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Residents Eligible to Pay Discounted Tuition Rates in Western U.S. States (November 30, 2013)

Residents who are looking to earn their bachelor’s or master’s degrees are now eligible for discounted tuition rates at many universities and colleges in the western U.S.

The reduced tuition was made possible when the Commonwealth became a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE), whose Western Undergraduate Exchange program allows CNMI residents to be eligible to request a discounted tuition rate at institutions like Arizona State University (ASU), Boise State University, University of Nevada at Las Angeles (UNLV), California State University, and Washington State University.

The president of WICHE, Dr. Daving Longanecker, will be visiting the CNMI this week to meet with local and regional leaders. He will also be making a presentation at the upcoming Micronesian Chief Executive Summit that will be held this coming week on Saipan.

“The CNMI’s membership in WICHE has made earning a degree in the U.S. mainland much more affordable for residents because they would not have to pay the full out of state tuition like they would typically have to if they move to a state like Washington or California or Nevada,” said NMC President Dr. Sharon Hart.

“For instance, students who move from the CNMI to Las Vegas to enroll at the University of Nevada’s Culinary Arts Management program, for example, would have had to pay the nonresident tuition fee of $19,655 per year,” said President Hart. “Now that the CNMI is a member of WICHE, CNMI residents who enroll at UNLV are now eligible to pay $8,618, representing a savings of more than $11,000 a year.”

“Of course, we hope that students begin their studies at the Northern Marianas College because there are many advantages to starting at a community college,” added President Hart. “But if students are looking to further their studies after attending NMC by pursuing their bachelor’s or master’s degree in areas that are not offered locally, we would like to help them as well.”

The Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education is a regional organization that, until recently, had 15 member states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai'i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The CNMI became the 16th member of WICHE last year after considerable support from the CNMI governor and members of the legislature.

For more information about WICHE, visit or

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