Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE)


Students who are residents of WICHE states are eligible for reduced tuition rates in WICHE states outside their home state

What is WUE?

WUE (pronounced “woo-wee”) is the Western Undergraduate Exchange, a program of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). Through WUE, students in western states may enroll in more than 150 two-year and four-year college institutions at a reduced tuition level: 150 percent of the institution's regular resident tuition. The program began in 1987 and all WICHE states have now signed the agreement. A copy of your state’s signed WUE agreement is available for your review. Students from all WICHE member states are eligible to request the WUE tuition discount.

WICHE member states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Search the WUE Online Database to see which institutions participate and which programs are available at the discounted WUE rate.

Advantages of WUE

When states and their colleges and universities participate in WUE, everybody wins!

Advantages for participating institutions. While the WUE tuition reciprocity arrangement does not provide financial reimbursement to institutions for WUE students, there are many advantages to the participating institution. WUE can help institutions to build an enrollment base to strengthen programs, improve efficiency by filing excess capacity, and provide student diversity. Some institutions that border other states value the program as it enables them to serve the citizens of the nearby communities. WICHE’s new online searchable WUE database will prove a valuable tool to promote your institution and its programs of study.

Advantages for the sending and receiving states. States benefit from WUE in several ways. Sending states’ residents are able to attend affordable institutions in other Western states at no expense to the state. Receiving states also benefit if a student decides to remain there following graduation, helping the state to build an educated workforce.

Advantages to participating students. WUE gives students from WICHE states affordable access to programs that may not be available in their home state or that do not have sufficient capacity. WUE also provides students with a more diverse array of institutions in which to enroll.

FAQ for participating or prospective WUE institutions

For more information about WUE from an institutional perspective, read this document.

Tuition reciprocity research

Read more about how your state, its residents, and your institution can use regional tuition reciprocity in the West to everyone’s advantage: Student Migration: Relief Valve for State Enrollment and Demographic Pressures (WICHE Policy Insights, May 2005).

Promoting WUE to Prospective Students

WICHE has developed several tools to help students and their families learn about WUE.

Contact Us

Counselors: For information about specific programs available through WUE, contact the admissions office of the school that your student wants to apply to. For general information, contact us at info-sep@wiche.edu or 303.541.0270.

WUE Enrollment

The WUE Enrollment Report was discontinued in 2014. Please see the expanded version of our 2015-16 Statistical Report which includes summary enrollment detail by institution. Detailed CIP code-based enrollment reports are available to state higher education and admissions offices by request. Please contact us at 303.541.0214 or mcolalancia@wiche.edu for more information.

Make changes to your institution’s WUE online account

For assistance with your institution’s WUE profile or reporting your WUE enrollment numbers, contact Kim Nawrocki at 303.541.0270 or knawrocki@wiche.edu.