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Academic Competitiveness Grants (ACG)

An eligible student may receive an Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) of up to $750 for the first academic year of study and up to $1,300 for the second academic year of study. To be eligible for each academic year, you must:

  • be a U.S. citizen;

  • be a Federal Pell Grant recipient;

  • be enrolled full-time in a degree program;

  • be enrolled in the first or second year of your program of study at a two-year or four-year degree-granting institution (such as CUNY);

  • 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);

  • if a first-year student, not have been previously enrolled in an undergraduate program; and

  • if a second-year student, have at least a cumulative 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale for the first academic year.

In New York State, a Regents Diploma with Honors or Advance Designation will serve as evidence of a rigorous secondary school program. A student may also qualify through completion of a prescribed set of courses taken, or two Advance Placement (AP) courses with a  minimum score of three (3) on the AP exams or two International Baccalaureate (IB) courses with a score of four (4) on the IB exams.

The prescribed set of courses must include four years of English, three years of Math (including Algebra I and higher level courses such as Algebra II, Geometry, or Data Analysis and Statistics), three years of science (including at least two courses in biology, physics, or chemistry) three years of social studies, and one year of a foreign language.

Most potential recipients will be notified by the U.S. Department of Education and will be given a web site link that will help them determine whether they have completed a "qualifying rigorous secondary school program". A student's college will then be notified and will verify eligibility. If you are not notified by the Department of Education and you think you may be eligible, contact your college financial aid office to determine your eligibility.

For the ACG program, the amount of your grant, in combination with your Federal Pell Grant, other resources and estimated financial assistance, may not exceed your financial need (cost of attendance minus EFC equals financial need). A student may not receive more than one ACG award in each academic year for which the student is eligible.

All annual award amounts for an academic year may be reduced if sufficient funds are not available for all eligible students nationally in an award year.

For more information on the Academic Competitiveness Grant, click here.

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