Academic Common Market
Search for Programs
Academic Common Market FAQs
Participating States
Participating Institutions
ACM/EC Initiatives
Regional Contract Program/Health Professions


FOR INFORMATION, CONTACT:
ACM Staff
Student Access Programs and Services
(404) 875-9211 x217



Frequently Asked Questions
(Click questions to open and close.)

What is the Academic Common Market?
  • The Academic Common Market is a tuition-savings program for college students in the 16 SREB member states who want to pursue degrees that are not offered by their in-state institutions. Students can enroll in out-of-state institutions that offer their degree program and pay the institution's in-state tuition rates. Hundreds of undergraduate and graduate programs are available for residents of SREB states. You can easily search programs available for your home state by clicking Search for Programs.
  • The ACM program is not competitive or merit-based, but applicants must meet state residency and college program requirements.
  • The ACM eliminates unnecessary duplication of academic programs among participating states, recognizing that it is impractical for any institution or single state to develop or maintain degree programs in every field of knowledge.
  • It supports existing degree programs that have the capacity to serve additional students.
  • It provides access across state lines for programs not available in a student's home state.
  • First-professional degree programs, such as law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and optometry, are not offered in the ACM and cannot be requested.
  • Some institutions and states may impose additional acceptance requirements, such as full-time enrollment status or GPA requirements.
What is the Academic Common Market/Electronic Campus (ACM/EC) program?
  • Like the Academic Common Market, the ACM/ECallows students in selected distance learning programs to pay in-state tuition rates when similar degree programs are not available at colleges and universities in the students' home states.
  • Students can enroll in out-of-state institutions that offer their degree program online and pay only the in-state tuition rates. Hundreds of undergraduate and graduate programs are available for residents of SREB states. You can easily search programs available for your home state by clicking Search for ACM/EC Programs.
  • The ACM/EC program is not competitive or merit-based, but applicants must meet state residency and college program requirements.
  • North Carolina and Texas do not include online degree programs in their ACM inventories.
  • The ACM/EC eliminates unnecessary duplication of academic programs among participating states, recognizing that it is impractical for any institution or single state to develop or maintain degree programs in every field of knowledge.
  • It supports existing degree programs that have the capacity to serve additional students.
  • It provides access across state lines for programs not available in a student's home state.
  • First-professional degree programs, such as law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and optometry, are not offered in the ACM and cannot be requested.
  • Some institutions and states may impose additional acceptance requirements such as full-time enrollment status.
What states participate in SREB's Academic Common Market?
  • Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia
  • Florida and Texas participate only at the graduate level.
  • Texas does not include online degree programs in their ACM.inventory.
  • Visit your state's ACM Web page for more information.
  • Residents from non-SREB states are not eligible to participate in the Academic Common Market.


