Who is Eligible?
The tuition exchange program is a scholarship program provided by MICA. Full-time, benefit eligible employees in the first semester beginning after two years of continuous full-time employment are eligible to apply on behalf of their dependent children (i.e., children claimed on the employee's federal income tax return, or children named to receive support for education in either a separation agreement or divorce decree). Only one scholarship will be allowed per employee.
Is a Scholarship Guaranteed to All Eligible Applicants?
No - family members eligible for Tuition Exchange Scholarships are not guaranteed an award. Scholarships are not fringe benefits; they are competitive awards. Even if you and your family are eligible to apply for an award, you may not receive an award because each institution is obligated to maintain a balance between students sent on the exchange (exports) and students received on the exchange (imports). MICA has set up a seniority system for exports. MICA will monitor the exports and imports so that we can maintain a balance. When there is a serious imbalance (many more exports than imports) the institution is prohibited from sponsoring new students on the exchange.
How Competitive is the Award Process?
Tuition Exchange Scholarships are competitive. In addition to meeting the admissions requirements of the receiving institution, some members have additional requirements such as higher academic standards or limit awards to just a few new students each year. To avoid disappointment be aware of deadlines and apply to one or two schools that offer scholarships to a large proportion of the applicants.
Should I Apply for College Admission Before, After, or Simultaneously with Applying for the Tuition Exchange Benefit?
Students should apply for college admission simultaneously with applying for TE.
Should I Expect Something in Writing From the Host Institution?
Yes, a formal letter will be mailed out, which outlines the terms and conditions for receipt and/or continuation of the scholarship.
How Many Semesters Does the Scholarship Cover?
MICA's scholarship covers four years (eight semesters) of undergraduate education.
What Must a Student Do to Retain a Scholarship?
Students must meet the institution's standards for academic performance and personal conduct and other terms and conditions of the scholarship.
What Happens if the Employee loses eligibility?
The family member whose employment conveyed eligibility for a scholarship must continue to meet the employing institution's eligibility criteria. Each year the TE liaison of the home institution will process the recertification of eligibility.
How do I Apply?
Three easy steps: You should apply no later than the earliest college admission deadline at the institution you are considering.
- The employee must submit a TE application to MICA's Human Resource Department who will determine if the employee and/or their dependent is eligible for the exchange (this process is called certification).
- The employee and/or their eligible dependent applies for admission to the participating university or college of interest
- When the applicant is admitted, the importing institution determines whether or not a TE Scholarship is awarded.
Things to consider before you Apply!
- Approximately twelve months before you plan to use the TE program, contact the liaison officer at your home institution (employer of family member). The liaison officer will provide information about the process and deadlines for the Tuition Exchange program at that particular school. Be sure to inquire if the school's program is operating under any restrictions and make sure you understand how the school determines who it will sponsor (certify).
- Certification of TE candidates is sent out to the liaison officers at the importing school electronically by your liaison officer (exporting school).
- The liaison officers at the institutions to which you apply will notify you and your liaison officer about scholarship awards and rejections. If you are accepted for admission, but have had no response to your scholarship application, ask the liaison officer at your home institution to inquire about the status of your application.
- Award notifications specifies your scholarship's value, details about the institution's charges the duration and conditions for the scholarship. Be sure you understand charges for which you will be responsible, as well as any requirements you must meet in order to continue your scholarship in subsequent years.
- Notify your liaison officer if you accept the scholarship and enroll, and report the status of your enrollment each academic year so your liaison officer can submit a Recertification Form to continue the scholarship. If you decide to withdraw or transfer to another institution, notify both the host and home school liaison officers promptly.
What Is the Dollar Value of The Scholarship?
Scholarships cover full tuition, or a rate set by Tuition Exchange, but not special fees, course overloads, or room and board charges. Some colleges cover other expenses, such as room in their awards. Please see the Tuition Exchange website (www.tuitionexchange.org) for the rate set by the Tuition Exchange.
How do I conduct a School Search?
The "Conducting a School Search" page at www.tuitionexchange.org contains information indicating which schools offer more than basic tuition. Some member institutions reduce their scholarships by the amount of federal and state grants awarded to a student, whether or not these are based on financial need. The Application/Certification Form notifying you of your award and award letter should provide specific details, but if you are confused, seek clarification by asking questions before you accept the scholarship.
Are Tuition Exchange Scholarships Taxable?
Tuition Exchange members should seek guidance from their own tax and legal professional advisers. For basic information consult www.IRS.gov Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.
What Is The Role of Tuition Exchange, Inc.?
The Tuition Exchange, Inc. is a nonprofit association based in Washington, DC which promotes and maintains the Exchange on behalf of its members. Scholarships are granted by member institutions, not by The Tuition Exchange, Inc. The officers and directors of The Tuition Exchange, Inc. disclaim responsibility for any misunderstandings among applicants, participants, and institutions concerning the value and duration of scholarships or circumstances which might result in early termination of such scholarships. The Tuition Exchange partnership continues to seek ways to make scholarships more widely available to qualified applicants and to strengthen the Exchange by adding new members.