You can either be a Ram or buy a RAM. CSU’s out of state tuition, $25,166, is the same price as a 2013 Dodge RAM 1500. With the help of the Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE), some students are able to choose the former.
WUE is a scholarship that reduces tuition significantly for freshman and transfer students who are residents of WUE states — Alaska, Nevada, North Dakota, Hawaii, among 11 others. The majority of WUE students are from California, Arizona and Alaska.
“It is currently our most prestigious award,” said Tom Biedscheid, the director of Student Financial Services at CSU.
Biedscheid explained that the award is given based off of the CCHE Index, which is used by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education and uses a combination of GPA and test scores in its calculation. Students who satisfy the requirements receive the award automatically and are guaranteed a reduction in tuition by $9,227, or 150 percent of resident tuition.
Brenna Garvin, a senior from New Mexico and a WUE Scholarship recipient, learned about the WUE from a high school advisor.
“I have two siblings who are also in college so it was important to me and my parents to get financial aid,” Garvin said. “Getting the WUE Scholarship was a deciding factor in going to CSU.”
There are currently 622 students at CSU on The Western Undergraduate Exchange, 197 of which are new students this year. One downside of the WUE is that it is only available for incoming students.
The Western Undergraduate Exchange Transfer Scholar Award is available to students who satisfy the requirements and have majors in the College of Agricultural Sciences, Health and Human Sciences, Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, or Warner College of Natural Resources.
Bridget Shannon, a junior from Washington transferred to CSU last year and is not on the Western Undergraduate Exchange, despite coming from a WUE state.
“It is not an option for students that are already here,” Biedscheid said.
Biedscheid explained that the university has expanded the program by offering it to transfer students for the first time starting this year. CSU is also re-evaluating the index that has been used in previous years.
“The problem with the index is that some high schools have weighted and unweighted GPAs, which isn’t consistent,” Biedscheid said.
CSU is shifting from the CCHE index starting next year and will use a grid system instead that will be more consistent and account for different GPAs.
“It would be nice if they made it more available,” Shannon said.
Collegian Staff Writer Maddie Buxton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.