Academic Competitiveness Grant

Along with the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (SMART), the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 also created the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG). If you’re also a Federal Pell Grant recipient, contact your college’s financial aid office for more information about this award if you’ve also been targeting merit-based awards, as this grant rewards academic achievement.

What is an ACG Grant?

The award was first disbursed for the 2006-2007 school year for first-year college students who graduated from high school after January 1, 2006, and for second-year college students who graduated from high school after January 1, 2005. As awards are only given to students who also qualify for Pell Grants, the program is both need- and merit-based. You’ll need to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, to determine whether you’re eligible for the TEACH Grant and how much funding you could be eligible to receive.

Who may be eligible for ACG Grants?

To be eligible for the grant, you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and have completed a "rigorous secondary school program of study.” Such programs include Honors, IB or AP courses, and rigorous secondary school programs are listed annually by the Secretary of Education. Those rigorous secondary school programs could also include four years of English, three years of science, and one year of foreign language. This meaning you need to complete all of those to be eligible, not just one. Those who are found to be eligible during their sophomore year of college must also maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.

How much money can I receive?

Students can receive up to $750 for the first year of undergraduate study, and up to $1,300 for the second year of undergraduate study. The amount of the grant, when combined with a Pell Grant, may not exceed the student's cost of attendance. As with all federal aid, that amount is subject to change, and students may receive less than the maximum depending on the amount of students found eligible for the grant each year.

What else should I be aware of?

As of July 1, 2009, the Secretary of Education will not be adding new programs to the list of those programs considered “rigorous.” That list is still subject to change, however, if a program official lobbies for a particular program’s inclusion on that list.

Last Edited: August 2015

Latest College & Financial Aid News

An Underrepresented, Struggling Minority in Higher Education

July 26, 2016

by Susan Dutca

Native American students lag behind their peers from a young age, across almost every measure of student success. From college enrollment, to test scores and on-time graduation, they have the lowest rates of any racial subgroup. They make up a mere 1 percent of the high school and college population and tend to be overlooked when it comes to discussion about the nation's achievement [...]

10 Sweet Scholarships for Being a Man

July 21, 2016

by Susan Dutca

Colleges and universities across the nation are starting to engage more in discussions regarding what it means to be a man. Masculinity, just like femininity, is celebrated through these gender-specific scholarships. So man-up and check out these scholarship opportunities!: Colored Rocks Contest [...]

College Presidents’ High Pay, Short Stay

July 20, 2016

by Susan Dutca

President Obama gets paid $400,000 per year to serve as President of the United States of America. Many college presidents get paid more for running a school than they would for being the leader of the free world, according to a new report from the Chronicle of Higher Education. Presidents at public universities received a median salary of $431,000 in the 2015 fiscal year, with a 4.3 percent [...]

Follow Us:

facebook twitter rss feed