The Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 established two new grant programs to help Pell Grant eligible students. The Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) is one of the new programs established in this act. It is available for the first time in the 2006-2007 academic year to encourage students to take challenging high school courses and to pursue challenging college majors.
The Academic Competitiveness Grant is available to first-year undergraduate students who graduated from high school after January 1, 2006, and to second-year students who graduated from high school after January 1, 2005, and it is awarded in addition to the Pell Grant award. $790 million has been set aside during the 2006-2007 school year to fund this program and $4.5 billion dollars over the next five years. Unless the government renews this program, it will expire after the 2010-2011 academic year.
Within one year of enactment the council is required to report their findings results and recommendations to each committee of Congress that has jurisdiction over the identified programs. Congress passed the legislation on 2/1/06 and eligible student identification began by July of 2006. The grant program is managed by the Academic Competitiveness Council and chaired by the Secretary of Education.
In creating these programs, Congress established grants to encourage and support students who completed rigorous programs of study in high school, the definition of which is established by a state or local educational body, and recognized and affirmed by the U.S. Secretary of Education. Because many states do not yet offer formally qualified rigorous programs of study, and because the government wished to provide opportunity for private school students, home-schooled students and students enrolled in Department of Defense overseas schools the Secretary of Education recognizes other programs of study including State Scholar Initiatives, Advanced Honors programs, and Advanced Placement (AP), or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses.
Recipients of these grants must be full-time students, U.S. citizens, and in compliance with eligibility requirements for Federal Pell Grants. There are other eligibility requirements for these grants, and the student must complete and file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form online or by mail.
If you believe you are eligible for the Academic Competitiveness Grant, the Pell Grant or other government funding, or if you would like to obtain further information about these programs and your eligibility, visit the appropriate link online:
For more information on the ACG, visit this link: www.federalstudentaid.ed.gov.
For detailed information about the implementation of this grant, visit this link online:www.ifap.ed.gov/dpcletters/GEN0608.html.
For more information on “rigorous secondary school program” eligibility visit this website: