Montana WICHE, WWAMI, Minnesota Dental,
and WIMU Regional Program in
Professional Student Exchange Programs
Application for Certification Information
The State of Montana participates in four 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, Minnesota Dental Program, and the WIMU Regional Program in Veterinary Medicine. 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 healthcare fields currently supported include: medicine, osteopathic medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry, optometry, occupational therapy, and podiatry. The WWAMI program is specific to the field of medicine, the Minnesota Dental Program is a dental education program only, and the WIMU is specific to veterinary medicine. The number of Montana students funded through these programs is determined by Legislative appropriation. Exchange students may receive some preference in admission and if awarded state funding, will pay reduced levels of tuition; generally resident tuition at public institutions* or reduced standard tuition at private schools. Support awards are very competitive; state funding levels are generally not sufficient to support all applicants. Students who do not receive the state support will not qualify for the reduced tuition rates if admitted.
(*NOTE: Effective fall 2013 and forward, state supported students enrolled in a public professional program through WICHE PSEP or the Minnesota Dental program may need to pay more than resident tuition in cases where the state support fee does not cover the school’s resident/nonresident tuition differential during any academic year.)
The certification requirements are the same for all four programs; all applicants must meet the Montana University System residency requirements to receive certification and only certified applicants are eligible to apply to the participating programs as potential program participants. To obtain certification, students should apply to the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education between July 1 and October 15th of the year prior to their anticipated entrance into professional school. (For example, students hoping to begin their professional program Fall 2015, should apply for certification during the July 1, 2014-October 15, 2014 application cycle.) The deadline for certification applications is October 15th each year.
It is in your best interest to apply for certification early rather than waiting until the certification deadline. Due to individual program application/admission deadlines, it may not be possible to make final residency determinations involving complex situations, or in those cases where students wish to appeal their non-residency determination, in time for the applicable deadlines should a student choose to wait until late into the application cycle or until the October 15th deadline to submit his/her initial application. It is especially important for students in the following classes to apply early (preferably September 1st):
- Veterinary medicine applicants
- Students applying to schools with a rolling admission process
- Students whose Montana residency status may be uncertain
Applications received after the October 15th application deadline will receive alternate certification status only, meaning they will receive secondary funding consideration following all certified applicants.
Certification does not guarantee admission to any professional school, nor does it mean students will receive support from the State of Montana for their attendance if admitted to a participating school; however, in order to receive program consideration, certification is required. Support awards are very competitive and state funds are not available to support all applicants. For the WICHE and Minnesota Dental programs, students who receive acceptance from participating schools by April 1st (March 1st for dental students) are included in a ranking to determine state funding awards. For these rankings, cooperating schools confidentially rank all accepted students from Montana; that information is then compiled in the form of a weighted ranking. The highest ranked applicants are the first to be offered the state support. All remaining students and students who receive acceptance after the rankings are compiled are placed on an alternate funding list. The admission and selection process for the field of veterinary medicine differs from the other WICHE fields. For complete details, please read/reference the WICHE veterinary medicine cooperative admission procedure information contained in veterinary medicine application materials. Students who do not receive state support will not qualify for the reduced program tuition rates if admitted.
Certification as a Montana resident for purposes of application to professional school is only the first step in the process. In addition to the certification process, students should apply to the professional schools directly, following each school’s application process and deadlines. It is advisable to apply to professional school early, especially to those schools with a rolling admissions process.
Students who are already enrolled at WICHE participating school as non-supported or non-funded students in the WICHE eligible fields of study may re-apply for certification each year to receive alternate certification if they continue to meet the Montana residency requirements; again, funding priority is given to beginning students first and alternate students second. Deferred admissions from a prior academic period do not receive funding preference and are treated the same as new offers of admission and are subject to the certification and ranking process for the current application cycle.
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 re-certify during subsequent application cycles if you wish to receive program consideration.
The certification application materials can be located by selecting the following application fields:
- Medicine, Occupational Therapy, Optometry, Osteopathic Medicine, and Podiatry
- Veterinary Medicine
If you have questions regarding the application materials or the certification process, please contact Laurie Tobol at (406) 444-0322 or firstname.lastname@example.org . 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, 2014 to the address listed below. If you are sending your application materials via email, please use the following secure email address to do so: https://securemail.mus.edu
Laurie Tobol, Student Assistance Manager/State Certifying Officer
Office of Commissioner of Higher Education
PO Box 203201
Helena, MT 59620-3201
Application Deadline is October 15, 2014
INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED
LATE APPLICATIONS ARE CONSIDERED FOR “ALTERNATE CERTIFICATION” STATUS ONLY