National Student Exchange Quick Guide

What is National Student Exchange?

National Student Exchange (NSE) offers UCA students an opportunity to study away through member colleges and universities throughout the United States, Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, and U.S Virgin Islands.  Students apply for admission through NSE and upon acceptance enroll in classes representing their major or minor.

General Requirements

  • Minimum 2.5 GPA
  • Completion of at least one term of full-time attendance at UCA prior to submitting an application
  • Completion of at least one academic year at UCA prior to exchange
  • Full-time enrollment
  • Must be in good standing at home campus
  • $150 non-refundable application fee to National Student Exchange


Application Deadlines

  • Final deadline to apply for exchange during fall semester 2021 is May 10th.
  • Final deadline to apply for exchange during spring semester 2022 is September 1st.
  • Final deadline for the priority application for exchange during fall semester 2022 is February 15th.

Applying to National Student Exchange

  • Research the different exchange opportunities available at
  • Schedule an appointment with the Office of Study Abroad to receive details on payment options, courses offered, housing, living expenses, and other relevant exchange information.
  • Visit the National Student Exchange Application page to begin your initial application.
  • The Offices of Study Abroad and International Engagement will review all files in the application to determine eligibility and selection based upon one or more of the following: seniority, GPA, degree, professor recommendations, committee review, and financial need.

Payment Options

  • Host Payment (Plan A): Student pays in-state (resident/provincial) tuition and fees directly to the host campus (and no tuition is paid to the home campus)
  • Home Payment (Plan B):  Student pays in-state tuition and fees to their home campus (and no tuition is paid to the host campus)
    UCA scholarships and financial aid apply
  • Students should make an appointment to talk with Christy, in UCA Financial Aid, to discuss individual financial aid. See this chart for a reference on what financial aid, scholarships, and other funding students use for these semester programs.

General Student Responsibilities

Once students are nominated by the Office of Study Abroad, students are responsible for the following:

  • Applying to the partner school and submitting all necessary documents
  • Acquiring the appropriate travel documentation including a passport (if necessary)
  • Making travel arrangements
  • Arranging accommodations
  • Providing financial support for personal and food expenses during the program
  • Insurance (if required by host institution)

UCA Study Away Credit

Students will earn study away course credit through NSE and receive a grade for each class that will appear on the UCA transcript upon program completion. Returning NSE students will earn transfer credit and therefore the grades count in the overall cumulative GPA. The grades will not be listed as the UCA Institutional GPA.

A Note on Residency

“Residence credit” is academic credit earned from the University of Central Arkansas in any format (on-the-ground or online), excluding credit by examination. Credit earned during a University of Central Arkansas Study Abroad program or through a Study Away Consortium and delivered at another institution or location is residence credit.