The Federated States of Micronesia is seeking to join the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education (WICHE) in hopes of providing Micronesian students an opportunity to gain access to lower tuition at American universities. Despite the $3 million national scholarship program, FSM President David Panuelo said several Micronesian students studying abroad are forced to drop out of college due to the spiraling matriculation fees in U.S. educational institutions. “Unfortunately, the cost of higher education in the United States has risen at a much faster rate than our revenues have grown,” Panuelo wrote in a March 19 letter to U.S. Interior Secretary Debra Anne Haaland.
“In fact, when adjusted for inflation, the real cost of attending a four-year university in the U.S. has increased by 50 percent in the last 20 years. Thus, our scholarship dollars are worth less today than they were even a few years ago,” the president added. The FSM National Scholarship program supports students entering fields that are in high demand in the workforce, such as education.