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Session 6. ACG & National SMART Grant Update: Transfer Student, Rigorous Secondary School Programs of Study, and Academic Major Issues Sophia McArdle Office of Postsecondary Education. Academic Competitiveness Grants (ACG). ACG Eligibility Requirements. U.S. Citizen

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Session 6

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Session 6 l.jpg

Session 6

ACG & National SMART Grant Update:

Transfer Student, Rigorous Secondary School Programs of Study, and Academic Major Issues

Sophia McArdle

Office of Postsecondary Education


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Academic Competitiveness Grants (ACG)


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ACG Eligibility Requirements

  • U.S. Citizen

  • Federal Pell Grant recipient for same payment period or award year (if choose to implement early)

  • First or second year student in a two- or four-year degree program

  • Full-time enrollment

  • Completed rigorous secondary school program of study

  • No specific major required


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ACG Eligibility Requirements

  • First-year students

    • May not have been previously enrolled in a program of undergraduate education

    • Have graduated from secondary school program after January 1, 2006

  • Second-year students

    • Have graduated from secondary school program after January 1, 2005

    • Have a 3.0 GPA in an eligible program


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ACGPrevious Enrollment Restriction

  • Not applicable if prior enrollment was

    • Not as a “regular” student

    • After high school graduation


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ACGEligibility Requirements

  • Student must have completed a rigorous secondary school program of study

  • ED has outlined options to meet requirements in the interim final regulations


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ACGRecognition of Rigorous Program

  • For an award year:

    • The Secretary recognizes at least one rigorous secondary school program of study for each State as established by an SEA or if legally authorized by the State to establish a separate secondary school program of study, an LEA


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ACGRecognition of Rigorous Program

  • The Secretary establishes a deadline for SEAs and LEAs to submit proposals for recognition of rigorous secondary school programs of study

    • An LEA must submit documentation that the LEA is legally authorized by the State to establish a separate secondary school program of study


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ACGRecognition of Rigorous Program

For 2007-2008:

  • Deadline for new submissions was November 1, 2006

  • If State did not submit new or revised programs, remove current programs, or clarify State Scholars Initiative program requirements, State’s currently recognized secondary school programs of study will carry over


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ACGRecognition of Rigorous Program

  • In identifying a rigorous program, the SEA or LEA must consider separate identifiable secondary programs that:

    • Are offered by secondary schools in the State

    • Are considered by the SEA or LEA to prepare a student to pursue postsecondary education successfully

    • Are not GED programs


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ACGRecognition of Rigorous Program

  • In addition to the State submitted programs that the Secretary recognizes, the Secretary also recognizes several other options as rigorous


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ACGOptions for Rigorous Program

  • An advanced or honors secondary school program established by a State and in existence for the 04-05 or 05-06 school year as identified by the Secretary

  • A secondary school program identified by a State-level partnership recognized by State Scholars Initiative of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)


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ACGOptions for Rigorous Program

  • Completion of at least:

    • 2 Advanced Placement courses with a test score of at least 3; OR

    • 2 International Baccalaureate courses with a test score of at least 4

  • A set of courses as outlined in regulations


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ACGOptions for Rigorous Program

Courses as Outlined in Regulations

  • 4 years of English

  • 3 years of math (include Algebra 1 and one other higher-level math )

  • 3 years of science (at least two are one year each in Biology, Chemistry, Physics)

  • 3 years of social studies

  • 1 year of a foreign language


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ACGOptions for Rigorous Program

  • The Secretary publishes a list of rigorous secondary school programs of study that the Secretary recognizes for each award year

  • For 2006-7: Web site address:

    http://www.ed.gov/admins/finaid/about/acsmart/state-programs06.html

    For 2007-8, submission deadline was November 1, 2006


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ACGOptions for Rigorous Program


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ACGApplicant Self-identification Process

  • Department notifies potentially eligible students of how to provide additional eligibility information

  • Student provides additional information on website or calls toll-free number

  • Department sends student responses to schools


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ACGDocumenting Rigorous Program

  • Student not required to “apply”

  • Institutions are responsible for determining the eligibility of students who ED reported as having self-identified eligibility

    • On at least the standard(s) selected by the student

  • Institutions are also able to identify eligible students based on records they have (e.g. high school transcripts, test scores)


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ACGDocumenting Rigorous Program

