What Is the Academic Common Market?

Academic Common Market

What Is the Academic Common Market?

Published February 13, 2018

Academic Common Market

Is your student planning to study in a specialized field, but you’re concerned about the cost? In some cases, in-state schools don’t offer the specialty your child is interested in.

Out-of-state tuition can be more than twice as much as in-state, which may cause your student to rethink their major.

The good news is that your family may be able to secure in-state tuition anyway, through the Academic Common Market.

What Is the Academic Common Market?

If the program your student wants to enter isn’t available in-state, you may be able to use the Southern Regional Education Board’s (SREB) Academic Common Market.

This market allows those in 15 states to attend a participating school in a specific program, while paying only in-state rates.

To qualify, you must:

  • Be a resident of one of the participating SREB states
  • Select a program available to residents of your state
  • Complete the admission process at the chosen school
  • Contact your state’s ACM coordinator for certification

Florida and Texas only participate at the graduate school level. Not every public school in the 15 states participate, but many do. There are over 1,900 programs available.

Which States Participate in the Academic Common Market?











South Carolina




West Virginia

How Competitive Is the Academic Common Market?

The Academic Common Market is not competitive or merit-based. As long as your student is fully admitted to the participating school and program, they can be certified and have their tuition adjusted.

The purpose of the Academic Common Market is to allow schools to avoid duplicating each other’s programs. It also encourages schools to develop excellence in specific areas, because they don’t have to spend resources to have strong programs in every field.

Specific ACM-participating schools may have their own requirements, such as specific GPA standards or required full-time enrollment.

Is the Academic Common Market for Your Student?

If you live in one of the 15 participating states, take a look at the participating programs. If your student is interested in majoring in those areas, they can gain in-state tuition to that school.

Keep in mind your student will lose the ACM benefits if they change majors to a non-participating program.

If your child decides to change majors, it may be best for them to transfer to an in-state school to save money on tuition and fees.

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