Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE)

Jacob Ceniceros, WICHE VETMED Class of 2017

WICHE Loan-For-Service Program

The purpose of the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) Loan-For-Service Program is to allow New Mexico students to enroll at selected out-of-state graduate or professional programs which are not offered at New Mexico public universities.

Exchange students receive preference in admission. They pay reduced levels of tuition; for most students, resident tuition in public institutions or reduced standard tuition at private schools. New Mexico pays a support fee to the admitting school to help cover the cost of students’ education.

As a condition of each loan, the student shall declare his/her intent to return to New Mexico to practice as a professional in their field of study.

For every year of service provided, a portion of the loan will be forgiven. If the entire service agreement is fulfilled, 100% of the loan is eligible for forgiveness. Penalties will be assessed if the service agreement is not satisfied.

Lauren Rath, WICHE VETMED Student Class of 2020
Fields Supported by New Mexico
  • Dentistry
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Optometry

The award will equal the support fees designated for each program as determined by WICHE. Award is renewable for up to four years.

  • U.S. Citizen or permanent resident alien.
  • Graduated from a New Mexico public accredited high school or resided in New Mexico for three consecutive years prior to application of the program (tax forms required for all three years).
  • Attend an eligible public or private school listed for Veterinary Medicine or Dentistry.
    How to Apply
    • Complete the WICHE Loan-for-Service application packet.
    • Submit a complete application packet to the New Mexico Higher Education Department by the deadline date.
    • Submit all letters of acceptance you receive from out of state Universities and Colleges.
    When to Apply
    • The application period for NEW WICHE Applicants is between August 1st and October 15th.
    • The application period for RENEWAL WICHE Applicants is between May 15th and July 1st.
    Where to Apply
    • The application for NEW WICHE applicants (2025-2026) will open on August 15, 2024 and close on October 15, 2024.
    • The application for RENEWAL WICHE applicants (2024-2025) will be available (bottom of page) starting May 15, 2024 and will be removed from the page on the closing date of July 1, 2024.
    The Process
    • Applications will be reviewed by the Financial Aid Division at the New Mexico Higher Education Department to determine if the applicant is a bone fide New Mexico resident. If the applicant meets the residency requirements, the applicant will be "certified" and eligible to be considered for WICHE support. Certification does not guarantee admission to any professional school, nor does it mean students will receive WICHE support.
    • Applicants must be a New Mexico resident who graduates from a New Mexico High School or has resided in New Mexico for three consecutive years immediately preceding application to the program and who attends or is about to attend a graduate or professional program.
    • Applicants must apply directly to the professional school(s) in which they would like to enroll.
    • The professional schools(s) determine whether or not you are admissible to their program.
    • The Financial Aid Division at the New Mexico Higher Education Department informs WICHE headquarters of certified applicants along with the number of students it will support for Dentistry and Veterinary Medicine.
    • WICHE administration conducts ranking as necessary to determine which certified students will be offered WICHE support and forwards the names to the Financial Aid Division at the New Mexico Higher Education Department.
    • All WICHE applicants are notified of WICHE support status via Email.

    The 2025-2026 WICHE NEW Application will open August 15, 2024

    The 2024-2025 WICHE New Application will close at 5:00PM on Monday, October 15, 2024


    WICHE Renewal Application closes 5:00PM on July 1, 2024

    Applicants will need to create a new account and password using the new Submittable System

    Please ensure your information is correct prior to submission. 

    Please email any questions to fin.aid@hed.nm.gov 

    NMHED, Financial Aid Division Contact Information
    Phone: 1-800-279-9777
    Email: fin.aid@hed.nm.gov

    CONTACT US: If you require additional guidance on how to direct your question or are not able to locate the information you are looking for on the New Mexico Higher Education Department's website, please send us a message.