ACM Program Overview
The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) and the state higher education agencies of the participating states - Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia - administer the Academic Common Market (ACM) program.
The program operates on the premise that if public institutions (no private institutions can participate) in a student’s home state do not offer a comparable degree program (undergraduate or graduate) that a student intends on pursuing, then he/she may attend a participating out-of-state institution offering the degree of interest and be granted a waiver of out-of-state tuition charges.
Traditional (residential) and distance learning (on-line) programs are available and must lead to the conferral of a baccalaureate, master’s, specialist’s or doctoral degree. Campus-based programs are offered via the ACM and on-line via the Academic Common Market/Electronic Campus (ACM/EC).
The ACM serves as a cost-saving measure for both parents and students as in-state tuition rates are lower than out-of-state rates. It is also a savings to the Commonwealth, as these programs do not have to be duplicated here in Virginia. Numerous undergraduate and graduate degree programs are available to Virginia residents.
Virginia ACM Eligibility Requirements:
In order for a student to qualify for the Academic Common Market, the student must be able to prove that he/she is a resident of Virginia. He/she must be a full-time student enrolled in the pursuit of a degree; must have a letter of acceptance (conditional or provisional acceptances are not eligible) into the specific program of study offered at the out-of-state institution and this program must be listed in the ACM and available to Virginia residents.
Students who have been provisionally admitted or have outstanding issues associated with their admission must resolve those issues with the participating institution before being certified for ACM participation. ACM Institutional Coordinators contact information is available at http://home.sreb.org/acm/participating/institutionstates.aspx.
The Certification Process:
As part of the agreement, states must certify residency in order for students to participate in the ACM. Certification is a one-time-only procedure provided that the student's academic major, residency and institutional requirements remain unchanged. To begin the certification process, students must complete the Application for Participation in the Academic Common Market and mail it along with required documents to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).
Generally, the review process is approximately three to four weeks and varies depending on the number of applications received; therefore, the student is strongly advised to submit his/her ACM application at least six weeks prior to the start of the classes or the institution’s ACM deadline, whichever is earlier. The process will be delayed unless all questions are completed, all documentation is attached, and the application is signed and dated by the appropriate person(s).
SCHEV accepts ACM applications year-round. However, some participating institutions set deadline dates for students designated as an in-state student/ACM participant. We strongly advise you to contact your institution directly for any ACM deadline.
If the student is approved as a resident, SCHEV will issue a certification letter for ACM participation to both the student and the participating institution. The institution will either grant a tuition waiver or simply classify the student as an in-state resident. The institution sets its own policy for granting and implementing the tuition waivers, including but not limited to enrollment requirements, and deadlines for tuition payments. Students will not receive in-state tuition rates until the institution makes the final decision. For example, if a student applies during the fall semester, the institution has the discretion not to make the waiver effective until the spring semester. Also, waivers and in-state tuition rates are not retroactive prior to the ACM effective date, except at the discretion of the participating institution.
Virginia residents may apply for certification by submitting applications only for programs listed in the current inventory. Click on the links below to see programs available to Virginia residents who meet eligibility. Programs can be removed or added anytime by participating states and institutions without notice.
Distance learning programs are denoted in the listings by the label "ACM/EC" meaning that the offering is through the Academic Common Market and the Electronic Campus, both administered by SREB.
Virginia residents may submit no more than one ACM application. The completed ACM application, a copy of the acceptance letter into the approved major, and all supporting documents must be mailed to:
Academic Common Market
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
James Monroe Building,
101 North Fourteenth Street, 9th Floor
Richmond, VA 23219
If your parents, a legal guardian, or spouse provide(s) 50% or more of your financial support and/or claim you as a tax dependent, you should classify yourself as a “dependent” student on the ACM application for residency purposes. All supporting documentation proving Virginia residency that must accompany your ACM application should bear this individual’s name. Typically, undergraduate students who are under age 24 are classified as dependents.
Visit the SCHEV Virginia domicile page for more information on establishing residency in Virginia.
- Auburn University limits ACM access to undergraduate programs. Only 25 new ACM participants are accepted each year; and students must be at the junior or senior level to participate in the ACM. Auburn selects applicants on a competitive basis. The deadline is March 15. Applicants should first contact the institutional coordinator's office prior to contacting state coordinator.
- The University of Alabama applies the following two new conditions for participating in approved ACM programs (UA limits ACM access to the programs that are currently listed in the ACM inventory.):
- (1) For first-time ACM certification, an undergraduate student must have at least a 25 ACT composite score or 1130 SAT composite score (math and verbal only) and at least a 3.00 overall high school GPA.
- (2) For continuing certification after the first semester of ACM support, each UA ACM student must maintain at least a 3.00 overall GPA on all UA course work attempted. This GPA standard is in addition to the long-standing requirements for maintaining residency and major.
- The University of Alabama limits ACM access to the programs that are currently listed in the ACM inventory.
- The University of Delaware limits ACM access to the programs that are currently listed in the ACM inventory.
- The state of Florida limits ACM access to graduate programs only.
