UH-Manoa NSE Office Contact Information:


NSE Coordinator

Sandy Davis


Phys. Sci. Rm 205



NSE Student Assistant


Marcus Diones


Phys. Sci. Rm 206








2016-2017 Exchange Information


Please read the information below, which pertains specifically to UH Manoa students interested in going on exchange. In addition, the 2016-2017 NSE Directories are available for pick up outside our office at Phys Sci Bldg Room #206. The website www.nse.org should be consulted for updated cost and major availability.



The National Student Exchange Program offers students the opportunity to study  on the mainland for one or two semesters (most exchanges begin fall term), paying either UHM tuition or resident tuition at the host campus. Approximately 170 institutions participate in the student exchange program. The program does not include private universities.


Through new social, cultural and educational experiences, the mainland experience promotes growth in maturity, independence and self-confidence, as well as new perspectives of self, family and the world outside of Hawai'i. Students who have participated in the program are enthusiastic about their experience and recommend the program to others.



  • Classified undergraduate student enrolled full-time student

  • A cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher (only grades earned at UHM will be considered) This GPA must be maintained at the end of the semester preceding exchange, or exchange placement will be canceled. MOST placements are made in March of the following fall or academic year, and majority of the schools are available then.  A few schools are available for fall placement during April and May; even fewer available for spring only placements beginning in January (See the posting of school availability on the bulletin board outside of the NSE office from mid-March to May for fall, and from August to November for spring)

  • Carrying 12 credits or more the semester preceding exchange, and having completed at least 24 credits by the time the exchange occurs.

  • Seniors are eligible; however, it may be difficult to get remaining graduation requirements because of limited course availability at some schools. Seniors should check with their respective academic departments regarding graduation requirements before applying for exchange.



  • Non-refundable application fee of $200 payable online (The NSE coordinator will email you regarding when to pay it).

  • Plan A Tuition: Pay host institution's resident tuition and fees.

  • Plan B Tuition: Pay UH Manoa tuition and fees (according to residency).

  • Be sure to note on pp. 5-9 in the NSE Student Guide whether a school is open, even or uneven on Plan A or B.  Only those listed as "open" will accept all students who want to go there.

  • Room and board for one semester averages $4,000-$5,000 depending on host school. Some cost more, some less.

  • Airfare to host institution.

  • Estimated total costs: Averages $8,000-$10,000 per semester, depending on Plan and location of exchange (less for mid-West or California schools).



Most students go on Plan A and receive financial aid from their host schools (most other NSE schools have less expensive tuition than UHM). Financial aid and use of UHM scholarships is also available for Plan B. Even if you have never received financial aid before, you may be eligible. It is important to process applications early (FAFSA by February 15), listing all schools you might exchange to.



UHM participants may exchange for fall semester or for a FULL academic year. A limited number of schools are available for exchanges beginning in January (see the bulletin board outside of Phys Sci 206 from August through November). The deadline to apply for spring placement is October 1.



The National Student Exchange does not assist with travel plans.  Students must make their own arrangements.



To avoid getting behind in your degree plan, you will need to develop a list of courses you plan to take during your exchange (it is important to include a number of alternatives, in case your first choices are not available).  You can get a preliminary idea of mainland school courses which will transfer back to UHM by checking the website:   www.hawaii.edu/transferdatabase/. This site shows equivalents of courses students have previously transferred back to UHM. Your UHM major advisor can determine which other host institution courses are equivalent to your UHM major requirements.  No transfer courses can be used for the UHM WI requirement


There are no guarantees for getting specific courses on exchange.  Although most schools register NSE students with or ahead of their own continuing students, NSE status is unclassified.  Be sure to note closed or limited majors for NSE at each school on the NSE website.  If you are a business major, be sure you choose a school with appropriate accreditation  (list available here).


**For some majors, you need to declare and be accepted by the appropriate department/college before going on exchange in order to access courses in that field at the host school.



During your exchange, you must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0. The grades earned at your host institution will not affect your UHM cumulative GPA, which is calculated only on grades earned at UHM.



Most students return to UHM after their exchange. However, if you decide to transfer, your year on exchange is not applicable toward meeting residency requirements. Please notify the UHM NSE office of your intention to transfer. Be careful not to register to vote in your NSE state if you are not going to transfer; if you do, you lose Hawaii residency.



The NSE Student Guide is available at Physical Science 206 on the rack outside the office door.


Please read the printed materials carefully, and refer to the detailed information in the National Student Exchange Guide, as well as that on the www.nse.org website.  Page 10 of the NSE Student Guide directs you to Web resources at www.nse.org. Pages 11-15 on "Eligibility" and "Academic Considerations" and "Financial Matters" and "Financial Aid" contain very important information for planning your exchange.  Other helpful sections of the Directory are described below.  If, after studying these sources, you still have questions, e-mail sandyd@hawaii.edu. 

Each year many UHM students participate in the National Student Exchange program (NSE), spending one or two semesters at one of approximately 170 participating state universities on the mainland and in Canada.  To participate, you must be enrolled full-time and have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 (some schools or programs require a higher GPA).  With careful academic planning, the courses taken on exchange can transfer back into the UHM degree program, without delaying graduation although there are no guarantees of getting specific courses.  In considering which school is best for you, you need to think of several factors, and consult all the available information.   