Student Questions

Who qualifies?
  • To qualify for the Academic Common Market, a student must be a resident of an SREB member state, select a participating program that is approved for the Academic Common Market for their state, be admitted unconditionally into that program, and be certified as a resident of his or her home state.
  • The ACM program is not competitive or merit-based, but applicants must meet state residency and college program requirements.
  • Residents from non-SREB states are not eligible to participate in the Academic Common Market.
How do I apply for the Academic Common Market?
  • You must be certified by your home state’s designated agency by completing and submitting the state’s ACM Certification application.
  • Confirm that the desired degree program is not offered by a college or university within the home state. (For helpful information, click on  "How do I know if the program I want to study is offered at a public university in my state?" under Program Questions below.)
  • Submit at the required documentation to verify state residency.
What is my state's certification process?
  • Acceptance into the Academic Common Market residents will be determined by degree program availability and verification of residency.
  • Generally you will be required to provide evidence of your residence, providing such documents as a driver's license, voter registration, state tax return or other instruments that the state may require. 
  • Many states do not set a deadline to submit the application to the State ACM coordinator, however, some do. Please check with your state coordinator to determine any deadlines for application submission.
  • Application processing time can vary. For existing Academic Common Market programs, please allow two to three months for processing after you’ve submitted an application. If you are requesting a new program for the Academic Common Market, please allow four to six months for processing time, as processing for new programs can take longer.
  • To avoid the last-minute flood of applications (particularly in July and August) and tuition adjustments, it's wise to start the application process early and before registration takes place.
  • The specific documents required and certification vary with each state.
  • Visit your state's ACM Web page for more information.
How long does it take to process my application?
  • Once you have completed the ACM application materials and residency verification documents, your home state ACM State Coordinator will determine your eligibility to participate in the program.
  • The Coordinator also determines the certification date (for the current term or for the following term).
  • There is no need to reapply for ACM participation once you have received approval from the home State ACM Coordinator, as long as you are continuously enrolled in the institution, you do not change majors, and you maintain your home state residency.
  • If your eligibility to participate in the ACM changes, you will need to be recertified by your home state ACM State Coordinator should you wish to reapply for ACM participation.
  • Many states do not set a deadline to submit the application to the State ACM coordinator, however, some do. Please check with your state coordinator to determine any deadlines for application submission.
  • Application processing time can vary. For existing Academic Common Market programs, please allow two to three months for processing after you’ve submitted an application. If you are requesting a new program for the Academic Common Market, please allow four to six months for processing time as processing for new programs can take longer.
  • To avoid the last-minute flood of applications (particularly in July and August) and tuition adjustments, it's wise to start the application process early and before registration takes place.
  • Each state has a specific application process. See the link for further information on your state's ACM Web page.