- Georgia is not processing requests from its residents for the addition of new programs to the ACM inventory. Georgia residents may only select programs from the state's currently approved inventory. States may continue to request access to programs currently listed as part of the ACM at Georgia institutions.
- The state of Georgia does not include "mode of delivery" as a determinant of program eligibility for state residents.
- The Georgia Institute of Technology limits ACM access to graduate programs that are currently listed in the ACM inventory. The last semester they will take students through the ACM into their undergraduate programs is spring semester 2011.
- Georgia State University limits ACM access to graduate programs only.
- The University of Georgia grants ACM access after students have completed at least 60 college credit hours and been formally admitted into the ACM degree program. ACM eligibility at UGA is limited to four academic semesters for undergraduate students.
- Maryland is not processing requests from its residents for the addition of new programs to the ACM inventory. Maryland residents may only select programs from the state’s currently approved inventory. States may continue to request access to programs currently listed as part of the ACM and NEW programs at Maryland institutions.
- Maryland will consider requests from States wishing to open access to their programs to Maryland residents.
- The State of Maryland has a strict ACM application deadline policy. The following ACM deadlines are firm and cannot be appealed: Fall semester — June 30th; Spring semester — November 30th; Summer semester — March 31st
- The University of Maryland, Eastern Shore does not participate in the ACM.
- The University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP) campus will no longer participate in the ACM for any major at any level after spring 2013. Students currently approved for ACM will be grandfathered provided they fulfill requirements.
- The state of Mississippi limits the eligibility of Mississippi residents participating in the ACM program to those enrolled in degree programs on a full-time basis. Full-time enrollment status will be based on the host institution's definition of full-time enrollment.
- The state of Mississippi does not include "mode of delivery" as a determinant of program eligibility for state residents
- Mississippi State University effective November 2011 limits ACM access to the programs that are currently listed in the ACM inventory. To be eligible to receive the Academic Common Market tuition remission for approved programs, an entering student must have an a ACT composite score of 20 or better and a GPA of 2.5 or better on the High School or Community College (transfers) transcripts. These standards will be implemented effective for students enrolling in ACM programs at MSU for Fall 2014.
- The University of Mississippi limits ACM access to the programs that are currently listed in the ACM inventory.
- The University of Southern Mississippi limits ACM access to the programs that are currently listed in the ACM inventory.
- Mississippi State University, The University of Mississippi and The University of Southern Mississippi are not adding any new programs to the ACM at this time.
- Effective November 1, 2011 and until further notice, North Carolina will add no new degree programs to the ACM inventory. Nor will North Carolina be able to approve any certifications for students beginning study after academic year 2011-12. North Carolina hopes to renew its participation in the ACM, if not for academic year 2012-13, then for as soon as possible thereafter.
- The University of Oklahoma limits ACM access to the programs that are currently listed in the ACM inventory.
- The state of South Carolina limits the eligibility of South Carolina residents participating in the ACM program to those enrolled in degree programs on a full-time basis. Full-time enrollment status will be based on the host institution's definition of full-time enrollment.
- The state of South Carolina does not include "mode of delivery" as a determinant of program eligibility for state residents.
- Clemson University limits limits ACM access to 32 new ACM participants each year. Clemson University will notify the South Carolina State Coordinator when the limit of ACM participants has been reached for new student participation. Students seeking approval for ACM in Engineering and Business majors are not eligible for consideration to participate in the ACM until their sophomore year, at which time, the student has declared a major and the major has been approved for ACM.
- The Citadel, College of Charleston, Francis Marion University and the University of South Carolina-Beaufort do not participate in the ACM.
- Coastal Carolina University will not add the BSBA in Marketing (Professional Golf Management) to the ACM. This restriction will remain in effect until further notice. Check again in 2017.
- The state of Texas limits ACM access to residential graduate programs only.
- The University of Texas at Austin does not participate in the ACM.
- The College of William and Mary limits ACM access to the program that is currently listed in the ACM inventory.
- George Mason University has restrictive policies for ACM students including full-time status; continuous enrollment; eligibility limited to official time limit for degree, and courses which apply to the degree. ACM status cannot apply to excess credit hours or degree components beyond the approved ACM program.
- Check the Mason University Registrar’s Office web site for detailed information. Effective Spring 2015, George Mason will no longer participate in the ACM. The university has indicated it will receive certifications for fall 2014 admission until December 17, 2014. All programs in the IMI will be archived on August 25, 2014.
- Virginia Tech will no longer participate in the ACM as of Fall 2012 for majors in the College of Engineering. Virginia Tech will no longer participate in the ACM for any major at any level as of Spring 2013.
- James Madison University, University of Mary Washington, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia Military Institute do not participate in the ACM.
- West Virginia Universitywill not add the BS in Forensic and Investigative Science to the ACM until further notice. Check again in 2017.
Public Law 93-579, referred to as the Federal Privacy Act, requires that any federal, state, or local agency that requests an individual to disclose a Social Security number inform the individual by which statutory or other authority the number is solicited, whether that disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, and what uses could be made of it. SCHEV requests each applicant to submit a social security number on a voluntary basis. SCHEV uses a student’s Social Security number for unique identification purposes in the certification process.