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Academic Competitiveness Grant

Most people do not realize exactly how many ways there are to get help financially to be able to attend college. The Department of Education provides many different types of grants to eligible students. Eligibility is typically based on a formula that Congress has approved to determine need.


There are some new programs that many people are probably not aware of. The Academic Competitiveness Grant is one of those new programs offered by the Federal government to assist students with paying for college.

This relatively new grant was first offered in 2006 to students that were graduating from high school in the 2005-2006 academic year or to second year college students who had graduated from high school in 2005.


How To Get the Grant

There are certain eligibility requirements that the Department of Education has set forth:

To be eligible for each academic year, a student must:
• be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen;
• be a Federal Pell Grant recipient;
• be enrolled at least half-time in a degree program;
• be a first or second-year undergraduate student or a student in a certificate program of at least one year in a degree program at a two-year or four-year degree-granting institution
• have completed a rigorous secondary school program of study (after January 1, 2006, if a first-year student, and after January 1, 2005, if a second-year student); and
• if a first-year student — not have been previously enrolled in an ACG-eligible program while at or below age of compulsory school attendance; or
• if a second-year student — have at least a cumulative 3.0 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale as of the end of the first year of undergraduate study.
(taken from the Department of Education website)

If you meet these requirements you can get up to $750 for the first year of college, then
$1300 for the second year of college. The amount of the ACG combined with the Pell Grant can not exceed the cost of attendance.

What to Do Right Now

Fill out the FAFSA (free application for federal student aid) it is the first step in determining what type of aid you are eligible for and will be used to determine if you are financially eligible for  an Academic Competitiveness Grant.

The form is easy to fill out and it is free. You can fill it out online or have a form mailed to you. It is the very first step in your college education!