Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)
"Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)" submitted by SchoolGrantsfor Editorial Team and last updated on Monday 8th August 2011
The Academic Competitiveness Grant, also referred to as the ACG, is a grant available to first- and second-year college students who completed and did well in tough, challenging high school classes. Together, these classes have to meet the U.S. Department of Education’s definition of a “rigorous curriculum.” In creating these programs, Congress established grants to encourage and support students who completed rigorous programs of study in high school, the definition of which is established by a state or local educational body, and recognized and affirmed by the U.S. Secretary of Education. Because you have to meet high expectations in order to be eligible for this grant, it is called a merit-based grant. Students who are low on funds but high in the ability to work hard at school, do well in school, and stay motivated are good candidates for this rewarding grant.
If you are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, and within the age range to have graduated from high school after Jan. 1, 2005 in your Student Aid Report (SAR), additional screens will appear to help determine your eligibility for the Academic Competitiveness Grant. You will be instructed to use FAFSA on the Web or call the Federal Student Aid Information Center (1-800-433-3243) to provide additional information. When you receive a SAR, remember to read the comments and respond appropriately. Because of this extra step in the paper process, we urge you to apply for federal student aid using the online application, FAFSA on the Web.
Once you submit your application, your information is immediately sent to the U.S. Department of Education. You’ll get a confirmation notice right away when you click on “Submit My FAFSA Now.” Your confirmation page includes an estimate of the Pell Grant award amount, an indication of student loan eligibility, and a link to CollegeNavigator.gov (for graduation rates and other data). You can also e-mail the confirmation page to a valid e-mail address.
Type of Aid
ACG Grant does not have to be repaid
Annual Award Amount
- 1st year: Up to $750 and up to $1,300 for second-year students.
- 2nd year: Up to $1,300
- You may receive one ACG award in each academic year for which you are eligible. The yearly grant amount will be pro-rated by semester and by enrollment status.
|ACG Maximum Semester Award Amounts|
Eligibility is Based On:
- The ACG is for undergraduate students who are enrolled in the first or second a year of an eligible program in any field, who have completed a rigorous secondary school program of study, and who also have at least a 3.0 cumulative college GPA (for college sophomores) on a 4.0 scale at the end of the first year.
- Freshmen (0-44 credits) are eligible to receive up to three terms of the grant at $250 per term. Sophomores (45-89 credits) are eligible to receive up to three terms of the grant at $433 per term
- For Pell-eligible students enrolled at least half-time in their first or second year of study or in a certificate program of at least one year at a degree-granting school
- 1st year: must have completed a rigorous secondary school program of study; graduated from high school after Jan. 1, 2006; not have been enrolled in an ACG-eligible program while at or below age of compulsory school attendance
- 2nd year: must have completed a rigorous secondary school program of study; graduated from high school after Jan. 1, 2005; have at least 3.0 cumulative GPA at the end of first year of postsecondary study
- Successfully completing a rigorous high school program At least half-time attendance.
Monthly Grant Repayment Schedule and Duration
The ACG is for undergraduate students. To receive an ACG Grant, you must first be eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant and amount depends on your financial need and other criteria. File the FAFSA by the final FAFSA deadline (the OSFA recommends you file by the March 1st KU priority date to be. Generally, no repayment.
Rigorous secondary school curriculum
US Department of Education defines a rigorous curriculum as meeting one of the following conditions:
- The student completed one of his or her state's designated secondary school programs of study, as noted on the web site; or
- The student has taken the tests for at least two Advanced Placement (AP)(scoring a '3' or better) or International Baccalaureate (IB)(scoring a '4' or better) courses; or
- The student has completed a high school course of study with at least:
- Four years of high school English;
- Three years of high school math, including Algebra I and another higher level math course;
- Three years of high school science, which must include two years of biology, chemistry or physics;
- Three years of high school social studies; and
- One year of high school foreign language.
Participation in a rigorous secondary school program of study may qualify a postsecondary student to receive an ACG, if otherwise eligible. All students, including private school students, home-schooled students, students enrolled in Department of Defense Overseas Schools, and Bureau of Indian Affairs students may qualify for an ACG under the rigorous secondary school program of study options, if the student is otherwise eligible. For a list of recognized rigorous programs of secondary school study in your state visit www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/about/ac-smart/state-programs.html
If you have submitted a paper FAFSA and have received your Student Aid Report (SAR) indicating that you may be eligible to answer the ACG questions, please call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4FED-AID. You may also contact the financial aid office at your school for assistance regarding ACG.
- Difference between the ACG and the National SMART Grant
- Worksheet to Evaluate Your Financial Aid Grants and Scholarships Offers