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Academic Common Market

Academic Common Market Logo

The Academic Common Market is a tuition-savings program especially for college students who live in the 16 states that are members of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB), a nonprofit education organization. The ACM allows students to pay in-state tuition to study in a program not offered in their home state, provided they have been accepted into an approved degree program at a participating ACM institution. Participating universities are four-year public institutions located in one of the 16 SREB states. Private universities and community colleges do not participate in the ACM. Joining the ACM can save you thousands of dollars over the course of your studies!

You can earn a degree in specialized programs such as:

  • B.S., Marine Science, Coastal Carolina University, South Carolina
  • B.S., Landscape Architecture, University of Kentucky
  • B.B.A., Professional Golf Management, Mississippi State University
  • B.S., Geological Engineering, University of Mississippi

Background Information

First, search the eligible ACM programs and institutions for Tennessee. Please check the ACM Inventory to be sure that your program is available to Tennessee residents. Then, contact the institution, apply for that program, and get accepted.

ACM Inventory

Please complete the three steps below

Once all steps are completed, please allow 2-4 weeks for processing. 

  1.  Register with the Southern Regional Education Board at http://home.sreb.org/acm/Email.aspx?state=45
  2. Application for Tennessee residency 
    1. This form must be filled out electronically. Once you login you will be prompted to fill out the form. The form may be completed here
  3. Once you are registered you must have the following materials to complete your certification. Applications with incorrect documents or incomplete applications will not be considered. Supporting documents can be uploaded onto the website.
    1.  Proof of admission into an eligible program 
      1.  An official, unconditional letter of acceptance from the college and the degree program, stating the applicant's name, the institution of attendance, the semester of anticipated enrollment, and the specific ACM-eligible program in which the application is enrolled.
    2. Proof of residency in Tennessee 
      1.  The student must provide a valid Tennessee Driver's License, voter registration card, or proof of military residency. Proof of residency must be issued at least 12 months prior to certification. A tax return is also acceptable with any personally identifiable information (e.g., social security information) redacted prior to submission.

General Information Regarding ACM Program Nomination

If the program you wish to attend is not in the Academic Common Market and you have searched the current inventory of acceptable programs, the program may be nominated for inclusion into the Academic Common Market.  This process takes 4-8 weeks to complete and involves a curricular review of the nominated program by faculty and administrators at Tennessee's public universities.  To be approved for ACM inclusion, the program must meet a curricular threshold of being at least 51% different than existing programs in the state.  Please refer to the course catalogs at the respective institutions for this assessment.  Note, the modality of delivery, co-curricular opportunities (e.g., travel away, internships, etc), and speed of the program are not considerations for ACM inclusion. 

A program will not gain admittance if there is a current program offered at a Tennessee public university.  Further, if a nominated program is denied inclusion, the denial will remain valid for five years at which time the program can be eligible to reviewed once more for inclusion.

 

Please refer to page 9 of the ACM Program Manual for information specific to other states and their institutions.

 

To nominate a program, please complete the steps below

  1. Register here and complete the program nomination form.

 

No, our agency does not have a deadline for application submission, however a number of the institutions have internal deadlines that must be followed. We suggest you contact the institution’s ACM coordinator to determine if there is an internal ACM deadline.Participating Institutions

No, certification is a one-time-only procedure. You must; however, maintain your academic major, residency classification, full-time status, and good academic standing.

Once certified and enrolled if you decide to withdraw, take a leave, or change majors, understand that the program may no longer be eligible to be included in the ACM when you seek to be recertified.

Tennessee resident students must remain enrolled full-time and be seeking a degree. Students are also expected to maintain good academic standing. If a student is placed on academic probation or dismissed, it is the discretion of the institution to reinstate ACM access. Also, certain institutions have their own restrictions. This information is noted in the ACM Limitations document. Private institutions do not participate in ACM.

Yes. You can apply for participation in the ACM at any time. Certifications are made for the next semester, however, so you will not receive a retroactive tuition reduction.

If you change your major to a different program that qualifies to be included in the Academic Common Market, you need to be recertified by your state coordinator. ACM Certifications are valid only for the specific institution and major stated on the form. Follow the same process as you did for your first major.

Most ACM institutions will not require you to pay back tuition for the years you received ACM benefits. However, if you change your major during a semester, the institution may charge you the out-of-state tuition rate for that semester. You will lose ACM benefits and pay out-of-state tuition for all following semesters.

Since the ACM is based on specific programs of study, you will have to wait until you are officially accepted into the program major, even though that may not be until you are a junior. You must apply for certification at that time.

There are several educational opportunities offered through the Southern Regional Education Board to assist students in disciplines of study that are unavailable in host states or are in high-need areas. For more information about SREB opportunities, please visit www.sreb.org

 

The Southern Regional Electronic Campus (SREC) is the nation’s largest multistate electronic marketplace. The SREC enables students across the South to take courses at colleges and universities without leaving their hometowns. Students enter the electronic marketplace of courses at the SREB website.

The SREB’s Regional Contract Program has enabled states to share costly professional programs for a limited number of students. The Regional Contract Program has allowed tens of thousands of people in states without schools of dentistry, optometry, osteopathic medicine, podiatry and veterinary medicine to earn degrees at nationally recognized colleges and universities.

ACM Contact Information

Corey Gheesling, Ed.D.

Director of Academic Affairs

Academic Common Market Coordinator

Phone: (615) 253-7474

ACM.Coordinator@tn.gov