International Student Policies
International students with college-level learning assessed from another country must complete at least 30 additional U.S. college credits and meet all the area of study or concentration degree requirements to obtain a Thomas Edison State University bachelor’s degree, and at least 15 additional U.S. college credits to earn an associate degree. All other conditions that apply to local students will apply to international students as well.
Foreign citizens interested in becoming undergraduate students will be eligible for enrollment if they have, at a minimum, scored 500 on the paper examination, 173 on the computer-based or 79 on the Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for students living in countries where English is not the native language.
Students are responsible for taking the TOEFL and having the official scores sent to the Office of Admissions at Thomas Edison State University by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). For information on TOEFL, visit www.ets.org/toefl or write to:
Princeton, NJ 08541-2877, USA
Thomas Edison State University recognizes the discipline necessary to complete a self-directed program of study. An external degree institution for adults, the University issues no visas and has no residential campus facilities. Therefore, it is suggested that international students without a strong command of the English language consider their higher education options before enrolling with the University.
Non-United States citizens who are residing outside the United States should be aware of the limitations and restrictions on services available to students.
An Apostille is a form of authentication appropriate to countries which have signed the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.
Thomas Edison State University will honor requests for Apostille certifications. The process requires the University to prepare the transcript, diploma or letter certifying graduation, and submit the notarized documents to the state of New Jersey for authentication. When the Apostille is received back from the state of New Jersey, the University forwards the package on to the student.
The state of New Jersey charges $25 to authenticate the Apostille. (Additional charges will also be assessed by the University for specifically requested documents.) Payment of all fees, to the state and to the University, associated with the Apostille must be made in U.S. dollars by international money order or personal check drawn from a U.S. bank. Please send signed written requests for an Apostille to:
Attn: Apostille Request
Office of the Registrar
Thomas Edison State University
111 W. State St.
Trenton, NJ 08608
Requests must include the following:
- The student’s contact information.
- A clear statement of the document for which the Apostille authentication is required, the country to which it will be sent and the purpose of the Apostille.
- If the University is providing documents for authentication (official transcripts, diploma copies or letters certifying graduation) clearly state the information to be included in the document.
- An international money order or personal check (drawn from a United States bank) payable to “The State of New Jersey” in the amount of $25.
- A separate international money order or personal check (drawn from a United States bank) payable to “Thomas Edison State University” for the required amount in accordance with our current fee schedule. (Currently the University charges $15 for each official transcript and $35 for each duplicate diploma requested.)
- A self-addressed return envelope so that these documents may be returned directly to the student once they have been processed.
Preparing an Apostille requires coordination with other state agencies, and multiple mailings. The entire process can take up to seven-eight weeks from the date you mail all information and required documentation to Thomas Edison State University to the date the documents are received at their final destination. Please be aware that the absence of any of the requested information will delay the Apostille process.
International Credit Policy for Testing
International students residing outside the United States will be permitted to attempt to earn credit through testing. United States and international citizens living abroad (both enrolled and non-enrolled) may request approval to register for TECEP® examinations. Such approval will ordinarily be based on the student’s ability to arrange an administration that makes use of examination sites approved by Thomas Edison State University. All tests must be proctored by a full-time faculty member or an academic dean at an approved American university abroad, or with an approved DSST/DANTES, CLEP or TOEFL test administrator at an official DSST/DANTES, CLEP or TOEFL test site. Students requesting approval must also submit a minimum score of 500 on the paper examination, 173 on the computer-based or 79 on the Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) prior to registering for the examination if English is not the official language of their country of citizenship. Examinations are mailed via overnight express service, and students are responsible for all mailing costs and proctoring fees. Thomas Edison State University reserves the right to approve the proctoring arrangement.
International Credit Policy for Prior Learning Assessment (PLA)
United States and international citizens living abroad (both enrolled and non-enrolled) will be given consideration for PLA. If English is not the official language of their country of citizenship, these students must submit a minimum score of 500 on the paper examination, 173 on the computer-based or 79 on the Internet-based Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) prior to registering for PLA; have completed 24 college-level credits prior to the time of application, at least 6 credits of which are in English composition; and have a thorough understanding of the additional time and costs that may be associated with this process (postage, phone calls, etc.).
International Credit Policy for Guided Study, Online Courses and e-Pack® Courses
American citizens and international students residing outside of the continental United States are restricted to enrolling in Guided Study, online or e-Pack® courses. Prior to registering, students must first secure special approval.
Such approval is usually based on the student’s ability to arrange for proctored test administration approved by Thomas Edison State University and the willingness to absorb additional costs for sending course and examination materials.
All tests must be proctored by a full-time faculty member or an academic dean at an approved American university abroad, or with an approved DSST/DANTES, CLEP or TOEFL test administrator at an official DSST/DANTES, CLEP or TOEFL test site. Prior to registering for a Guided Study course, online course or e-Pack® course, students living outside the United States must contact the Office of Test Administration to have a test proctor approved.
Students are responsible for all mailing or other transport costs and proctoring fees. United States military personnel are expected to take examinations through the education officer at a military base.