  • Documentation from “cognizant authority” can be provided by:

    • The student

    • Directly from “cognizant authority”

  • If reason to believe documentation from student is inaccurate, must obtain directly from cognizant authority


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ACGDocumenting Rigorous Program

  • Cognizant authority includes but is not limited to:

    • An LEA

    • An SEA or other State Agency

    • A public or private high school

    • A testing organization such as the College Board or State Agency

    • Parent if student is home-schooled


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ACGDocumenting Rigorous Program

  • For transfer students, an institution may rely on another school’s determination that student completed a rigorous program

  • NSLDS will store the data


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ACGGrade Point Average

  • For second academic year ACG, student must have a GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale from the first academic year

    • Only determined one time, at the completion of the first academic year


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ACGGrade Point Average

  • Special Rule for transfer student:

    • For student who transfers after completing the first academic year, the new school must calculate GPA using the grades from all coursework accepted from prior schools for the student’s first academic year in determining eligibility for the second academic year

  • If no credits are accepted, there is no GPA


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National SMART Grants


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National SMART GrantsEligibility Requirements

  • U.S. citizen

  • Pell Grant recipient for same payment period or award year (if choose to implement early)

  • In 3rd or 4th year of a four-year degree program

  • Full-time enrollment in an eligible major

  • Cumulative 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale in student’s eligible program

  • No rigorous high school program required


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Computer Science

Engineering

Technology

Life Sciences

Mathematics

Physical Sciences

Designated Foreign Languages

National SMART Grants Major Fields of Study

Identified by CIP* code in DCL GEN-06-06 and GEN-06-15

*Classification of Instructional Program


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National SMART Grants Major Fields of Study


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National SMART Grants Major Fields of Study


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National SMART Grants Critical Foreign Languages


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National SMART Grants Major Fields of Study

  • If a student’s eligible major is removed from the list of eligible CIP codes in subsequent years, student remains eligible if continues in that major

  • If a student majors in a language no longer deemed critical in subsequent years, student remains eligible if continues to major in that language


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National SMART Grants Monitoring Major

  • Requires that a recipient:

    • Declare an eligible major or

    • If school policy does not allow declaring a major in time to qualify for a SMART grant, show intent to declare an eligible major as documented by the institution

      • Student must formally declare an eligible major as soon as institutional policy allows


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National SMART Grants Monitoring Major

  • Whether a student declares a major or indicates intent, he or she must enroll in coursework leading to completion of the program with that eligible major

  • Institutions must have a process or processes in place to monitor that the student is making progress toward completion of the program in that eligible major


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National SMART Grants Monitoring Major

  • If student changes to an eligible major between payment periods:

    • Eligible for new payment period

    • Cannot be paid for prior payment periods

  • If student changes to an ineligible major between payment periods:

    • No grant for the new payment period

    • Prior disbursement need not be repaid


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National SMART Grants Monitoring Major

  • If student changes to an eligible major within a payment period:

    • Can be paid for the entire payment period

    • Cannot be paid for prior payment periods

  • If student changes to an ineligible major within a payment period:

    • No additional disbursements

    • Prior disbursements, including for the current payment period, need not be repaid


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National SMART Grants Grade Point Average

  • For all payment periods, student must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0

    • Includes entire program – all courses required for degree in approved major

    • Calculated as of last completed payment period

    • Reviewed prior to each disbursement

    • Schools can make an “interim disbursement” at school’s risk


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National SMART Grants Grade Point Average

  • Special Rule for student who transfers after completing two or more academic years, the new school:

    • For the first payment period upon transfer, must use the grades from all coursework accepted from prior schools for GPA determination

    • For subsequent payment periods, comply with school academic policies

    • Same policy for all students


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National SMART Grants Eligibility Determination

  • No student self-identification as in ACG

  • Institutions are responsible for reviewing records to identify all eligible students:

    • ISIR for Pell Eligibility, Citizenship, and other Title IV eligibility requirements

    • Academic Records for:

      • Eligible Major or, if available, intent

      • Third or fourth academic year of enrollment

      • GPA

      • Full-time Enrollment


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Contact Information

We appreciate your feedback and comments.

We can be reached at:

Sophia McArdle

  • Phone: 202-219-7078

  • Fax: 202-502-7874

  • Email: [email protected]


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