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WHAT IS THE WUE AND WHAT DOES IT DO? WUE stands for the Western Undergraduate Exchange, a program through which students can attend participating institutions in other states for reduced tuition. Instead of paying full out-of-state tuition, a WUE participant pays the regular in-state tuition plus 50 percent of that amount. This applies to participating four-year as well as two-year schools. Students do not need to demonstrate financial need. The participating states are Alaska , Arizona , Colorado , Hawaii , Idaho , Montana , Nevada , New Mexico , North Dakota , Oregon , South Dakota , Utah , Washington and Wyoming .

Now, before you leap to the conclusion that you have found the golden egg when it comes to financing college here are some facts about how it works:

1. This program is for public institutions only.
2. Each state determines which institutions and programs it will make available to WUE applicants. For instance, The University of Washington and the University of Colorado at Boulder are not participants.
3. California , as usual, is different. Only one school, the Maritime Academy , accepts students through WUE. In turn, some states accept students from California and some do not.
4. Not all programs are offered on all campuses.
5. Eligibility to be considered a WUE student must be requested at the time of application. As part of the application the student must mark prominently on the application that he/she seeks admission as a WUE student and the program in which he/she wants to enroll.
6. A student may continue as a WUE student as long as the student remains in the chosen program or changes to another program open to WUE students.
7. Each institution determines its own admission requirements. The required test scores and GPA will vary from institution to institution. For example, a student applying to Northern Arizona University must have a 3.0 GPA and an SAT score of 1110, however Western Washington University gives priority to students with a 3.8 GPA and a 1200 SAT score.
8. Some schools have a limited number of WUE slots and they are administered on a first come first serve basis.

Judith Christie
College Planning Consultants