The Exchange Balances Admin tool is used to simplify the process of keeping track of the number of applicants involved in an exchange program. It can be used to make sure the exchange ratios are maintained and that applicants who are involved in an exchange are clearly labeled as such for billing purposes.
To use this feature of the software, you must first set up the following building blocks:
- Define the unit of calculation for exchange balances by going to Settings > System Features > Programs tab. By default, Terra Dotta software uses 'semesters' when calculating exchanges.
- Create a list of available terms under Settings > Terms and configure the default exchange weight for each term.
- Create a list of partner institutions by going to Settings > Partner Institutions.
- Create a program and enable exchange available, or edit the 'Settings' tab of an existing program to make it an 'exchange' program. Note: When creating an incoming exchange program, you can indicate the partner institutions that can apply to that incoming exchange program.
- Create an Exchange Balance by going to Applicants > Exchange Balances > New Balance tab.
- Name the exchange balance and select your outgoing exchange program (Group 1) and the partner institution (Group 2) for this specific exchange balance. If you create an incoming program for each partner institution you work with, then you could select the incoming exchange program for Group 2. If you have 1 incoming program that students from all partner institutions apply to, then you will need to build the balance based on partner institution, not incoming program name.
- Next, define the ratios for this exchange balance and click Add to save it.
Note: These tallies include all the applications which have either the 'PENDING', 'COMMITTED' or 'ACCEPTED' status. If an application is of 'REJECTED' or 'WAITLIST' status, it is not included in these ratios.
Managing an Exchange Balance
Once you have created the exchange balance, you can click on the name and expand the exchange balance to view each application cycle that has an inbound or outbound application (even if the application is withdrawn)…
When applicants begin applying to the exchange programs, an administrator will need to manually mark applicants as part of the exchange by following these steps:
- Go to Applicants > Exchange Balances > click on the exchange balance name then click on the application cycle.
- You will see a list of applicants who have applied to the outgoing and incoming exchange program in the outer most columns. The applicants listed in the outer most columns have applied to an exchange program but have not been counted towards the exchange.
- Click on the blue arrows next to each applicants name to move them into the exchange.
Note: If you click ‘OK’ the following email will be sent to the applicant:
Subject: Office of International Programs application notification
Office of International Programs - Exchange Status Change
This is an automated notification to inform you that your exchange status has changed from Non-exchange to Exchange for the following application on the Office of International Programs web site.
Program: Cape Town Exchange, Fall 2015
To login, use the following link: https://studyabroad.terradotta.com/index.cfm?FuseAction=Security.Login
This message was generated automatically
Note: Administrators can also designate an applicant as an ‘Exchange’ applicant by going to Applicants > Search and find the appropriate application. Click on the status tab and check the box next to ‘Exchange Applicant?’ Checking or un-checking the box automatically changes the status to exchange or non-exchange - you will then be prompted to click OK if you want to send the applicant a notification email notification or Cancel if you want to suppress this email. Fill in the number of semesters for which this exchange will count (usually 1 for semester programs or 2 for year-long programs) and click Update. If you do not see the ‘Exchange Applicant?’ option on the applicant's Status tab you need to go to the program setup page and mark that program as Exchange Available. If an application is marked as exchange on the status tab, the weight will inherit the default weight of the term. That number will need to be adjusted only if it is something different than the default.
How to Read an Exchange Balance
When you expand an exchange balance you will see all application cycles that meet the exchange criteria and have at least one application. You will see the following columns. This is an example:
List of Home Institutions for Exchange Balances
- Go to Applicants > New Application
- In the 'New Applicant' section of the form, enter a dummy email address and select the outgoing applicant radio button.
- Click the 'add' button
- On the subsequent form, enter dummy data for the new user's name and information... then select the home institution you need to appear in the exchange balance tool from the drop-down menus.
- Click the 'create new' button
- There will be a user record generated ... on the subsequent form will be the step where you select the program/app cycle, but this step should not be completed.
- At this point you can click on Applicant > Exchange Balances and the home institution selected for that dummy user record will be an option when creating an exchange balance.
When looking at an app cycle's listing of all the applications in an exchange balance, there are many applications listed that should not be included in the balance.
When configuring an exchange balance, the programs/institutions selected to be a part of the balance are additive. When a program/institution is added to the selected list, all the applicants of that program/institution are included in the balance.
In most cases, what will resolve the issue is removing either the institution or the program assignment from the problematic side of the balance.