Paying for College

Academic Common Market

The Academic Common Market (ACM) allows students to attend an out-of-state school while paying in-state tuition rates. Basically, with the ACM, a student from Alabama could attend school in Tennessee and pay the same tuition rate Tennessee residents pay.

Imagine these scenarios:

You’ve finally chosen your major. You’ve done the research, thought long and hard about it, and decided to commit. There’s just one problem- the program isn’t offered at any college in your state.

OR

You’ve always dreamed about leaving your home state to go off to college. However, you can’t necessarily afford to fund that dream. Out-of-state tuition is expensive!

Do either of those sound like a situation you’ve found yourself in? If so, we have a solution for you! The Academic Common Market (ACM) allows students to attend an out-of-state school while paying in-state tuition rates. Basically, with the ACM, a student from Alabama could attend school in Tennessee and pay the same tuition rate Tennessee residents pay.

Let’s Talk Money. Why does out-of-state tuition cost more anyways? Universities are given a subsidy from their state government, funded with taxes paid by state residents. Since non-residents do not contribute to the tax base that supports those universities, they typically do not benefit from the in-state rate. The result? Non-residents end up paying almost 40% more per year in tuition costs than residents. The Academic Common Market solves that problem!

Courses of Study. There are more than 1,900 degree programs to choose from within the 100+ Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) member schools- some are even online! Check out a few examples of what a student from Alabama could study in another state while paying in-state tuition rates:

  • Louisiana State University — Bachelor of Arts, Political Communication
  • University of Georgia — Bachelor of Arts, Risk Management and Insurance
  • Mississippi State — Bachelor of Science, Landscape Contracting
  • Tennessee Tech — Bachelor of Fine Arts, Art Education
  • West Virginia University — Bachelor of Science, Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering

Check out www.sreb.org/acm for more details and a full list of degree programs offered!

Am I Eligible? There’s a certification process that, any student applying to participate in the ACM, must follow. It varies from state to state, but usually involves verifying your residency and the availability of the degree program you’re interested in. Most schools will require proof that you have been a resident of your state for at least twelve months before you qualify for in-state rates. In addition, you must meet the admissions requirements of the school you’re seeking to attend. This encompasses everything from your GPA and ACT scores to your enrollment status- most schools will require you to attend full-time.

As an editor, copywriter, and social media manager at exploreMedia, I work to develop content that is relevant and interesting to our readers and coordinate with contributing writers.

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