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Executive Order 13607
Principles of Excellence Demonstration of Compliance

Executive Order 13607, signed April 27, 2012 by the President of the United States, established Principles of Excellence (POE) for educational institutions serving service members, veterans, spouses, and other family members. Eight Principles of Excellence are described in the Order.

Compliance with the POE is intended to ensure an institution provides meaningful information to prospective and current military associated students about the financial cost and quality of the institution; to assist those students in making choices about how to use their Federal educational benefits; prevent abusive and deceptive recruiting practices that target the recipients of Federal military and veterans educational benefits; and ensure that the institution provides high-quality academic and student support services to the respective group of students.

Thomas Edison State University complies with the Principles of Excellence. Demonstration of compliance is provided as follows:

Principle of Excellence

How We Comply

1 Prior to enrollment, provide prospective students who are eligible to receive Federal military and veterans educational benefits with a personalized and standardized form, as developed in a manner set forth by the Secretary of Education, working with the Secretaries of Defense and Veterans Affairs, to help those prospective students understand the total cost of the educational program, including tuition and fees; the amount of that cost that will be covered by Federal educational benefits; the type and amount of financial aid they may qualify for; their estimated student loan debt upon graduation; information about student outcomes; and other information to facilitate comparison of aid packages offered by different educational institutions

The University provides two Financial Aid Shopping Sheets. The first is an interactive, web-based format and is available to all students, current or prospective. It is based on the template provided by the Department of Education in July 2013 but expands the information available regarding costs and sources of financial aid and allows the student to input information. Access is available by links on our homepage, financial aid webpage, and our military and veteran webpages.
The second format is also based on the DOE template from July 2013 and is available only to currently enrolled Thomas Edison State University students through our Online Student Services system. It is useful to students who have been awarded financial aid.

2 Inform students who are eligible to receive Federal military and veterans educational benefits of the availability of Federal financial aid and have in place policies to alert those students of their potential eligibility for that aid before packaging or arranging private student loans or alternative financing programs.

The University emails all identified prospective students information regarding the availability of federal and state financial aid and VA benefits. Upon receipt of admission application, additional information is provided detailing the steps to apply for financial aid or VA benefits at the University to those applicants who declare their intent to utilize those benefits. Similar information is posted on the University’s Financial Aid webpage.

3 End fraudulent and unduly aggressive recruiting techniques on and off military installations, as well as misrepresentation, payment of incentive compensation, and failure to meet State authorization requirements, consistent with the regulations issued by the Department of Education (34 C.F.R. 668.71-668.75, 668.14, and 600.9).

Thomas Edison State University does not use high-pressure recruitment tactics, such as making multiple, unsolicited contacts (three or more); including contacts by phone, e-mail, or in-person. The University does not engage in same-day recruitment and registration, solely for the purpose of securing service member enrollments. The University does not, and has never, conducted fraudulent or aggressive recruiting on or off military installations or in any other venue, nor do we misrepresent ourselves, our programs, or our mission. Thomas Edison State University does not provide commission, bonus, or other incentive payment based directly or indirectly on securing enrollments or federal financial aid (including Tuition Assistance funds) to any persons or entities engaged in any student recruiting, admission activities or making decisions regarding the award of student financial assistance. We meet all State authorization requirements consistent with those issued by the Department of Education.

4 Obtain the approval of the institution's accrediting agency for new course or program offerings before enrolling students in such courses or programs, provided that such approval is appropriate under the substantive change requirements of the accrediting agency.

The University’s accrediting agency, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, does not approve new degree programs. The University adheres to the procedure dictated by the New Jersey Commission of Higher Education. New degree programs are approved, in order, by the University’s Academic Council, the Academic Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees, the full Board of Trustees, the Academic Issues Committee of the New Jersey Presidents’ Council, and then the full New Jersey Presidents’ Council. Substantive changes to existing degree programs are approved by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

5 Allow service members and reservists to be readmitted to a program if they are temporarily unable to attend class or have to suspend their studies due to service requirements, and take additional steps to accommodate short absences due to service obligations, provided that satisfactory academic progress is being made by the service members and reservists prior to suspending their studies.

Thomas Edison State University follows the guidelines for readmissions/course release that align with provisions for service members provided in Chapter 3 of Volume 2 of the Federal Student Aid Handbook set forth in the Federal Student Handbook for Service members.  TESU provides accommodations to drop or extend a course, as a result of service in the field. If a military student must stop their educational endeavors for reasons of their service, the University will allow them up to five years to return to the academic program and catalog year that they were originally pursuing. The student will work with the Office of Military and Veteran Education (OMVE) to inform them of their intent to return. The student simply needs to register for their next course and their account will be returned to active and enrolled status. If the military student was unable notify the OMVE prior to their departure for service, the OMVE will work with the appropriate University offices to correct grades, etc. once the military student provides the appropriate documentation of military service.

6 Agree to an institutional refund policy that is aligned with the refund of unearned student aid rules applicable to Federal student aid provided through the Department of Education under Title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965, as required under section 484B of that Act when students withdraw prior to course completion.

Thomas Edison State University has withdrawal and refund schedules for military students available on our website and within the University Catalog that comply with this principle.

7 Provide educational plans for all individuals using Federal military and veterans educational benefits that detail how they will fulfill all the requirements necessary to graduate and the expected timeline of completion.

Each student who applies and is accepted for admission as degree-seeking is provided an official Academic Evaluation within approximately 10 business days of their admission and receipt of transcripts and documentation of learning experiences. The evaluation includes all course requirements for their chosen degree, credits transferred in, how those credits are applied to the degree plan and all remaining requirements. Evaluations are updated as courses are completed or additional transfer credit documentation is supplied by the student.

8 Designate a point of contact for academic and financial advising (including access to disability counseling) to assist service member and veteran students and their families with the successful completion of their studies and with their job searches.

The University’s Office of Military and Veteran Education has designated Points of Contact for each student. Students will be referred to other University offices or departments as needed for specific issues or needs.

Toni M. Terry, BA

"I am 67 years old, soon to be 68, and to be able to say I did this at this day in my life is just gratification for my own self."

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