here’s your top five, in order: Northern Arizona University, University of Nevada Reno, University of Hawaii Manoa, Southern Oregon University, and Boise State University.

California's WUE Student Distribution

How can I learn more?

You can find more information on the WUE program here

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