The Academic Common Market (ACM) is a tuition scholarship program that enables selected students to pursue out-of-state college degrees at discounted tuition rates through agreements among the states, colleges and universities. The ACM is designed for qualified first-time freshmen, first-time graduate students, and first-time transfer students. The purpose of the Academic Common Market is for states to share specified academic degree programs located at Southern public colleges and universities. This is accomplished through an exchange of students across borders at in-state tuition rates. The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) coordinates the ACM, and through this program, students wishing to study in majors not available in their home states may be able to attend out-of-state universities that agree to pay the out-of-state portion of their tuition.
ACM at The University of Alabama
Approximately 30 of UA’s degree programs participate in the ACM. The ACM does not include any programs in the College of Commerce and Business Administration (C&BA) or the College of Human Environmental Sciences (HES), both of which once had ACM programs. In the table of UA programs you will see which particular degree programs are available for a particular state’s residents. To be considered for an ACM scholarships, undergraduate students must have earned at least a 25 ACT composite score OR the appropriate minimum SAT score: 1130 SAT composite score (critical reading and math) on tests taken PRIOR TO March 1, 2016 or 1200 SAT composite score (evidence-based reading & writing and math) on tests taken AFTER March 1, 2016. Students must also have at least a 3.0 overall high school GPA. You must have been admitted to UA before you can apply for an ACM scholarship.
A. General Qualifications of the SREB (Southern Regional Education Board)
- Be a resident of one of the 16 SREB states
- Select a program eligible for residents of your home state (students with dual majors are not eligible for the ACM program)
- Complete the admission process at the institution offering the eligible Academic Common Market program.
- Be certified as a resident of your home state by contacting the ACM coordinator for your state of residence. The SREB website has the contact information for each state’s ACM coordinator. Each ACM applicant must contact his or her state’s ACM coordinator and provide the information needed for that coordinator to certify state residency and send an official certification to UA’s ACM Coordinator.
B. UA Qualifications for First-time ACM Certification
- Undergraduate: The undergraduate ACM is for first-time freshmen or undergraduate students transferring to UA from another university. Students must have at least a 25 ACT composite score or the appropriate minimum SAT score: 1130 SAT composite score (critical reading and math) on tests taken PRIOR TO March 1, 2016 or 1200 SAT composite score (evidence-based reading & writing and math) on tests taken AFTER March 1, 2016. Students must also have at least a 3.0 overall high school GPA. UA does not superscore (i.e., combine the best math and verbal from multiple test administrations) when considering admissions tests, and taking the optional writing section of the ACT does not have a positive or negative effect on the composite score. A student who attends UA not meeting ACM minimum criteria for GPA or admission test score cannot earn an ACM scholarship by earning a 3.0 or better UA GPA or continuing to take an admission test to earn an ACM-acceptable minimum score.
- Graduate: The graduate ACM is for first-time graduate students or graduate students transferring to UA from another university. Graduate students must meet all admission requirements and hold a valid admission letter from the Graduate School. Only graduate students with unconditional admission status can be accepted for the ACM program.
C. UA Qualifications for Continuing ACM Certification
- Undergraduate and Graduate: To continue an ACM grant after a student’s first semester receiving ACM support, each undergraduate and graduate UA ACM student must maintain at least a 3.0 overall GPA on all UA course work attempted. This GPA standard is in addition to the long-standing requirements for maintaining residency in the same state that certified the student initially and staying in the ACM major for which the student was certified by the home state and approved by UA.
Note: If a student receives a scholarship that pays full tuition or the out-of-state portion of tuition, the student is not also eligible for an ACM scholarship.
ACM Application Process at UA:
- If you already have been admitted to UA and meet the above minimum test score and high school GPA requirements, submit the Application for ACM Out-of-State Tuition Scholarship (If you have not been admitted to UA, please wait until you receive an official admission letter before applying for an ACM scholarship).
- We then evaluate your ACM application. If you meet UA’s ACM qualifications, we will inform your state’s ACM coordinator that you are eligible for an ACM scholarship.
- You need to contact your home-state ACM coordinator and provide whatever information the state requires to certify residency. Contact information for each State ACM Coordinator is on the SREB Home Page. (Click on “Academic Common Market” and then “Participating States.”)
- Your state’s ACM coordinator certifies residency and asks UA to give you an out-of-state tuition scholarship.
- We do a final check and agree to provide a UA-paid scholarship equal to the out-of-state portion of your tuition, if you meet all UA requirements.
- We send you a letter welcoming you to the ACM and reminding you of the conditions for continuing to receive the scholarship each semester.
- Students with dual majors are not eligible for the ACM program.
- At UA the deadline for ACM certification for a particular semester is the “last day to register or add a course,” as indicated on the official UA calendar. ACM students not accepted or certified by that date must wait until the next semester to receive ACM support.
- All UA ACM students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA to continue receiving the scholarship from one semester to the next. The 3.0 GPA is computed only on UA work attempted and does not include transfer work. Course work completed at other universities is irrelevant to the UA GPA, even though the student’s department may accept the course itself to be used in the student’s plan of study.
- Each semester, we check each student’s record to be sure that the student still is enrolled in the ACM program for which he or she is certified, and that the student continues to meet all UA requirements for ACM participation. This includes the 3.0 minimum GPA on all UA courses attempted.