Arizona students continue to benefit from Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) exchange programs. After undergoing an extensive sunset review of WICHE, Arizona legislators voted to continue this successful program. In FY 2017-18, Arizona students who studied out of state saved $18.2 million through WICHE student exchange programs.

Arizona is the largest supporting state in WICHE’s Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP). During the 2017-18 academic year, 166 students paid reduced tuition for healthcare studies not offered by public institutions in their home state, saving nearly $4 million. As a result, 77 percent of Arizona’s PSEP graduates returned home to practice. Students are contractually required to return and provide service, or reimburse the funds paid on their behalf. High-demand careers that are launched through WICHE programs for Arizona residents include pharmacists, dentists, nurses, physician assistants, engineers and podiatrists.

Arizona’s educational institutions and local economies benefit from PSEP as well. This year alone, 137 PSEP students enrolled in public and private programs located in Arizona, and the institutions received $2.8 million in support fees from other WICHE states to reduce the students’ tuition costs.

Ensuring the continuation of WICHE as another tool to provide an affordable access to higher education is critical, not only for the benefit of students, but for the good of the state.

View the WICHE 2017 Annual Report here.