The following criteria will be considered in determining membership in the Washington Higher Education Secretariat (WHES):
- The organization serves, through membership, postsecondary institutions and/or organizations of postsecondary institutions, and/or of professionals associated with postsecondary institutions.
- The mission of the organization must demonstrate how it would contribute to and actively engage in the work of the Secretariat.
- The organization must normally have a minimum of 50 member institutions and/or 5,000 individual members.
- The organization monitors and/or influences national policy issues for its members.
- The organization holds federal tax-exempt status.
- The organization is a member of ACE (any category).
- The organization has a significant presence in the Washington, DC area.
- As part of the application process, the prospective member must provide letters of nomination from 5 Secretariat CEOs referencing how the organization would contribute to work of the Secretariat.
- Members must pay annual dues which cover speaker travel, monthly meeting expenses, annual retreat, compensation survey, and June luncheon.