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Webinar for High School and TRIO counselors March 2007. ACG and National Smart Grant. The Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 (HERA) created two new grant programs:. Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG). National Science and Mathematics
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Webinar for High School and TRIO counselors March 2007
ACG and National Smart Grant The Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 (HERA) created two new grant programs: • Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) • National Science and Mathematics • Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART)
FSA For Counselors Grants www.fsa4counselors.ed.gov
Grants Link to Fact Sheet
Common to Both Programs Authorization and Funding • Funding not subject to annual appropriations process: 2006-07 -- $790 million 2007-08 -- $850 million 2008-09 -- $920 million 2009-10 -- $960 million 2010-11 -- $1.01 billion - If funding insufficient, rateable reduction. - No reduction for 2006-07 - Funds not spent in one year are carried over to subsequent years.
Common to Both Programs Award amounts are announced by the Secretary for each Academic year . These are the amounts for Academic year 0607 ACG – • First Academic Year - $750 • Second Academic Year - $1,300 National SMART Grant – • $4,000 per year for each of the student’s third and fourth academic year of undergraduate study
Institutional Participation Common to Both Programs • All schools that participate in Pell Grants and offer an eligible educational program must participate in ACG and National SMART Grants
Common to Both Programs • ACG and National SMART are • Separate and Distinct Programs • Some Similarities • Pell Recipient • U.S. Citizen • Fulltime • ED established funding levels • Need based
Common to Both Programs Cost of Attendance (COA) - Expected Family Contribution (EFC) = Need
ACG Eligibility Requirements • U.S. citizen • Federal Pell Grant recipient for same academic year • First or second year student in a two or four year degree program • Full-time enrollment
ACG Eligibility Requirements 1st year students • May not have been previously enrolled as a regular student in a program of undergraduate education • Have completed secondary school program of study after January 1, 2006 2nd year students • Have graduated from secondary school program of study after January 1, 2005 • Have a 3.0 G.P.A. in an eligible program from 1st Title IV academic year
Rigorous Secondary School Program • ACG requires graduation from a rigorous secondary school program • ED has outlined options to meet requirement in DCL GEN-06-08
Options for Rigorous Program • State Designated Program • An advanced or honors diploma established by a state and in existence for the 04-05 or 05-06 school year • State Scholars Initiative • Submitted State Recognized Plan
Options for Rigorous Program 2. A set of courses similar to the State Scholars Initiative as outlined in the Secretary’s May 2 letter to states. • AP/IB: Successful completion of at least two courses with passing test score in those two courses of: Advanced Placement= 3 International Baccalaureate= 4
Options for Rigorous Program Coursework designated by the Secretary • 4 years of English • 3 years of math (Algebra I and above) • 3 years of science (Bio, Chem, Physics) • 3 years of social studies • 1 year of a foreign language
Options for Rigorous Program • All states responded by June 1 to Secretary’s May 2 request. • All states have one or more designated programs. • Students from every state have at least 3 ways to qualify for ACG
Analyzing Rigorous High School Credentials • An institution is required to document and retain documentation that confirms eligibility against one of the five rigorous standard options. • An institution can use which ever option is most efficient. • Including reviewing the courses approved by the Secretary which are similar to the State Scholar’s Initiative
How Do Students Apply? • On the web • When students who completed their Free application for Federal Student aid on the web at www.fafsa.ed.gov receive their confirmation that their FASFA has been received, they may be prompted to answer questions about their eligibility for ACG.
FASFA on the Web Alert www.fafsa.ed.gov
How Do Students Apply? • If they have submitted a paper FAFSA and have received their Student Aid Report (SAR) indicating that they may be eligible to answer the ACG questions, they can call the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4FEDAID.
How Do Students Apply? • The student can indicate potential by visiting /writing the Financial aid office. • The student will need to provide documentation.
How Can You Help? • As counselors, you can encourage students to take courses that would meet the definition of “rigor”. • You can assist students by providing documentation in a timely manner for the student to take to the school or provide the documentation to the school directly indicating that the student has met the criteria of “rigor”.
How Can You Help? • You can help students in AP courses understand the need to take the AP exams. • You can spread the word.
Disbursements • Once the student has demonstrated eligibility the institution will follow the rules for disbursement and determine the “academic year” for the student. • The grants are multiply disbursed.
Grade Point Average for ACG • For second academic year, a student must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 from the first academic year of eligible program. • Only determined once after completion of first academic year.
Financial Aid Professionals (FAP) Portal HERA Links www.fsa4schools.ed.gov
HERA Links Link to: Rigorous High School Program Codes
Eligible Majors • Mathematics • Physical sciences • Designated foreign languages • Computer science • Engineering • Technology • Life Sciences • Identified by CIP*
HERA Link Link to CIP Codes
Monitoring Major • Requires that a recipient– • Declare an eligible major in accordance with institution’s academic policy; or • Show intent to declare eligible major if school policy does not yet require a major. • Institution must have process to monitor that student is making progress toward completion of the program with that eligible major.
Other Eligibility Rules • This is for 3rd and 4th year students. • The student must also be Pell eligible. • It is need based. • US Citizens only • It for $4000 each year.
ContactInformation • Claire “Micki” Roemer • (202) 377-3452 • Claire.Roemer@ed.gov