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SUBJECT: 500s: Student affairs EFFECTIVE: September 12, 2012
Section: 500.3 Professional Student Exchange Programs

  1. Background

    The North Dakota Legislature has authorized the State Board of Higher Education to enter into exchange agreements with out-of-state institutions under N.D.C.C. Section 15-10-28. As a result of this authorization, the State became a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) in 1984. Under the umbrella of WICHE is a program known as the Professional Student Exchange Program (PSEP). The PSEP Program is designed to allow North Dakota (resident) students to enroll in three professional programs not available at North Dakota University System (NDUS) institutions. The three programs are dentistry, optometry, and veterinary medicine. Participating out-of-state institutions receive a predetermined support fee in exchange for admitting qualified North Dakota students into their programs. The support fee paid by the state of North Dakota, to guarantee a fixed number of slots, is approximately the difference between resident and non-resident tuition at the receiving institution. The primary reason North Dakota began participating in the WICHE PSEP Program was because North Dakota students were having trouble getting admitted to these professional programs. Access was a problem to these professional programs and the agreements guaranteed access for North Dakota students. The institutions that the State has established relationships with are identified in Appendix 1. North Dakota's membership with WICHE has broadened the choices North Dakota (resident) students have to professional school to include several in the West.

    The arrangements between the NDUS and institutions listed in Appendix 1 provide for payment of an agreed upon support fee per student per year, directly to the institution on behalf of the student. The benefit to the students of North Dakota relates to the access the Program provides for a limited number of spaces in each of the respective programs of study.

    The NDUS system also has three additional contractual agreements. (1) Since 1991-92, Iowa State University has accepted up to ten North Dakota students per year in their veterinary medicine programs. (2) The University of Minnesota - Twin Cities defines the rates charged to North Dakota students enrolled in the professional programs of veterinary medicine and dentistry under the Minnesota/North Dakota reciprocity agreement. (3) An agreement with the Kansas State University veterinary medicine program provides support for up to 5 students each year.

    Funding for the PSEP program depends upon legislative appropriations. Students, therefore, cannot be assured that all of the applicants admitted to the school of their choice will receive support under the program. As this is considered an access program, funding is limited to applicants to the identified professional schools. Students seeking funding after enrollment in a professional program is limited to available funds after all new applicants have been assisted.


    Academic Year: A period of time that begins on the first day of classes and ends on last day of classes or examinations (as determined by the institution).

    North Dakota Resident: A North Dakota resident is defined in N.D.C.C. Section 15-10-19.1

    PSEP: Professional Student Exchange Program.

    Professional Judgment: Authorization granted to the Chancellor of the North Dakota University System by the State Board of Higher Education to exercise good judgment in handling cases dealing with shortages of PSEP funding or lack of applicants for the North Dakota PSEP supported programs.

    Professional Program: Approved program of post-baccalaureate study which prepares students to practice Dentistry, Optometry, or Veterinary Medicine.

    Satisfactory Progress:As defined by each institution, the maximum time frame in which a student is expected to finish an academic program, as well as the standard of academic performance required to maintain good standing.

    WICHE:Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.


    1. Application for admission to the respective institutions must be made directly to the institution. The institution will make the determination as to which applicants will be offered admission.

    2. Applicants must complete and submit the Application for Certification for Professional Student Exchange Program to the NDUS office if they are interested in receiving state support. Applicants must also complete and submit the Application for Resident Student Status to the NDUS office. Taken together, these two documents provide the data needed to determine if the applicant could be approved as a North Dakota resident student.

    3. The application deadline for certification is October 15 of the year prior to the year of enrollment. Students who meet the deadline will receive primary consideration for available funds. Students who apply after the deadline may be eligible for consideration after all students who have met the deadline are funded. For students who apply after the deadline date of October 15 of the year prior to the year of enrollment and provided excess dollars remain in the PSEP Program, the ranked order of PSEP offers will be as follows. Alternate consideration will first be given to freshmen whose application receipt date is closest to the October 15 deadline date. Second consideration will be given to sophomores, juniors, or seniors whose application receipt date is closest to the October 15 deadline date and so on. Students will be notified of North Dakota state support on or about April 30 of each award year.

    4. Students who receive PSEP support from the state of North Dakota and no longer meet the academic standards of the institutions they are attending will not receive any state support for repeat course work. Students, may however, be given a grace period (to be determined by the NDUS Office) and allowed to petition to the NDUS Office for re-instatement of state support upon meeting all the necessary academic requirements to continue in their professional training.

    5. The support fees paid on behalf of students receiving support through a WICHE-administered program are determined annually by WICHE. The support fees paid for students at Iowa State University and Kansas State University are determined based on the cost difference between tuition for resident and non-resident tuition. Support fees at the University of Minnesota are determined based on formulae derived from the reciprocity agreement between the Minnesota Office of Higher Education and the North Dakota University System, adjusted according to the annual memorandum of understanding and tuition rate(s) at the University of Minnesota, as determined by the NDUS Director of Financial Aid. In cases of financial exigency or insufficient number of applicants for PSEP support, the Chancellor of the North Dakota University System may exercise professional judgment to determine how best to minimize the impact on PSEP supported students or to reallocate funds.

    6. Students will be notified of their certification status following submission of the completed application. Certification is not a guarantee of admission or an offer of North Dakota state funding.

    7. Once the student has been accepted at an eligible institution and is awarded assistance under this program the day-to-day management of the program will be handled by WICHE on behalf of the State of North Dakota or by the North Dakota University System for non-WICHE institutions.

    8. Applications are valid only for the anticipated enrollment period specified on the application. Students who delay their enrollment beyond that date, or who are not selected to receive support in the year for which they applied, must reapply for certification for subsequent years.

    9. Veterinary Medicine Students Only:

      1. All WICHE veterinary medicine applicants who receive an offer of admission must:

        1. Inform the NDUS of their acceptance or declination of an offer of admission by April 1 of the year prior to enrollment. Failure of the applicant to notify the NDUS by April 1 may result in the loss of support under the PSEP.
        2. Complete the veterinary medicine acknowledgement form attesting to their understanding of this requirement.

      2. Complete the Intention and Commitment form.

    Summary of forms to be completed and returned to NDUS office:
    1. Application for Certification for Professional Student Exchange Program
    2. Application Affidavit for Resident Student Status
    3. Consent and waiver forms
    4. For veterinary medicine students only:
      1. Acknowledgement form
      2. Intention and Commitment form

    Questions about the program and the procedures for making application should be directed to:
    Director of Financial Aid
    North Dakota University System
    1815 Schafer St. Ste. 202
    Bismarck, ND 58501-1217
    Phone: (701) 224-2541

Reference: SBHE Policy - 509  

Related Document: Application

Chancellor's Cabinet, June 2001.
Chancellor Shirvani approved change September 14, 2012.
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