NOTE: Due to the high volume of applications, we are unable to accommodate requests to expedite applications. Our processing time is 4 to 6 weeks and applications are processed in the order in which they are received. If an application is incomplete or additional information or documentation is required, processing may extend past the abovementioned timeframe. Our office does not have an ACM deadline nor do we recognize deadlines set by institutions; therefore, it is the responsibility of the student to work with their institution directly.
How to Apply to the
Academic Common Market
Students may apply for ACM eligibility if you meet the following criteria:
- You are a domiciliary resident of Virginia. See Guidelines for In-State Residency and Tuition.
- You are enrolled full-time in a degree program available to Virginia residents.
- You have a letter of acceptance (conditional or provisional acceptances are not eligible) into the specific program of study offered at the out-of-state institution and this program is listed in the current Virginia ACM inventory and available to Virginia residents.
Note: All letters must be on institution letterhead and include the major and effective term/year (transcripts and proof of registration are not acceptable).
Students who have been "provisionally" admitted into an ACM major or who must complete coursework before they are fully admitted to the program are NOT eligible for ACM tuition benefits until they are formally accepted into the major. ACM Institutional Coordinators contact information is available through SREB.
If you meet the criteria, the next step is to complete the application to participate in ACM.
Virginia residents may submit no more than one ACM application. The completed ACM application, a copy of the acceptance letter into the approved major, and all other supporting documentation listed on page 1 of the application must be mailed to:
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
Attention: Academic Common Market
101 North 14thStreet
James Monroe Building, 10 Floor
Richmond, VA 23219
If your parents, a legal guardian, or spouse provide(s) 50% or more of your financial support and/or claim you as a tax dependent, you should classify yourself as a “dependent” student on the ACM application for residency purposes. All supporting documentation proving Virginia residency that must accompany your ACM application should bear this individual’s name. Typically, undergraduate students who are under age 24 are classified as dependents.
Find out more information on establishing Virginia residency.
As part of the agreement, states must certify residency in order for students to participate in the ACM. Certification is a one-time-only procedure provided that the student's academic major and residency remain unchanged. To begin the certification process, students must complete the ACM application and mail it along with required documents to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).
Generally, the review process is approximately four to six weeks and varies depending on the number of applications received; therefore, the student is strongly advised to submit his/her ACM application at least six weeks prior to the start of the classes or the institution's ACM deadline, whichever is earlier. The process will be delayed unless all questions are completed, all acceptable documentation is enclosed, and the application is signed and dated by the appropriate person(s).
SCHEV accepts ACM applications year-round; however, the institutions may set deadlines for ACM participants. We strongly advise you to contact your ACM institutional contact for that information.
If the student is approved as a resident, SCHEV will issue a certification letter for ACM participation to both the student and the participating institution. The institution makes the final decision either granting a tuition waiver or simply classifying the student as an in-state resident. The institution sets its own policy for granting and implementing the tuition waivers, including but not limited to enrollment requirements, and deadlines for tuition payments. For example, if a student applies during the fall semester, the institution has the discretion not to make the waiver effective until the spring semester. Also, waivers and in-state tuition rates are not retroactive prior to the ACM effective date, except at the discretion of the participating institution.
Public Law 93-579, referred to as the Federal Privacy Act, requires that any federal, state, or local agency that requests an individual to disclose a Social Security number inform the individual by which statutory or other authority the number is solicited, whether that disclosure is mandatory or voluntary, and what uses could be made of it. SCHEV requests each applicant to submit a social security number on a voluntary basis. SCHEV uses a student’s Social Security number for unique identification purposes in the certification process.