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NDUS Procedures

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SUBJECT: 500s: Student affairs EFFECTIVE: October 11, 2017
Section: 509 Professional Student Exchange Programs

  1. Background

    The State Board of Higher Education (SBHE) may 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 professional student exchange program provides 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.

    In addition to WICHE, the NDUS system also has three additional contractual agreements. (1) Iowa State University in the professional program of veterinary medicine; (2) The University of Minnesota - Twin Cities in the professional programs of veterinary medicine and dentistry and; (3)Kansas State University in the professional program of veterinary medicine.

    Program funding is dependent on legislative appropriations. Admittance to a professional program is not a guarantee of funding.


    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: North Dakota resident applicants must have graduated from a high school in this state; graduated from a high school in a bordering state, pursuant to N.D.C.C. chapter 15.1-29; graduated from a nonpublic high school in a bordering state while residing with a custodial parent in this state; completed a program of home education supervised in accordance with N.D.C.C. chapter 15.1-23; or received a general educational development high school diploma from the North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction.

    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 priority 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. Late applicants will be prioritized in the following order:

      1. Freshmen whose application receipt date is closest to the October 15 deadline date.
      2. Sophomores, juniors, or seniors whose application receipt date is closest to the October 15 deadline date.

    4. Students will be notified of North Dakota state support on or about April 30 of each award year. Applications received after awards in each respective professional program have started will not be considered for funding in the current application cycle.

    5. 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.

    6. 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. 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.

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

    8. 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.

    9. 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.

    10. 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
      600 E Boulevard Ave., Dept 21
      Bismarck, ND 58505-0602
      Phone: (701) 328-2906

Reference: SBHE Policy - 509  

Related Document: Application

Chancellor's Cabinet, June 2001
Chancellor Shirvani approved change September 14, 2012
Chancellor Approved, October 11, 2017
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