Note: Does not apply to military and diplomatic personnel and their families who have APO/FPO addresses.
International Credit Policy for Transfer Credit
An enrolled student may transfer a maximum of 90 credits from international institutions. Thomas Edison State University does not participate in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Therefore the University does not sponsor foreign national students for F-1 or J-1 visa status.
International Credit Evaluations
TESU will not evaluate transcripts from other countries. We will accept the credit recommendations from one of the following agencies when the recommendations are based on a course by course evaluation and sent on an official transcript to TESU.
Academic Credentials Evaluation Institute, Inc. (ACEI)
Center for Applied Research, Evaluations & Education, Inc.
Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. (ECE)
World Educational Services, Inc. (WES)
SDR Educational Consultants
SpanTran Evaluation Services
All costs associated with the international credit evaluation are the responsibility of the student. The University reserves the right to make its own determination on the amount and type of credit to be awarded based on the evaluations provide by these agencies. There will be no mixing or matching of evaluations. Thomas Edison State University does not issue “Certificates of Acceptance” (Form I-20) to international students. Students who enter the United States on a student visa (F-1) through another college or university may enroll in Thomas Edison State University. However it will be the student’s responsibility to keep his/her visa status current to be eligible for the continued pursuit of a Thomas Edison State University degree.
Application and Enrollment for International Students
To apply to Thomas Edison State University, submit the following documents:
- a completed Thomas Edison State University Application Form;
- application fee (payment must be in U.S. dollars); and
- a TOEFL score report sent directly to Thomas Edison State University from the Educational Testing Service.
To enroll in Thomas Edison State University, international students select either the Comprehensive Tuition Plan or the Per Credit Tuition Plan. After enrollment, any credentials or documents submitted will be evaluated. When the evaluation has been completed, the student will be advised of any remaining degree requirements. It is the responsibility of the student to arrange for the completion of remaining degree requirements.
Thomas Edison State University does not issue “Certificates of Acceptance” (Form I-20) to international students. Students who enter the United States on a student visa (F-1) through another college may enroll in Thomas Edison State University. However, it will be the student’s responsibility to keep his/her visa status current to be eligible for continued pursuit of a Thomas Edison State University degree.
Fees and Requests for Additional Information
Fees for international students residing in foreign countries cover extensive administrative costs. Students on nonimmigrant visas living in the United States will pay out-of-state fees. Details on fees are available upon request.
Students are considered enrolled when they pay tuition via the Comprehensive Tuition Plan or Per Credit Tuition Plan. A student’s enrollment date is defined as the date the bursar receives Comprehensive Tuition or the tenth day of a term for which a student registers paying under the Per Credit Tuition Plan. This tuition covers a period of one year of service. At the end of the year, students will receive a bill for the subsequent year’s enrollment tuition. Active duty military and National Guard students are considered New Jersey state residents for administrative purposes, and therefore pay in-state tuition rate.
Students enrolled in Thomas Edison State University through contractual and military agreements [i.e., Corporate Choice®, GoArmyED, eArmyU, Military Degree Completion Program (MDCP), Navy College Program, and the Rutgers School of Health Professions (formerly University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey) joint degree program, must demonstrate academic activity by attempting a minimum of 3 semester hour credits over the course of the 12 month period for which they are enrolled. For example, a student whose course or other credit earning option began on Sept. 1, 2016, must register for another 3-credit course before Sept. 1, 2017, to be considered an enrolled Thomas Edison State University student for the following year. Students who do not attempt 3 credits in an academic year will be deemed “Inactive.”
“Inactive” students (those who were previously enrolled in the University but who have not demonstrated academic progress as described above) can reactivate their enrollment in the following ways:
Enroll for a minimum of 3 semester hours in a course or other credit-earning option. Students will be governed by the academic policies in place at the time they began their program.
Other Contractual Students
- Pay a $75 reactivation fee and enroll in a course or other credit-earning option. Students who choose this route will be governed by the academic policies in place at the time of their reactivated enrollment.
- Pay the $75 reactivation fee and provide transcripts demonstrating academic progress (i.e., that they have attempted at least 3 credits) for each 12-month period whose anniversary is the date on which their most recently attempted Thomas Edison State University course or other credit-earning option began. Students who choose this route will be governed by the academic policies in place at the time of their original enrollment with the University.
Military students with a valid Servicemembers Opportunity College (SOC) agreement with Thomas Edison State University, and who remain in “Inactive” status for five consecutive years must reapply for admission to return to the University and will be governed by the academic policies and degree programs in place at the time of their readmission.
When students have received the Academic Program Evaluation showing how credits will apply to their degree program, they are urged to proceed with program planning and contact the Office of Academic Advising at (888) 442-8372. Should it become necessary to temporarily “stop-out,” students are urged to officially request a Leave of Absence from the University at the end of their enrollment year.
Note: Students are considered enrolled in the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing when they pay the appropriate fees and submit the documents required for admission. Enrollment continues as long as at least 3 credits are earned in each 12-month period.