​​Academic Common Market

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MHEC staff is aware of temporary institutional decisions due to the pandemic, which has forced closures and moving face-to-face courses into an online format. A student’s Academic Common Market (ACM) status will not be affected by courses being moved online or by temporary closures due to coronavirus/COVID-19; however, students must maintain continuous full-time enrollment in their approved program to remain eligible for the ACM. Students should check with their institutional coordinator and confirm any updates to policies or practices related to the pandemic with the MD State ACM Coordinator.


It is important to note that Fall 2021 applicants must submit Maryland 2020 Tax Forms 502 & 502B.  Given the Maryland tax-filing extension to July 15, 2021, applicants may submit the application without the tax return by the application deadline of June 30th. However, only applications submitted by June 30th AND completed, with all required documents, by July 30, 2021, will be considered for Fall 2021. Please note that this deadline is firm, as many institutions have deadlines to receive student ACM certifications. Please be sure to file your taxes for last year early enough to meet the June 30, 2021, ACM application deadline.

Only applications submitted through the OneStop form during the application period will be reviewed. Faxed, mailed, or emailed applications are not be accepted or reviewed. As posted on the MD ACM webpage, ACM application deadlines are firm and cannot be appealed.

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

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.  

ACM participants are responsible for the information included on this page and for their compliance with the rules of ACM eligibility. Please check this page frequently for important upcoming changes regarding the Academic Common Market for Maryland students. Please visit the SREB's Program Search webpage frequently to view the list of programs currently available to Maryland students through the ACM.​

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) OneStop form; applications submitted in any other format (mail, email, or fax) or beyond the deadline will NOT be accepted. 


 Please read the section, “When to apply” for all submission dates.

Applicants are responsible for meeting and maintaining the requirements of the state and the institution for continued participation in the ACM. Please contact your institution’s ACM Coordinator before making any changes to your enrollment to ensure you understand the implications of the change on your ACM eligibility/participation.  

To complete the online (submission) application process, you will need the documents listed below (complied) compiled into a single file prior to uploading:

o Copy of parents' 2020 Maryland income tax return – Form 502 and Form 502B only (student’s only if a graduate student or age 24 or older)

o *Copy of official university letter of admission (for new students) or program verification letter (matriculating students or change of major) on letterhead stating “full” admission to major and concentration (if applicable) NOTE: Provisional or conditional acceptance and certain "pre-majors" are not eligible for the ACM.

o Copy of student's motor vehicle operator’s license (or government-issued identification)

o Both parents’ motor vehicle operator’s license 
(if the student is under age 24)

o Copy of one (1) Maryland Vehicle registration per household (parent’s if the student is under age 24)

Completed and manually signed ACM Student-Parent Affirmation Form.pdf

o Military students must attach a copy of the earnings statement and military orders signed by their commander


      You may submit an application for the ACM while your admission decision into the University is pending. HOWEVER, please note that your application will not be deemed complete, reviewed, or processed until the required letter of acceptance is appended to your application.  

You MUST submit a new application for certification if you:

  • change your major or institution (even if to another ACM major or institution);
  • fail to maintain good academic standing (defined by the institution), or
  • fail to maintain continuous full-time enrollment in the program for which you were certified


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. North Carolina does not participate in the ACM 

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.


As the coordinating agency for the State of Maryland’s participation in the Southern Regional Education Board’s Academic Common Market (ACM), the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) reserves the right at its discretion and at any time to add or remove academic programs offered by Maryland institutions from the ACM and/or add or remove access to academic programs at out-of-state institutions offered to Maryland residents through the ACM. 

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

To request access to a program not currently approved, please submit the student's letter of acceptance into the academic major, along with the link to the curriculum and course descriptions for the program being requested. If it is determined that a similar program is not available in Maryland, then the request for access will be made to the Southern Region Educational Board (SREB). Per the SREB, request for program access may take up to 6 - 8 weeks for processing. Please email your request 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.

For the 2021-2022 academic year, requests for access to an academic program must be received by September 30, 2021. Students should proceed with the application process to ensure the application is submitted prior to the deadline. MHEC is not responsible for access decisions rendered after the institution deadline. 


Clemson University limits undergraduate participation in the ACM. Please visit the Clemson ACM webpage or contact the Clemson ACM Coordinator for specific details.

University of Georgia (UGA) Students Only: 

At the University of Georgia (UGA), participation in ACM programs is available only for graduate students and undergraduates at the junior and senior level. 


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. Students should confirm their institution's policy regarding institution-based aid and ACM participation.

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 the institution), does not change majors or institutions (even to another ACM major or institution); and maintains home state residency. 

The ACM application and accompanying documents must be submitted to the ACM State Coordinator within the dates listed below, based on the semester in which the student will enroll. 


Entering Fall semester - Application available on March 1 - Closes on June 30th

Entering Summer semester -  Application available on January 2nd - Closes on February 28th

Entering Spring semester - Application available on September 1st - Closes on November 15th 

(Please note the 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 and ACM policies**


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



 In order to become eligible for the ACM tuition waiver, all of the following criteria must be met:

  • Proof of 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 as well as the semester and year you are accepted 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


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:

·  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

·  To begin the ACM application process, the student must first register for the Academic Common Market with the Southern Region Educational Board. Visit http://home.sreb.org/acm/Email.aspx?state=21 and complete the student's contact and program information on the Contact SREB page to register before beginning the ACM application. Once you have registered with the SREB, complete the ACM Application HERE.

       Please note that the application is available only during the application cycles listed. Deadlines are firm and cannot be appealed. Fall 2021 applicants must upload the supporting documentation to the form, including 2020 Maryland Tax Forms 502 and 502B. Applications must be submitted March 1, 2021 through June 30, 2021. 

       Please email acm.mhec@maryland.gov should you have questions about the registration or application process.

Please check this webpage frequently for important upcoming changes

regarding the submission process for ACM applications. ​

IS IT NECESSARY TO REAPPLY EVERY YEAR FOR ACM BENEFITS?                      ​                        

No, you do not need to reapply if you:

  • Remain continuously enrolled full-time (defined by the institution)
  • Do not change majors or institutions (even to another ACM major or institution)
  • Maintain good academic standing (defined by the 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 program's 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.



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 the application is made to an out-of-state institution/program and to inquire about 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.​​