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May 14, 08

NEWS / Eligible Students Could Save $11,000 in College Tuition Next Year

Academic Common Market application deadline is June 30, 2008
(Annapolis, MD) May 2, 2008

If college students’ majors are not offered at a public college or university, they may be eligible for in-state tuition rates at over 150 southern public colleges that participate in the Academic Common Market (ACM).

Last year, Maryland residents majoring in programs such as mining engineering at Virginia Tech, interior design at the University of Georgia and marine science at Coastal Carolina University saved an average of $10,715 annually in tuition costs.

The ACM is a tuition savings agreement among the 16 member states of the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB): Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina (graduate programs with restrictions), Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. Public colleges in SREB states that elect to participate in the ACM select the programs of study they will offer. Both bachelor and graduate-level programs are offered in the ACM. First professional degree programs—such as pharmacy, law, dentistry, and medicine—are not included in the ACM.

In Maryland, the ACM program is administered by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). Genevieve Segura, ACM state coordinator, has worked with the program since 1998. “Ten years later we have certified over 1,000 students at participating colleges in the other 15 ACM states,” Higher Education Secretary James E. Lyons, said. “I applaud Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown for being so supportive of this extremely worthwhile program. It provides a great savings to the citizens of Maryland, and exemplifies the fact that the O’Malley/Brown administration understands fiscal responsibility.”

ACM students from Maryland have enrolled in baccalaureate programs in acting, architectural engineering, aerospace, apparel and textile engineering technology, broadcast meteorology, equine science, filmmaking, fire and safety engineering technology, forest resource management, hearing and speech sciences, radiological sciences, and other majors not offered in Maryland. Students in master’s programs in archeological preservation, art therapy, diplomacy and international commerce, environmental science and public policy, hearing and speech sciences, and historic preservation have also received ACM tuition savings. At the doctoral level, students have been certified for the ACM in optics, ocean engineering, meteorology, mining engineering anthropology, audiology, applied anthropology and technology education.

The Academic Common Market provides a significant benefit. The savings help students attend higher education institutions to pursue their career dreams and allow them to attain education goals they might have not been able to afford.

In addition to the ACM campus-based programs, the ACM/Electronic Campus offers distance learning opportunities. There are currently several undergraduate and graduate-level degree programs available to Maryland residents. Working adults who are pursuing degrees can complete their degrees and receive the ACM tuition savings while remaining employed in their current job.

SREB is the nation’s first interstate compact for education. Founded in 1948 by southern leaders in business, education and government, SREB works to improve every aspect of education from early childhood to doctoral degrees and beyond. More than 2,000 students in the 16 member states are certified each year for the ACM.

The ACM application deadline for fall 2008 semester is June 30, 2008. Students and parents with questions about the application process are encouraged to contact MHEC at (410) 260-4542 or (800) 974-0203, ext. 4542 (toll-free outside of the 410 area). Program guidelines, a list of participating institutions and eligible programs, and the application form are available online at www.mhec.state.md.us.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission is a 12-member coordinating board responsible for establishing statewide policies for Maryland public and independent colleges and universities and private career schools. It serves as an advocate for more than 325,000 college students in Maryland, for the State and its needs, and for business and industry in Maryland.



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