Academic Competitiveness Grant

Please note: The Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) was terminated in 2011.

From the Department of Educations website: "The Academic Competitiveness Grant Program is a previously offered grant program authorized by the Higher Education Act (HEA) under which grants were awarded during the first and second academic years of study to eligible financially needy undergraduate students who successfully completed rigorous secondary school programs of study."

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Latest College & Financial Aid News

Sing For Your... Scholarships?

February 1, 2023

by Kevin Ladd

It’s February and we have a number of scholarships you can win this month that are based on your love for and performance of music of all kinds. Instrumental Scholarships, Vocal Scholarships, Theater Scholarships, to name just a few. Have you seen that Oscar-Nominated movie about Elvis Presley? Naturally, there are a number of related scholarships and one of them is listed below, worth up to $5,000 and due this Friday. [...]

Take Me Out to the... Rodeo?

January 27, 2023

by Kevin Ladd

That’s right, if you live in one of 68 Texas counties and are graduating high school this year, you qualify for a $20,000 scholarship over four years of college. You still have time to complete the profile and upload the necessary documents online. Make sure your FAFSA has been completed and review all the other eligibility requirements as well. You could be one of the 79 students awarded this scholarship and take a huge chunk out of your tuition each of the next four years at any accredited, not-for-profit Texas college or university. [...]

Fidelity Investments Will Commit $250 Million to Education

January 18, 2023

by Kevin Ladd

The new Invest in My Education program has been created to help provide access to education as well as ongoing support to the underserved Black and Latino community. [...]

Last Reviewed: February 2023