Tuition Exchange Program

TE participating schools | TE application

Tuition Exchange Liaison: Director of Financial Aid Heather Clifford, x4365 (off campus 802-440-4365), hcliffor@bennington.edu

Bennington College is a member of the Tuition Exchange (TE), a cooperative program that provides an opportunity for natural or adopted legally-dependent children of qualifying faculty and staff to receive substantial tuition scholarships at over 670 colleges and universities in the U.S. and a few abroad. A list of participating colleges is available on the TE website.

Each year, Bennington can designate a limited number of faculty and staff dependents to apply to other institutions as TE scholars. The number of available TE opportunities depends on the number of Tuition Exchange students who come to Bennington. Each institution must maintain a balance between students sent to other schools on the exchange (exports) and students received on the exchange (imports). In addition, the institutions to which students are applying may limit the number of Tuition Exchange scholarships offered to applicants, so designation by Bennington College does not assure the dependent a TE scholarship at another college. Children under 25 years of age who are working toward a first associate or bachelor degree may apply.

Eligible to apply are the following:
  • Full-time employees who have been on continuous full-time status for at least the most recent three years as of the January 1 or July 1 immediately prior to the date the dependent child expects to enroll, or continues enrollment in a TE member institution’s undergraduate program for his or her first associate or bachelor degree and provided the employee remains on full-time, benefits-eligible status. 

  • Full-time employees who have worked continuously in a part-time, benefits-eligible position prior to becoming full-time and whose part-time service is the accumulated equivalent of three years as of the January 1 or July 1 immediately prior to the date the dependent child expects to enroll, or continues enrollment in a TE member institution’s undergraduate program for his or her first associate or bachelor degree and provided the employee remains on full-time, benefits-eligible status.

  • Part-time benefits-eligible employees who have worked continuously in a part-time, benefits-eligible position and whose part-time service is the accumulated equivalent of four years as of the January or July 1 immediately prior to the date the dependent child expects to enroll, or continues enrollment in a TE member institution’s undergraduate program for his or her first associate or bachelor degree and provided the employee remains on part-time, benefits-eligible status.  

The student must be under the age of 25 at the time of initial TE application and approval. TE participation is not offered for graduate study, nondegree study or for a second undergraduate degree.  Application for a student’s participation in the TE program does not guarantee acceptance by a member TE institution, nor does it ensure the award of a scholarship. See the question-and-answer section below for an explanation of TE certification as an “outgoing” applicant, and the awarding of a TE Scholarship by a host institution.

For the academic year 2018-2019, colleges participating in the Tuition Exchange may provide a limited number of scholarships covering up to $36,000 of annual tuition. You may view the current list of participating Tuition Exchange institutions and learn more about the application process at www.tuitionexchange.org.

As a TE participant, Bennington College has agreed to provide scholarships for incoming students which, over time, must be in balance with outgoing placements in order for Bennington to stay in the program. Once a student is designated as a TE participant, Bennington expects to certify his or her participation for a four-year period or eight semesters toward an undergraduate degree.

Note that during the period that a student is participating in the TE, the student’s parent must remain in TE-eligible employment status, and the student must remain enrolled at the institution, meeting the host institution’s standards of academic performance and conduct. Eligibility is confirmed each term. As mentioned above, application for a student’s participation in the TE program does not guarantee acceptance by a member TE institution, nor does it ensure the award of a scholarship.

If you meet the qualifications and have a child applying for admission for the Fall 2018 term who is interested in attending one of the TE colleges, complete the EZ Online Application.

We encourage you to review and bookmark the Families page of the Tuition Exchange website for questions about how the application process works, submitting an application, learning more about financial aid, and some of the financial aid jargon you are likely to encounter during your college application process. Completed TE applications must be submitted online via the Tuition Exchange website between October 1st and October 31, 2017.

For additional details about eligibility, please review the FAQs below.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are my chances of being certified by Bennington as eligible for Tuition Exchange (TE) participation?

Tuition Exchange scholarships are not guaranteed; they are competitive awards for which you apply.  The TE program is not a Bennington benefit, so you are not automatically eligible to receive it. The number of available new TE opportunities depends on the number of Tuition Exchange students who come to Bennington.

Each institution must maintain a balance between students sent to other schools on the exchange (exports) and students received on the exchange (imports).

What happens if more Bennington employees apply for TE scholarships than are available?

Bennington may certify a limited number of applicants as “outgoing” TE participants this year.  If the number of applicants exceeds the designated threshold, the participants will be chosen based on the following list of criteria:

  • whether a child of the employee has participated previously,
  • the length of the Bennington employee’s uninterrupted eligible tenure with the College, and
  • the length of time an employee has waited for a child to be designated.

