Academic Common Market

Academic Common Market Member States  

In-State Tuition for Select Out-of-State Programs

Please check this webpage frequently for important upcoming changes regarding the submission process for ACM applications. Spring 2019 applications will be accepted beginning on September 1, 2018

ACM RESOURCES:

The application for certification of residency for participation in the Academic Common Market has been converted to a fully online application and submission. All applications must be submitted through the online form; applications submitted in other other format (mail, email, or fax) will NOT be accepted. 

  • Access to the application for Spring 2019 will begin on September 1, 2018, and will remain open through November 15, 2018. Please note the new, earlier final submission date, which was necessary to ensure processing prior to institutional deadlines and winter breaks).

    To complete the online submission process, you will need the documents listed below complied into a single document, image, or PDF file:
    • Copy of parents' 2017 Maryland income tax return – Form 502 and Form 502B only (student’s only if graduate student or age 24 or older)
    • Copy of official university letter of admission (on letterhead stating “full” admission to major and/or concentration). Please be sure to visit your institution's ACM webpage for specific ACM information and requirments.
    • Copy of student's motor vehicle operator’s license (or government issued identification)
    • Both parents’ motor vehicle operator’s license 
      (if student is under age 24)
    • Copy of one (1) Maryland Vehicle registration per household (parent’s if student is under age 24)
    • Military students must attach copy of earnings statement and military orders signed by commander

  • Southern Region Education Board (SREB) Academic Common Market, https://www.sreb.org/academic-common-market​
  • Maryland Degree Inventory​ (Check to see if your program major is available in Maryland) 

Contact information 
Maryland Higher Education Commission
6 N. Liberty Street, 10th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
Fax: 410-332-0270

acm.mhec@maryland.gov

What is The Academic Common Market (ACM)?: 
The Academic Common Market (ACM) is a tuition-savings program that operates on the premise that if public institutions (not including private institutions) in a student’s home state do not offer a degree program major (undergraduate or graduate) that a student intends on pursuing, then s/he may attend a participating ACM out-of-state institution offering the degree of interest through the ACM and be granted a waiver of out-of-state tuition charges. 

Which States Participate in the ACM?:
  
Only Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia participate in ACM. Florida and Texas do not participate at the undergraduate level in ACM. These States offer ACM benefits to graduate students only.

Which degree programs do not qualify for ACM benefits? 
Associate degree programs and non-degree programs are not eligible for ACM benefits. First professional degree programs, such as law, medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, and optometry are also not eligible for ACM benefits.

Which degree programs do qualify for ACM benefits?

Current programs available to Maryland students (subject to change without notice)

To request access to a program not currently available on the inventory of current programs available to Maryland students, please email your inquiry to acm.mhec@maryland.gov. Please note that the student must be fully and unconditionally admitted  into an academic program at a participating institution in order to request access to a new program.

​​​​Important note regarding Clemson University's participation in the Academic Common Market:

Clemson University has decided to no longer offer the Academic Common Market to Undergraduates, effective immediately for Fall 2018.  Those students currently receiving ACM will be honored until they graduate or run out of eligibility. Clemson still remains an active member in the Academic Common Market for approved graduate programs.

 

IS ACM A FINANCIAL AID PROGRAM? 
No, it is not a financial aid program or affiliated in any manner with scholarships, award money or financial aid packages that students receive. The ACM program is not competitive, merit-based, or need-based. Given that the ACM program represents a cooperative agreement among 15 states, the State of Maryland also reciprocates and reduces tuition for students from partnering ACM states.  

Who may apply? 
Currently enrolled Maryland high school seniors, full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate and graduate students who have been fully accepted or are already enrolled in an eligible program of study at a participating public college/university may apply.

Additionally, students who have switched ACM majors must also reapply as “new” ACM applicants and abide by the Maryland deadlines. Once granted the ACM tuition waiver, it is not necessary to reapply each year as long as the student remains enrolled full-time and in good academic standing (both defined by institution), does not change majors or institutions (even to another ACM major or institution); and maintains home state residency. 

When to apply? 
The ACM application and accompanying documents must be submitted to the State ACM Coordinator within the dates listed below, based on the semester in which the student will enroll. Applications submitted outside of these time frames will not be reviewed and will be destroyed.