Making Preliminary Choices of Your Preferred Schools:

Obtain the NSE Directory from the rack outside the exchange office.


  1. See pages 5 to 9 and map (18-19) for which state/part of the country you prefer.

  2. Pages 5 to 9 also show campus enrollments and the size of the town/city in which the campus is located.

  3. A searchable listing of majors offered by exchange schools is available at the website www.nse.org.  Be sure the field in which you wish to take courses is not listed as "limited" or "closed" in the Directory under the school you wish to visit.  Each school's catalog of courses is also accessible through www.nse.org. Nursing and education are generally unavailable.

  4. At www.nse.org, you can choose a state, than choose a school and get 4-5 pages of information on that school. This includes whether a school is available on Plan A and/or B and limitations in courses as well as costs for tuition/fees and room/board whether the academic schedule and charges are on a semester or quarter plan, and the FAFSA code for each school.   

  5. When you have made preliminary selections, follow the "Academic Plan" instructions.  After placement, you need to complete a more formal advising process to see which major and general education courses are most likely to transfer.  Because it is sometimes difficult to get your planned courses at the exchange schools (and there are no guarantees), alternative courses should be planned


Factors affecting whether you get the school(s) you want:


  1. There are approximately 170 schools participating in the NSE consortium.  Several of them will be ideal for you and will accept you.  Any UHM student who is full-time, classified, and has a 2.5 cumulative GPA can go somewhere.

  2. up to that host school.  Most schools have far smaller programs than that of UHM and frequently have various restrictions on how many students they can take.

  3. If more UHM students want a school than it can take (see #2 above), applicants are ranked for priority to be accepted by that school.  Hawaii residents will be given priority, as the university joined the program primarily to provide Hawaii residents this opportunity.  If residency is not a factor, ranking is by class standing and GPA combined.

  4. Fall or academic year placement assignments to exchange schools are made by NSE coordinators of all the participating institutions at a yearly national conference in mid-March.  We will not know your chances of getting limited schools until late February.  There is no advantage in early application, and no applications will be accepted before January 15 (hours to turn in applications will be posted at that time). 


Getting Financial Aid for Going on Exchange 


  1. Most students needing financial aid should choose Plan A (which is usually cheaper) and apply for aid at the host school.  Students on Plan B (paying UHM tuition and being waived at the host school), can get financial aid from UHM and use UHM scholarships (most exchange schools take a very limited number of students on plan B).

  2. For optimal consideration for aid you should list the FAFSA code for all NSE schools that interest you by February 15. **

  3. It is essential that you follow up early with each potential school on financial aid requirements specific to each school.  See their financial aid link.  You should also keep in touch with the host school financial aid office in case you have been selected for verification and are required to submit tax forms, etc.   

  4. As long as you are uncertain about exchange, you should list UHM on your FAFSA. However, if you register for fall at UHM, you may interfere with financial aid from your NSE school.

  5. If you have previously had loans from UHM, you must schedule an exit interview with a UHM financial aid counselor before leaving.

**You can list as many codes as you wish.  No aid will be processed/offered until you are officially placed at that school and have submitted their admissions application.


Timeline and Deadlines (see Important Dates and Limited Schools for details)


December 18, 2015


Application forms available online at http://www2.hawaii.edu/~nse or at Physical Science 206

January 15, 2016



First day that applications will be accepted (You will be charged an electronic fee which can be accessed via MyUH)

February 16, 2016 


Priority application deadline (for ranking at limited schools)

February 26, 2016

Final pre-placement conference application deadline for maximum school availability

March 18, 2016


All applicants informed of 2016-2017 school placement

March 18- May 1, 2016


Applications for Fall exchange at remaining post-conference schools accepted (some schools may have earlier deadlines than May 1, 2016)


NOTE: No one will be placed until the $200 application placement fee is paid.


Limited Schools


If a school is listed as "open" on plan A or B, anyone eligible for NSE can be placed there. (See pp. 5-9 of 2016-2017 NSE Student Guide, available in rack outside PhysSci 206.)   

If a school is listed as 1:1, even, or uneven, it is less certain. During the last few years, several schools, including University of Washington and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo have not taken all the UHM students who wanted them.  Other schools may be very limited on Plan B, or may have limited campus housing available (see online entry for school).

(When more UHM students want a school than the school will accept, Hawaii residents have priority.  If residency is not a factor, ranking is by class standing and GPA combined.)

IF you are looking for a West coast exchange school (as many Hawaii students are), please notice that many of them are NOT "open" on Plan A or B.  That means they will not accept everyone from UHM who wants to go there, and that you must apply by February 16.  Applicants will be ranked on February 17 by their class standing and GPA combined.  (Freshmen do not have priority)

(When more UHM students want a school than the school will accept, Hawaii residents have priority. If residency is not a factor, ranking is by class standing and GPA combined.)



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University of Hawai'i at Mānoa

National Student Exchange

Physical Science 206

Honolulu, Hawai'i  96822-2205

Telephone: (808) 956-6772 | Facsimile: (808) 956-5030

Email: sandyd@hawaii.edu

       Last Updated: 2015, October 8