Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG)

As of July 1, 2011 the Academic Competitiveness Grant has been terminated and no longer funded by the Department of Education.

Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) is a federal grant program that provides additional grants to eligible students that pursued a rigorous program of study in high school on or after January 1, 2005.  This grant encourages students to take more challenging courses in high school, making success in college more likely, according to research, to pursue college majors in high demand in the global economy. 

To qualify you must meet the following requirements:

  • Must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Must be receiving a Federal Pell Grant
  • Must be a U.S. Citizen or Eligible Non-Citizen
  • Must be at least a Half time student (6 credits each semester)
  • Must be enrolled in a two year degree program

In addition:

  • Student must be in their first of second year of a two-year program;
  • First year students must have completed high school on or after January 1, 2006; Second year students must have completed high school on or after January 1, 2005; For a second year AC Grant, students must have a grade point average (GPA) from their first year of at least 3.0 or greater for ALL credits accepted by Atlantic Cape Community College.  (Atlantic Cape and transfer credits from any other college you attended).
  • All students must have completed a "rigorous" high school program.  Below is a list of NJ approved rigorous program. 

New Jersey

The options for eligibility for the 2006-07 school year for a student from New Jersey are:

The State Scholars Initiative requirements

This program, currently offered in New Jersey and twenty-one other States and patterned after the recommendations of the National Commission on Excellence in Education, requires at least:

  • Four years of English;
  • Three years of math (including Algebra I, Algebra II and Geometry);
  • Three years of lab science (biology, chemistry, physics);
  • Three-and-one-half years of social studies; and
  • Two years of a language other than English.

A set of courses similar to the State Scholars Initiative.

This program of study requires passing grades in the following:

  • Four years of English;
  • Three years of Math (including Algebra I and a higher level course such as Algebra II, Geometry, or Data Analysis and Statistics);
  • Three years of science (including at least two courses from biology, chemistry or physics);
  • Three years of social studies; and
  • One year of a foreign language.

Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses and test scores.

This program requires a minimum of two Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses in high school and a minimum passing score on the exams for those classes. Students must score 3 or higher on AP exams and 4 or higher on IB exams.

Smart Grants

Smart Grants are available for students enrolled full time in their 3rd and 4th academic year of student at a Four-year institution.  Student must major in mathematics, science, technology, engineering or critical foreign languages, and have at least 3.0 grade point average.  You should contact the institution/school you will be attending for more information.