Bennington College has designated a committee to review TE scholarship applications and determine eligibility. The committee is comprised of the following: Vice President for Finance and Administration, Vice President and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, Director of Human Resources, and Director of Financial Aid or their respective designees.

How does my child become eligible for a TE scholarship?

There are several steps in the process:

  • The employee submits a TE Application via the Tuition Exchange website. In conjunction with the TE Liaison Officer, the Human Resources Office will determine whether the employee’s child is eligible as an “outgoing” TE student. (This process is called certification.)
  • Upon certification, the employee’s child applies for admission to one or more TE participating colleges.
  • When the child is admitted, the host college will determine whether or not a TE scholarship will be awarded.
  • A student who is offered a TE scholarship must notify as quickly as possible the Bennington College TE Liaison Officer (Director of Financial Aid Heather Clifford) as to whether he/she will matriculate and accept the TE scholarship (no later than May 1 unless another date is worked out with the Bennington College TE Liaison Officer).

When should my child apply for the TE scholarship?

Completed TE applications must be submitted online via the Tuition Exchange website between October 1st and October 31, 2017.  (Applications will be accepted after that date and certified on a space-available basis.) If your child is certified as a Bennington TE participant, he/she should apply for a TE scholarship from a TE member institution at the same time he/she applies for admission.

What is the value of a TE scholarship?

For 2018–19, TE colleges with annual tuition costs greater than $36,000 offer TE scholarships that cover at least $36,000 of tuition. TE institutions with lower tuition costs may offer scholarships that cover only tuition (not room and board) or, based on each institution’s own decision, more than tuition. Some member institutions reduce the TE award by the amount of federal and state grants awarded a student. The Tuition Exchange Application/Certification Form notification provides specific details, but if there is any confusion, please seek clarification from the TE Liaison Officer at the host institution. It is our understanding that undergraduate TE scholarships are not taxable but you should always seek guidance from your own tax and/or legal professional advisor.  For basic information, consult the Internal Revenue Service Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.

Most scholarships cover four years (eight semesters) of undergraduate education. Institutions have the right to offer scholarships for less than four years.  

What are the chances that the participating college will award my child a TE scholarship ?

Tuition Exchange scholarships are competitive. It is difficult to predict the chances because the results depend on how many TE scholarships the chosen colleges offer and on the number of TE applicants for those scholarships. Applicants awarded a TE scholarship will be informed by the host institution in accordance with its notification schedule.

What is the cost to the employee for a child receiving a Tuition Exchange (TE) scholarship?

An employee whose child participates in the TE program must pay an annual $40 administrative fee charged by TE. The employee will receive an invoice after TE bills Bennington College for the fee.

What happens if too many students apply for TE scholarships at a particular TE host college?

Each participating TE college determines to whom they will offer admission and, secondarily, to whom they will offer TE scholarships. The criteria used to determine who will be offered a TE scholarship could include but is not limited to, SAT scores, class rank, teacher recommendations, activities, and other criteria as determined by the institution.

Is there anything else I should know about Tuition Exchange (TE)?

If your child intends to apply for any other financial assistance, he/she should do so at the same time the admissions and TE applications are filed. A student who is not offered a TE scholarship might be offered other financial aid. A student who is offered a TE scholarship might be offered financial aid beyond that scholarship as well. Contact Director of Financial Aid Heather Clifford with questions.

What must a TE student do to maintain eligibility for the TE scholarship in subsequent years?

Students will be able to remain in the TE program for up to four years, contingent upon yearly recertification of eligibility confirming the following:

  • the student’s continuing enrollment in an eligible program at the host institution including meeting the institution’s standards for academic performance and personal conduct and any other terms and conditions of the scholarship and,
  • the parent’s continuing status as a TE-eligible employee of Bennington College.

If these criteria are not met, the student will not be re-certified as a TE participant.

What if, as a TE scholarship recipient, my child’s enrollment status at the host institution changes?

If a TE recipient takes a leave of absence or withdraws from school, the student must immediately notify the Tuition Exchange Liaison Officers (TELO) both at Bennington College (Heather Clifford, hclifford@bennington.edu) and at the host institution.  In this case, if the student re-enrolls at a later date, the employee must re-apply for the TE scholarship and the application will be considered along others submitted in that same year.

Bennington College reserves the right to modify at any time its guidelines and criteria for employee qualification and to discontinue participation in the Tuition Exchange program at its sole discretion.