Montana WICHE, WWAMI,
and Minnesota Dental
Professional Student Exchange Programs
Application for Certification Information
The State of Montana participates in three professional student exchange programs aimed at providing Montana residents affordable access to selected out-of-state professional programs in specific healthcare fields which are not available in the state: WICHE Professional Student Exchange (PSEP), WWAMI Medical Education Program, and Minnesota Dental Program. Continued state participation in these programs is subject to ongoing approval and appropriation by the Montana Legislature, who may, at any time, modify the programs and support levels.
WICHE supported healthcare fields may include: medicine, osteopathic medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, optometry, occupational therapy, and podiatry. The WWAMI program is specific to the field of medicine, while the Minnesota Dental Program is a dental education program only. The number of students funded is determined by Legislative appropriation. Exchange students may receive some preference in admission and if awarded state funding, pay reduced levels of tuition; generally resident tuition in public institutions* or reduced standard tuition at private schools. Support awards are very competitive; not all applicants receive state support. Students who do not receive the state support will be responsible for the full tuition rate if admitted.
WICHE’s Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP) support fees have not been meeting the resident/nonresident tuition differentials at some of the participating public institutions for several years now. Effective AY2013, programs at participating public institutions that are left with an unmet resident/nonresident tuition differential have the option to credit the state support fee against full nonresident tuition and have the enrolling student pay the balance. Prior to this policy change, all participating public programs were required to charge PSEP students resident tuition, even if the support fee did not cover the resident/nonresident tuition differential. For all enrolling WICHE PSEP and Minnesota Dental students beginning Fall 2013 and forward, tuition charges may be affected under this new policy.
The certification requirements are the same for all three programs; all applicants must meet the Montana University System residency requirements and must apply to the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education for certification by October 15th of the year prior to entering professional school. Applications received after the October 15th application deadline will be considered for “alternate certification status” only. Incomplete applications are not accepted. Certification does not insure admission to any professional school, nor does it guarantee that, if admitted, students will receive support from the State of Montana for their attendance. Support awards are very competitive and funding is not available to support all applicants. Students who do not receive state support will be responsible for the full tuition rate if admitted.
Non-funded students who are already enrolled in a participating program may apply for certification as alternate students; however, funding priority is given to beginning students first and alternate students second. Deferred admissions from a prior academic period are treated the same as new offers of admission and are subject to the certification and ranking process for the current application cycle; deferred admissions do not receive funding preference. Deferments are not accepted in the field of veterinary medicine.
Certification as a Montana resident for purposes of applying to the professional programs is only the first step in the process; students must also apply to the professional schools of their choice separately, adhering to each school’s application criteria and deadlines. If accepted to a participating program by April 1st of the following spring, eligible certified students are then ranked for available state support (between April and May); these rankings are used to determine award recipients. It is advisable to apply to professional school early, especially to those schools with a rolling admissions process.
Certification is an annual process and is valid for a period of one year. If you are not accepted by a participating program or plan to defer your admission, you must reapply for certification the following year by the annual October 15th deadline. The necessary certification application materials can be located by selecting the following links:
If you have questions regarding the application materials or the certification process, please contact Laurie Tobol at (406) 444-0322 or via email. The application materials contain a complete list of the necessary forms and required supporting documents on the page entitled Applicant Checklist. Please read it thoroughly and follow the instructions carefully. Completed applications should be returned no later than October 15, 2013 to:
Laurie Tobol, Student Assistance Manager/State Certifying Officer
Office of Commissioner of Higher Education
PO Box 203201
Helena, MT 59620-3201