Colorado is one of the most educated states in the nation, ranking high in the percentage of adults who attended college and hold bachelor's degrees. But state funding for higher education isn't what it used to be -- according to the American Council on Education, state support shrank nearly 70 percent between 1980 and 2011. The same study says funding could dry up completely by 2019; so perhaps it's no coincidence that the revenue public colleges and universities here get from tuition has increased every year since 2007.
Student and Graduate Testimonials
Here's what students and graduates are saying about WICHE's Student Exchange Programs
"WUE changed my life. I got accepted into an accelerated honors program called ITEC at CSU, Chico. It’s for liberal study majors who aspire to be elementary school teachers. Being from Washington, the price of out-of-state tuition would have been too high for my family and me to afford. However thanks to WUE, I am now at Chico State pursuing my dream to change children’s lives. My gratitude is endless, and words cannot express how blessed I am to be a part of the WUE program."
— Valerie, Washington resident, Class of 2016, California State University, Chico, Liberal Studies
"Before I was awarded the Western Undergraduate Exchange scholarship, I was limited to in-state study because of tuition prices, and none of the schools were the best fit for my academic goals. Thanks to WUE, I am able to attend my dream school -- Western Washington University -- and pursue a concentration along with my degree through the Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies. I am so thankful to be a recipient of this award because it allowed me to attend the college that fits me best. WICHE rocks!"
— Lauchlan, Oregon resident, Class of 2016, Western Washington University, Environmental Science
"WUE makes dreams possible. Without it, I wouldn't have been able to pursue my college aspirations in the manner I had hoped and planned ever since I was in 5th grade. One of my top priorities was to experience a new living environment, meet a more diverse group of people and gain exposure to a variety of educational opportunities not available in my home state. With college costs almost doubling in the past few years, I faced financial constraints which limited my choices. WUE made it possible for me to follow my dreams within my budget. I wake up every day excited -- and grateful -- to be working towards my scholastic goals. It is a competitive program, but worth every effort. I am proud to be a participant and I will always value the opportunity WUE provided me."
— Alex, Idaho resident, Class of 2016, Western Washington University, Biology and Anthropology
"When I was first looking at different colleges I was only considering schools in my home state. I knew I had a limited budget to work with and private schools were out of my price range. The WUE program allowed me to greatly increase my options. The cost to attend WUE institutions out of state still fell within my budget. Eventually I chose to attend California Maritime Academy; it offers opportunities that no other school on the West Coast has. I am now enrolled in their marine transportation program. Without WUE, I never would have found out about Cal Maritime, and I certainly wouldn't have been able to afford it! I can't stress enough how important this program is to the students who use it. For me personally, a career in the marine transportation industry wouldn't be possible without WUE. "
— Riley, Washington resident, Class of 2015, California Maritime Academy, Marine Transportation
"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, 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