What is the Academic Common Market?
The Academic Common Market is a tuition-savings agreement between 15 southern states that are members of the Southern Regional Education Board. The program was established in 1974 by SREB to help member states avoid developing and maintaining costly academic programs through sharing resources and the exchange of students across borders at in-state rates. Delaware began participation in the ACM in 1998 when it joined SREB.
How does it work?
If your baccalaureate or graduate-level degree program is not offered by either of the public colleges in Delaware, the University of Delaware or Delaware State University, and you have been accepted into an eligible degree program at a participating college, you pay the in-state tuition rate of that institution. First professional degree programs, such as dentistry, law, medicine, pharmacy, and optometry are not offered in the ACM and cannot be requested.
How can I find out if my degree program is eligible?
You can search for eligible degree programs for Delaware residents on SREB's website or call the Delaware Higher Education Office at 302-735-4120 or 1-800-292-7935.
Who can apply?
Students who are legal residents of the 15 participating states can apply.
How do I apply?
After you have been accepted into an eligible degree program, mail, fax, or email your application to Delaware Higher Education Office with the required verification of state residency and enrollment (see application form).
What is the deadline to apply?
You may submit your ACM application to the Delaware Higher Education Office at any time after you have been accepted to an eligible ACM degree program, but each institution sets its deadline to accept ACM certifications.
Which schools participate?
Many, but not all, public colleges in the 15 participating states offer degree programs in the ACM. There are currently over 100 participating institutions.
Are all majors at participating institutions accessible through the ACM?
No, participating institutions select the degree programs they will offer. However, a school will sometimes add a new program to the ACM upon request from a participating state. Contact the ACM Coordinator to send an inquiry on your behalf. First professional degree programs, such as dentistry, law, medicine, pharmacy, and optometry are not offered in the ACM and cannot be requested. In addition, some states and colleges have restrictions that limit requests for ACM access.
Do available programs change?
Yes, participating institutions may add or remove programs. However, if you are already certified for the ACM in a degree program that is removed by the institution, you will be given reasonable time to finish your program with the ACM tuition benefit as long as you remain continuously enrolled in the same degree program at the same institution, meet the institutional requirements, and maintain your Delaware residency.
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 participate in the ACM/EC.
Are there any other restrictions?
Yes, restrictions can be set at the discretion of the participating college or the participating state. Check with ACM Coordinator if you are uncertain about a program. Your eligibility for the ACM is dependent on your enrollment status. Institutions that do not classify undergraduate students as degree-seeking in a major until a fixed point in their studies (e.g. sophomore or junior year) may elect to accept ACM students as first-year students or only at the point official acceptance into a major occurs. This decision is at the discretion of the institution and may vary among different disciplines. In addition, institutions may determine additional student eligibility standards, such as full-time enrollment status.
Do I reapply each year?
No, as long as you remain continuously enrolled in the same degree program at the same institution, meet the institutional requirements, and maintain your Delaware residency, you do not need to reapply.
Will my ACM participation affect my financial aid?
Reducing your tuition costs can decrease your eligibility for need-based aid. However, your ACM tuition savings may be greater than the need-based aid you are awarded. Undergraduate ACM participants in Delaware are saving an average of over $13,000 in tuition costs this year. Your tuition savings will depend on which college you attend. Check with the financial aid office at your school to see if your ACM tuition savings will affect the aid you have been awarded.
Where can I get more information about my academic program?
Contact the participating college to find out about admissions, courses, costs, credit transfers, institutional financial aid, and deadlines.
Can I appeal if I believe that my out-of-state program of study is significantly different from the program(s) offered at the University of Delaware or Delaware State University?
Yes, you may file a Petition for Academic Program Portability in the spring. You must clearly demonstrate the differences in curriculum and educational outcome between your program and the program(s) at the University of Delaware and/or Delaware State University. You cannot appeal the decision of an out-of-state college that elects not to offer a degree program in the ACM.