Some say that the west coast is the best coast but we don’t discriminate. When it comes to saving for college though, some of our friends out west do get to enjoy an exciting advantage over the rest of the country.
While reciprocity or tuition discounts for neighboring states is not specific to the west coast, the Western Undergraduate Exchange Program is the largest program in the country.
The program that shortened is WUE, helps students in 15 states receive tuition discounts for attending certain out of state universities within the coverage area. Specifically, a student pays 150% of the in-state tuition if they are accepted into one of the over 150 WUE schools.
To better understand the savings, let’s take a look at an example.
If I dream of becoming a Cougar at Washington State University but live in Michigan, I would have to pay over $24,500 as opposed to just under $11,500 in-state. However, if I live in California and want to head to the Pullman, Washington campus, I would pay a little over $17,000.
With that savings of over 8 grand per year and over 24K over four years, I may be able to make an out of state school a realistic possibility.
Now this example does not take away the importance of a proper plan and stellar execution of financial aid paper work. Additionally, the plan only helps for tuition so fees and room and board must also play a role in the decision-making process.
However, the program is a model for the rest of the country and in time, hopefully more of America will get band together to save families like these 15 schools in the Pacific and Mountain Time Zones!