 
Entering Fall semester - Application available on March 1 - Closes on June 15th
Entering Summer semester -  Application available on January 1st - Closes on February 28th
Entering Spring semester - Application available on September 1st - Closes on November 15th 
(Please note earlier deadline to allow for processing prior to institutional deadlines and winter break) 

***ACM application deadline dates are firm and may not be appealed*** 
**Students, not the institutions, are held fully responsible for being informed about the ACM application deadlines as well as the institution’s deadlines**

 

Besides Maryland’s ACM application closing deadlines, are there any other important dates?

 

First time ACM applicants are advised to contact the university and be fully informed of the institutional deadlines.

What are the ACM eligibility requirements?                                                                    In order to become eligible for the ACM tuition waiver, all of the following criteria must be met:
  •  ​Proof or Maryland residency (see Section D of application)
  • Apply for a program listed in the current ACM inventory available to Maryland residents 
  • Include a letter of acceptance into the specific program of study offered at the out-of-state institution on institution letterhead with the ACM Application
  • Plan to enroll full-time (continuously) and remain in good academic standing (both defined by the institution) while pursuing the degree program
 

Your ACM Application and required documentation must be submitted online and will be available only during the time frames listed belowRequests to submit applications  outside of these windows will not be considered:  

​​​Entering College: ​Submit ACM Application*
​Summer 2018 January 1st, 2018 - February 28, 2018
​Fall 2018  March1 , 2018 - June 15, 2018
​Spring 2019 September 1, 2018- November 15, 2018
*Please note the appropriate deadline for the semester in which you will enter college. These dates are based on college certification deadlines; therefore, late applications will not be accepted.​​ ​
​   

How to apply?                                                                                                                    Maryland residents interested in studying at an out-of-state ACM program; those who are transferring from one ACM major to another; or returning to college after a leave of absence must file an ACM application with the State ACM Coordinator by the deadline and be certified as a Maryland resident per the instructions below:

 Please check this webpage frequently for important upcoming changes regarding the submission process for ACM applications. Spring 2019 applications will be accepted beginning on September 1, 2018. ​
  • Gain full acceptance into an available ACM program/institution.
  • Must be fully admitted to the ACM program major by following the admission procedures for the institution and program department
  • Gather all required documents and upload as a single file. This file will become a part of your online ACM application
  • Complete the online application form, upload the supporting documentation to the form, and submit by the deadline. The form will not be available outside of the submission time frame for each semester.​
 

Is it necessary to reapply every year for ACM benefits?                                                No, provided students:

  • Remain enrolled full-time (defined by institution)
  • Do not change majors or institutions (even to another ACM major or institution)
  • Maintain good academic standing (defined by institution)
  • Retain home state residency

What will happen once ACM is approved?                                                                            Once a “complete” application is received, the State ACM Coordinator will:

  • Verify the student’s residency, confirm the programs eligibility for ACM benefits and certify the student as a Maryland resident
  • Notify the applicant and institution of the student’s eligibility/certification via mail within 4-6 weeks
  • NOTE: we are unable to accommodate requests to process applications more rapidly; the average production rate is 4-to-6 weeks if not longer depending on the time of application.  Applications are processed in the order in which they are received
 

Can the waiver of out-of-state tuition be applied retroactively?                                       The ACM tuition waiver is applicable only for the institution, degree major and start date specified in the ACM certification letter. Southern Regional Education Board policy prohibits retroactive ACM tuition waivers.

Who can help me with a student account question?                                                            For questions about adjustments to a student account, contact the campus Registrar. This agency cannot interfere with institutional business nor student appeals involving ACM institutions.
 

ACADEMIC COMMON MARKET DISCLAIMER: As the coordinating agency for the State of Maryland’s participation in the Southern Regional Education Board’s Academic Common Market (ACM) and Electronic Campus (EC), The Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) reserves the right at its discretion and at any time to remove academic programs offered by Maryland institutions from the ACM and EC and/or remove access to academic programs at out-of-state institutions offered to Maryland residents through the ACM and EC. Students interested in applying to the ACM or EC are encouraged to contact MHEC when application is made to an out-of-state institution/program and to inquire on the program’s status (either active or inactive) for Maryland residents. Students who begin studies at one institution with the intent to transfer to an ACM institution/program are not guaranteed ACM access if the respective program is removed from the ACM during their time at the institution of origin.​​