Wilmington, Del.–May 27, 2004 When Delaware joined the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) in July 1998, most parents and students had never heard of the Academic Common Market (ACM).Six years later, more than 300 Delaware families have saved a total of $2,132,600 in tuition costs at public colleges in 15 southern states.
Students participating in the ACM this fall are saving an average of $8,400 in tuition costs for the year. They will study architecture, dance, emergency health services, filmmaking, fire protection engineering, forest resource management, marine science, speech language pathology, and other majors not offered at a public college in Delaware.
“The Academic Common Market increases opportunities for Delaware students to pursue educational goals that might not be attainable without the financial relief the ACM provides,”stated Education Secretary Valerie A. Woodruff. “I am pleased that our partnership with SREB and the ACM has provided many of our college-bound students with opportunities to pursue their academic dreams.”
To receive ACM tuition savings, Delaware residents must be accepted to an eligible program of study not offered at a public college in Delaware. Public colleges in SREB states that elect to participate in the ACM select the programs of study they will offer. Both baccalaureate and graduate-level programs are offered in the ACM with more than 130 public colleges participating.
The 16 participating states are Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.Three states—Florida, North Carolina, and Texas—offer graduate-level programs only.
Maureen Laffey, Acting Executive Director of the Delaware Higher Education Commission (DHEC) which administers the program for Delaware residents, has watched it grow firsthand.“We talk to some very happy students and parents. Undergraduates who are ACM students for all four years will save anywhere from $25,000 to $35,000 or more.”Added Laffey, “We’re also pleased to see an increase in the number of graduate-level students who benefit from the program. In 1998 we had only four students in master’s programs.Last year, there were 19, as well as four doctoral candidates.”
In addition to campus-based programs, the ACM began offering distance learning opportunities through the ACM/Electronic Campus several years ago.There are currently three undergraduate and 13 graduate-level degree programs available to Delaware residents.
SREB is the nation’s first interstate compact for education. Founded in 1948 by southern leaders in business, education and government,SREB works to improve every aspect of education from early childhood to doctoral degrees and beyond. The ACM, which recently celebrated its thirtieth anniversary, has helped over 35,000 students in SREB states since 1974.
“Delaware and the Academic Common Market are a perfect match,” says SREB President Mark Musick.“Delaware students get affordable access to what would be expensive out-of-state programs and Delaware saves money by not having to build high cost specialized degree programs that are already available in the ACM.”
Students and parents are encouraged to learn more about the ACM by contacting DHEC at 302-577-3240 or 800-292-7935 (outside New Castle County) or online at http://www.doe.k12.de.us/high-ed/.The application and a list of eligible programs are available online.
Delaware Department of Education
401 Federal Street, Suite #2
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4035
Fax: (302) 739-4654
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