Academic Competitiveness Grant
In the world of federal student aid, the Academic Competitiveness Grant is one of the “newest” awards. It was first made available for the 2006-2007 school year. Although this grant is relatively new, it has helped tens of thousands of students pay for college.
The Academic Competitiveness Grant is often times referred to as the ACG. Regardless of what you call it, as a student it is important to consider your eligibility and to apply if you meet the qualifications.
Federal Academic Competitiveness Grant Eligibility
Am I eligible to receive the Academic Competitiveness Grant? This is a common question asked by many students every year. The following eligibility criteria must be met:
- United States citizen
- Recipient of a Federal Pell Grant
- Enrolled at least half-time
- First or second year undergrad student
- Completion of a rigorous secondary school program
- For second year students, a GPA of 3.0 or higher during the first year of study
Of these requirements, you may be most confused by the “rigorous secondary school program” clause. This can differ from state to state and is often times difficult to interpret. Fortunately, the Federal Student Aid website has all the information you need. This page lists the many state recognized rigorous secondary school programs.
Academic Competitiveness Grant ACG – The Award
If eligible for the Academic Competitiveness Grant, you will receive an award of $750 for your first year and $1,300 for the second. The amount of your Academic Competitiveness Grant, combined with your Pell Grant, cannot exceed the total cost of attending your institution.
Note: in some cases, the number of eligible students at a particular institution is larger than the program appropriation. In this case, the amount awarded may be reduced.
Many grants are based on income alone. This is not the case with the Academic Competitiveness Grant, which also considers your past academic performance. While your family income is taken into consideration, only those who completed a rigorous secondary school program will qualify.