ACADEMIC COMMON MARKET
In-State Tuition for Select
Maryland Higher Education Commission
6 N. Liberty Street, 10th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201
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?:
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
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?
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
When to apply?
The ACM application and accompanying documents must
be submitted to the State ACM Coordinator by the following
Fall semester deadline
- June 30th
Summer semester deadline - March 31st
Spring semester deadline - November 30th
***ACM application deadline dates are firm and may not be
**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
What are the ACM eligibility requirements?
Proof or Maryland residency (see Section D of application)
In order to become eligible for the ACM tuition waiver,
all of the following criteria must be met:
Apply for a program listed in the current ACM inventory and
available to Maryland residents (see list of
ACM Programs for 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
Submit the ACM Application and accompanying documents by the
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
Complete the: ACM Application for
Maryland Residents (DOC);
Select 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 attach to
the ACM application
Fill out and mail the
ACM Application for
Maryland Residents (DOC) (certified) with
documents or email (recommended) the to the State ACM
Coordinator at the address on the form by the deadline
Forward the application to the ACM Coordinator by the
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
Retain home state residency
What will happen once ACM is approved?
Once a “complete” application is received, the State ACM
Verify the student’s residency, confirm the programs
eligibility for ACM benefits and certify the student as a
Maryland residentNotify 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
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.