Tuition Exchange Program (TEP)


Who is eligible?

Generally speaking, dependents of employees of colleges and universities that belong to Tuition Exchange (TE) are eligible to apply for scholarships. Submitting an application to the school of your choice does not guarantee that a student will be awarded the TE scholarship. Institutions may have their own requirements, such as limiting eligibility, restricting the number of scholarships awarded to any one family, or requiring a specific number of years of employment as a prerequisite. At the University of Delaware the privilege to apply for the Tuition Exchange Program (TEP) is offered to:

  1. Full-time employees with faculty appointments who have a minimum of two years of eligible University service at the time of application for Tuition Exchange; and,
  2. Full-time professionals, salaried staff and hourly workers who have a minimum of two years of eligible University service at the time of application for Tuition Exchange.

For details, click the employee category of interest, Faculty or Staff.

Eligibility for terminating employees
Employees who terminate their employment from the University are not eligible to receive tuition exchange for the full academic year. However, if the student is currently enrolled in a fall or spring semester, he or she will be permitted to complete that semester, but only that semester. Employees should notify the UD Tuition Exchange liaison, of their separation from the University.

How do I apply?

    • Twelve to eighteen months before you plan to enroll in college, contact the Office of Human Resources at 413 Academy Street to confirm that you are eligible and that the TE program is operating without restrictions. Upon confirming your eligibility, you should complete the on-line TE application and send it to Human Resources as soon as posssible. Human Resources will prepare a list for the annual lottery which is the mechanism to determine finalists for the program. (See the Staff page for details about this year's lottery.) Human Resources will notify each participant regarding the outcome of the lottery and will submit the Application/Certification Form to the selected participating school(s) of each winner.
    • The liaison officers at the selected institutions will notify you when they determine the recipients of their TE scholarships. The process is to return completed copies of the TE Application/Certification Form to you with appropriate certification. The University of Delaware liaison officer also receives a copy of the certification. If you know your student has been approved for admission by an institution and you have no other response to your application by March 15, you should ask the Univeristy of Delaware liaison officer to inquire for you.
    • The notification of your acceptance specifies the scholarship's value as well as the institution's charges for tuition and fees, room and board, and any limits on the duration of the scholarship. Be sure you understand all charges for which you may be responsible, as well as the requirements to maintain the scholarship until your student's graduation.
    • Notify your TE liaison officer, if you accept the TE scholarship; and report the status of your enrollment for each subsequent fall semester. If at any time you decide to withdraw or transfer to another institution, you should notify both liaison officers promptly.
Is a scholarship guaranteed to all eligible applicants?

All applicants eligible for Tuition Exchange (TE) scholarships are not guaranteed an award. Tuition Exchange scholarships are, indeed, scholarships, not fringe benefits. The fact that an institution belongs to TE provides the dependent of an eligible employee only the right to apply for a TE scholarship. The University of Delaware, for example, limits the number of incoming TE scholarships in order to maintain a required balance between the number of students it sends out and brings in.

How competitive is the process?

Tuition Exchange (TE) scholarships can be quite competitive. Member institutions require that applicants first meet all their regular admittance requirements. Only then will an applicant be considered for a TE scholarship. More competitive institutions may receive a larger number of applications from qualified students than they can accept. These institutions take additional steps to select among qualified candidates, establishing a lottery system, higher academic standards, or a rolling acceptance policy. To avoid disappointment, apply early and apply to one or two less competitive institutions as well as to your first choice.

How many semesters does the Tuition Exchange scholarship cover?

Most TE scholarships cover four years of undergraduate education, but institutions have the right to limit the duration of a scholarship, for example, to two years of support.

What must a student do to retain a Tuition Exchange scholarship?

Students must meet the institution's standards for academic performance and personal conduct. The family member whose employment results in his or her eligibility for the Tuition Exchange scholarship must continue to meet the employing institution's eligibility criteria.

What is the dollar value of a tuition exchange scholarship?

Most TE scholarships cover full tuition, but not special fees, course overloads, or room and board charges. However, for 2013-2014, institutions that charge more than $31,500 for tuition are permitted to award less than their full tuition, but not less than $31,500.  Colleges that charge less than $31,500 for tuition are encouraged to increase the monetary value of the TE scholarship by including other charges (like fees or room and board) in their awards. Some member institutions reduce their TE scholarships by the amount of federal and state grants awarded to a student, whether or not these are based on financial need. Some states require that special fees be charged to out-of-state students. The Application/Certification Form notifying you of your award should provide specific details, but if you have questions, seek clarification before you accept.

Are Tuition Exchange scholarships taxable?

The IRS Code, as a result of the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984, excludes from the gross taxable income of parents the value of undergraduate tuition exchange scholarships, provided that such scholarships are "...available on substantially the same terms to each member of a group of employees which is defined under a reasonable classification ... which does not discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees."

What else can you tell me about Tuition Exchange, Inc.?

More than 10,000 students have studied under the auspices of Tuition Exchange, Inc. (TE) since its founding in 1954. Today, more than 2,400 students each year secure scholarships to pursue undergraduate education, graduate school, or study abroad at one of the 550 institutions of higher education that belong to Tuition Exchange, Inc. See list of institutions.

Colleges and universities set their own policies and procedures for awarding Tuition Exchange scholarships. To apply for a scholarship, work directly with the University of Delaware Human Resources Office. If you have questions or comments, you may also contact the Washington, D.C. office at 1743 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D. C. 20009 (either call 202-518-0135 or send e-mail to

What is the role of Tuition Exchange, Inc. (TE)?

Tuition Exchange, Inc. (TE) is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. which records exchange scholarships, enrolls interested colleges and universities as members, prepares and distributes membership lists, and develops and implements policies that promote balanced exchanges. TE scholarships are granted by member institutions, not by Tuition Exchange, Inc. The officers and directors of 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. Tuition Exchange, Inc. continues to seek ways to make TE scholarships more widely available to qualified applicants. Your suggestions and comments are invited and should be addressed to the Tuition Exchange, Inc. office in Washington, D.C.