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Maine: March 2011

Tuition Reciprocity

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

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

Plan B
The student pays normal tuition and fees to his or her home institution.

Participating campuses may choose to operate under one or both tuition payment plans. Current institutional, board, or state/provincial policies - including existing reciprocity models - may set a precedent for and/or govern whether the campus uses one or both of these plans. Note that students always pay room and meals to their host university.

Exchange Parameters

Each participating campus determines the number of students it will send and receive, as well as the balance in the numbers of outgoing and incoming students. Exchanges are made multilaterally across the consortium thus eliminating the need for individual:individual, discipline:discipline, or campus:campus exchange requirements.

The majority of NSE's annual 3000 placements are made by campus coordinators at the consortium's March annual placement conference. The efficient and timely placement process allows students to finalize exchange plans and, in most cases, complete registration at the host institution by the end of the spring term on the home campus.

Student Eligibility

Students must be in good standing (academically, financially, and behaviorally) and have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale. (Note: the average GPA of NSE students is 3.2.) The sending or receiving campus may impose additional program requirements or qualifications. The campus may also restrict, limit, or close academic programs in which it sends or receives students.

Financial Aid

According to NSE policy, federally-funded financial aid is applied for, and disbursed from, the campus where students pay tuition and fees. Member campuses sign a one-time, consortium agreement with the National Student Exchange in order to comply with federal regulations. Individual agreements with member institutions are not required. NSE annually provides individual member costs for tuition, room, and meals, as well as anticipated incidental expenses to assist in calculating real budget figures. The third week of each term, NSE host campus coordinators verify enrollment of NSE students to their home campus coordinators.

Course Approval

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

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 an NSE holding course (i.e., NSE 450 for 12 or 15 hours). For students on Plan B, this holding course would generate a bill for full-time enrollment. For students exchanging on Plan A, the holding course would generate a registration without a corresponding 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. When the student returns from exchange, work completed at the host institution replaces the NSE holding course on the home institution's transcript.

"For me, going abroad seemed to far away, staying home seemed too close, but NSE was the perfect choice. The year in Colorado allowed me to grow into my skin, and I learned so much in the process. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made."

Lauren Flaherty
Sonoma State University
to the University of Northern Colorado

LOCATION: Home -> Information for Prospective Campuses -> Exchange Considerations

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