Academic Common Market Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a deadline for submitting my ACM information to THEC?

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

Is it necessary for me to reapply each year for ACM?

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

I want to nominate a program to the ACM inventory. How do I know if the program I want to nominate is already offered at a public university in my home state of Tennessee?

Review the program offerings listed on the institution's website.

Are there restrictions of the ACM?

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.

I am already enrolled in an ACM approved major, but I just found out about the program. Can I still apply?

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 I change my major to a different program that is not available in my home state, can I still pay reduced tuition through Academic Common Market?

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.

If I were an ACM participant who decided to change my major to a program that is available in my home state, would I have to pay back the money that I saved in the years that I received ACM benefits?

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.

What if I do not officially get admitted to my major until I am a junior and have completed other requirements? Can I participate in the ACM now or must I wait until I get to that point?

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.

What other opportunities are available?

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

Electronic Campus:

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, 

Regional Contract Program:

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.

SREB-State Doctoral Scholars Program:

The Southern Regional Education Board’s Doctoral Scholars Program was developed with support from the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Ford Foundation. It is part of a nationwide initiative, the Compact for Faculty Diversity, to produce more minority PhDs and to encourage them to seek faculty positions.