Implementation Considerations

Tuition Reciprocity and Fee Payment

The National Student Exchange is a tuition-reciprocal exchange program and uses two payment plans to accommodate that reciprocity.

Plan A - The student pays the resident (in-state/in-province) tuition and mandatory fees of the host campus directly to that campus.

Plan B - The student pays normal tuition and mandatory fees (e.g., health services, student activities) fees to their home institution. That payment is retained by the home campus; it is not forwarded to the host institution. Students do not pay tuition to the host campus. Since Plan B students have paid their mandatory fees to their home university, they are not expected to pay these fees to their host campus.

Whether using Plan A or Plan B students are expected to pay fees which are assessed as a condition of enrollment in courses (e.g., laboratory fees, internship, art and photography supplies, student teaching, field studies). The cost for room and meals are always paid directly by the student to the host college or university.

Participating campuses may choose to operate under one or both payment plans depending upon institutional, board, or state or provincial policies governing reciprocity models. Utilization of both tuition payment plans offers the most flexibility to both the student and the participating member campus.

Federally-Funded Financial Aid

According to NSE policy, U.S. federally-funded financial aid is awarded by and disbursed from the campus where tuition and fees are paid. For exchanges made between U.S. and Canadian members, financial aid is applied for, and disbursed from, the student's home university. Member campuses sign a one-time, consortium agreement with NSE in order to comply with U.S. federal regulations. Individual agreements with member institutions are not required. By the third week of each term, NSE host campus coordinators electronically verify enrollment of NSE students to their home campus coordinators.

Exchange Balances

NSE exchanges are multilateral across the consortium rather than bilateral between institutions. NSE does not require that institutions maintain a term:term or year:year balance in the numbers of outgoing with incoming students. A member institution, however, may determine whether or not to maintain an exchange balance. In that case, the balance is completed within the time period determined by the campus, but campuses do not owe a place to another institution for a subsequent year. Many NSE campuses have a multi-year, rather than a single term or single academic year, period in which to balance their exchanges. If a student (either outgoing or incoming) subsequently withdraws, that withdrawal does not jeopardize other placements which have been negotiated, regardless of its effect on the balance of trade.

Exchange Eligibility and Program Restrictions

Students must have a minimum cumulative gpa of 2.5 (4.0 scale) and be in good standing academically, financially, and behaviorally. See the Eligibility section of Policies and Procedures for complete requirements for NSE participation. Additional program requirements may be imposed by the sending or receiving campus. Members may also restrict, limit, or close academic programs in which students are sent or received. Program access is identified during the annual membership renewal process and communicated through on-line submission forms. After August 1 of any given year, it is expected that no additional restrictions, limitations, or special requirements will be imposed on exchange until the next annual cycle for membership renewal.

Registration and Fee Payment

NSE recommends that outgoing and incoming NSE students be treated as "normally" as possible so as not to interrupt the matriculation status of the student or the operations and procedures of participating campuses. NSE suggests that outgoing students be registered in a holding course (i.e., NSE 450 for 12 or 15 hours). For Plan B students this would generate a bill for full-time enrollment. For Plan A students, this would generate a zero bill. In both cases, such enrollment keeps the student tied to the home institution and establishes appropriate audit trails through registration, fee payment, and financial aid offices. Upon the studentís return, work completed at the host campus replaces the holding course on the home institution's permanent record.

Accepting Exchange Work

Prior to completing registration at the host campus, a student develops an advising agreement with their home academic advisor and/or major department to determine where each course will fit into the home institution's degree program. NSE strongly encourages the institution to treat exchange work in the same fashion as though completed at the student's home campus with particular emphasis on including grades earned on exchange as part of the permanent home campus grade point average.

"NSE has been a model of organization and professional standard that I strive for in my own office."

Geraldine Auel
Former NSE and Study Abroad Coordinator
Oklahoma State University