Program Questions

What colleges and universities participate in the Academic Common Market?
  • More than 100 colleges and universities from all 15 SREB states offer undergraduate or graduate opportunities. Your home state has determined which institutions and specific programs are available through the ACM.
  • View a list of participating universities in a state.
What programs are available through the Academic Common Market?
  • More than 1,900 programs are available to eligible students. For a complete list of programs available to residents of your state, click on the search button and select your home state in the drop-down box.
  • Using the pull-down menus, select the area/discipline of interest from the major subject area, a specific state or all states, and the degree level, then click "submit." You will receive results defined by your search criteria.
  • You can then select the program of interest to review more specific program information and can select the institution name to find the ACM Institutional Coordinator contact information, including an e-mail address for any questions you may have.
  • You also may link to the institution to obtain access to online applications and more detailed information about the institution and program of study.
Are distance learning degree programs offered in the ACM?
  • Yes, the ACM/Electronic Campus offers students the opportunity to pursue certified degree programs via distance learning. The same eligibility requirements apply to the ACM/EC as the ACM.
  • Texas does not include online degree programs in their ACM inventory.
  • First-professional degree programs, such as law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and optometry are not offered in the ACM and cannot be requested.
What if the program I am interested in is not on the list?
  • If you are interested in a program that is not on the Academic Common Market program list for your state, it may be because:
    • the program is offered in your home state.
    • the program is a high demand program.
    • the program is offered at a single tuition rate.
    • the college or university may not participate in the ACM or ACM/EC.
    • state legislation may not allow for participation at all levels.
  • If the program you are interested in does meet the ACM guidelines, you may request that the program be added to the inventory. Contact your state ACM coordinator for more information about adding programs and to send an inquiry on your behalf.
  • Beginning September 1, 2009, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) is not processing any new requests for additions to the inventory of out of state programs available to Virginia residents through the ACM.  This restriction will remain in effect until further notice. Virginia residents may submit applications only for programs listed in the current inventory. For more information, please visit the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia's Web site at http://www.schev.edu/students/academiccommonmkt.asp?from=x.
  • Beginning November 1, 2009, the Maryland Higher Education Commission will no longer accept requests from Maryland residents to add new programs available through the Academic Common Market. This restriction will remain in effect until further notice. Maryland residents may submit applications only for programs listed in the current inventory. For more information, please visit the Maryland Higher Education Commission’s Web site at http://www.mhec.state.md.us/higherEd/acadAff/AcademicCommonMarket/commonmarket.asp.
  • First-professional degree programs, such as law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and optometry, are not offered in the ACM and cannot be requested.
Are there any other restrictions on programs available?
  • Yes, restrictions can be set at the discretion of the participating college or university or the participating state.
  • Your eligibility for the ACM is dependent on your enrollment status. In addition, students must meet the ACM requirements of the college they are attending, which may include full-time enrollment and maintaining a specified GPA.
  • Students who must complete course work before they are fully admitted to the program of study are not eligible for ACM tuition savings until they are formally accepted into the major.
How do I know if the program I want to study is offered at a public university in my state?
  • One way to determine if the program is offered by your home state is to review the program listing found on your state education Web sites. For your convenience, links to these sites are provided below.
State Agency Link
Alabama Alabama Commission on Higher Education http://www.ache.state.al.us/Students&Parents/ProgramSelect.htm
Arkansas Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board: www.adhe.edu/divisions/academicaffairs/Pages/academicaffairs.aspx
Delaware Delaware Higher Education Office: http://www.doe.k12.de.us/infosuites/students_family/dheo/ACM/default.shtml
Florida State University System of Florida Board of Governors http://www.flbog.edu/forstudents/upi/
Georgia Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia https://app.usg.edu/portal/page/portal/DMA
Georgia Technical College System of Georgia https://tcsg.edu/forstudents.php
Kentucky Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education: http://cpe.ky.gov/forstudents/academic/default.htm
Louisiana Louisiana Board of Regents http://regents.louisiana.gov/academic-affairs/
Maryland Maryland Higher Education Commission: http://www.mhec.state.md.us/higherEd/HEPrograms.asp
Mississippi Mississippi Board of Trustees State Institutions of Higher Learning: http://www.mississippi.edu/oasa/
Mississippi Mississippi Community College Board http://www.sbcjc.cc.ms.us/program/aadefault.aspx
North Carolina
(Undergraduate
level only)
University of North Carolina - General Administration: http://www.northcarolina.edu/content.php/aa/planning/traditional.htm
North Carolina (Graduate level only) North Carolina Community College System http://www.nccommunitycolleges.edu/Programs/education_catalog.htm
Oklahoma Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education: http://www.okhighered.org/oeis/ProductivityReport/InvParams.aspx
South Carolina South Carolina Commission on Higher Education http://connect.che.sc.gov/AS400/Inven/Default.asp
Tennessee Tennessee Higher Education Commission http://www.state.tn.us/thec/Index/Community/Community.html
Texas
(Graduate level only)
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/InteractiveTools/ProgramInventory/
Virginia Virginia State Council of Higher Education http://www.schev.edu/students/DegreeInventory.asp
West Virginia West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission: https://secure.cfwv.com/College_Planning/Explore_Programs_and_Majors/_default.aspx
What if I change my major or program?
  • Most ACM institutions will not require you to pay back tuition for the years that you received ACM benefits if you change your major or program to one that is not approved for the ACM or is available in your home state. However, if you change your major during a semester, the institution may charge you the out-of-state tuition rate for that semester. If you change your major to a different program that is included in the Academic Common Market, you must be recertified by your state coordinator.


State Participation Questions

If I'm a Florida, North Carolina or Texas resident, can I participate?
  • Florida and Texas participate in the Academic Common Market only at the graduate level. Residents of these states must be pursing graduate studies (master's level or higher) to participate. North Carolina does not participate in the Academic Common Market at this time.
What if my state is not a member of SREB?
  • If your state is Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington or Wyoming, visit the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) Web site. For more information, go to http://wue.wiche.edu/  and http://www.wiche.edu/sep/psep/.
  • If your state is Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio or Wisconsin, visit the Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) Web site. The Midwest Student Exchange Program Overview (MSEP) is a voluntary program (as are all MHEC programs), and only seven of the eleven states participate. Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Ohio do not participate in MSEP at this time. South Dakota is an eligible state but has not yet joined MHEC. South Dakota is currently a member of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). For more information, visit http://www.mhec.org/index.asp?pageid=1.  
  • If your state is Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island or Vermont, visit the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) Web site. For more information, visit http://www.nebhe.org/content/view/18/53/.
  • If you are a resident of Washington, D.C., please visit the DC Tuition Assistance Grant Web site at http://www.osse.dc.gov/seo/cwp/view,A,1226,Q,536770,seoNav_GID,1511,.asp.







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