New Exchange Program Offers Reduced Tuition Rates

When you hear the word “exchange” some foreign far away land probably comes to mind. That isn’t’ always the case though.

Many areas of the country are offering “exchange programs” to help students pay for college by offering a reduced tuition.

These types of exchanges are typically regional and depend on which state you are resident to.

WUE, New England RSP, MSEP, Academic Common Market may all be from different parts of the country but they all have one thing in common; reduced tuition.

The Western Undergraduate Exchange Program, better known as WUE (woo-e) is a program which allows residents to 15 west coast states to attend any participating college for 150% of in-state tuition.

So instead of having to pay out of state tuition for a school, residents are able to spend 150% of the in-state tuition.

What does that look like?

Let’s say you’re a resident of Washington state and you’re interested in attending college at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ. Out of state costs would be $20,808 but with the WUE Program your tuition would only cost $12,680, 1.5 times the in state tuition.

Great deal! And NAU isn’t the only campus offering this program. There are over 150 institutions offering WUE aid.

But WUE isn’t the only program out there.

New England Regional Student Program offers a tuition discount to students when they wish to pursue a major that is not offered in their home state. A little different than WUE, but a wonderful program that allows for educational growth in New England!

And if you’re from the Midwest there’s the Midwest Student Exchange Program, which like the WUE Program, offers a discount of 150% of in state tuition for out of state students.

The MSEP also offers a 10% reduction from private institutions unlike the WUE.

And last but certainly not least is the Academic Common Market, which is offered to the southern states.

This program is just like the New England RSP, which if you remember offers a reduced tuition to students wanting to pursue a degree that isn’t offered in their state.

These programs are amazing in so many ways. Not only are they simply a financial assistance but they often times promote local commerce.

The New England RSP and the Academic Common Market certainly do this. By allowing students to venture out into neighboring states to pursue the education they really want, these regions are allowing for a larger growth.

Students can gain an education and possibly learn a new trade that can be brought back to the student’s original state.

Students are also able to see a new part of the country without hefty fees.

Growing up in Alaska, I certainly know how expensive travel can become quickly. For isolated areas like Alaska and Hawaii the WUE program offers a great chance to get out of one’s secluded home state and see something new without spending an arm and a leg.

There are some potential drawbacks to these programs though.

Not all programs are exactly the same even within one Exchange Program. For instance;

The University of Oregon is a WUE school, but they only offer a certain amount of WUE aid. Therefore just because you’re from a WUE state does not automatically mean you are going to receive the aid.

But, Northern Arizona University offers WUE to every student that qualifies.

It just depends on the school. Some schools require a separate application while some do not.

Make sure to do your research into your school and the exchange program you are interested in to see exactly how the two work together.

This new kind of exchange is a great way to go to college for a reduced rate without having to stay at home. Finances are a big problem for many students and this is just one way that universities are trying to overcome this problem.

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Chelsea Halstead

Chelsea Halstead

University of Portland junior, Chelsea Halstead, is a Communications and French double major. Chelsea hails from Alaska originally, but calls Portland, OR home now. When Chelsea isn't at school or whipping up a mean latte as a Barista, she enjoys spending time outdoors and attempting to make Pinterest crafts!
Chelsea Halstead

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