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Summary: Update to IFAP Web site with Frequently Asked Questions on ACG and National SMART Grant awards

Publication Date: July 19, 2006

Author: G. Kay Jacks, General Manager, Application, Operations and Delivery Services, Federal Student Aid

Summary: Update to IFAP Web site with Frequently Asked Questions on ACG and National SMART Grant awards

Posted on 07-19-2006

As explained in Dear Colleague Letter GEN-06-04, the Higher Education Reconciliation Act of 2005 (the HERA), Pub. L. 109-171, created the Academic Competitiveness Grant (ACG) Program and the National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grant (National SMART Grant) effective July 1, 2006. ACG and National SMART Grant awards are available for eligible students beginning with the 2006-2007 Award Year.

After each Webinar and training session we collected and categorized the questions that were submitted, and several of the questions and scenarios appeared multiple times. To assist schools as they begin to identify students who are eligible to receive ACG and National SMART Grant awards, we have posted some of these Frequently Asked Questions under the HERA information link located on the main IFAP page. The Frequently Asked Questions on ACG and National SMART Grants button appears in the left hand margin of the page. Clicking on this button yields a drop down menu of the following 13 categories:

  • General Eligibility/Changes to Eligibility
  • Rigorous Course of Study Requirements
  • Eligible Major and Program of Study
  • GPA Requirement
  • Transfer Students and Transfer Credits
  • Academic Year Definitions
  • Previously Enrolled Definition
  • Award Amounts
  • Disbursement Rules
  • COD/Allocation of Funds
  • Data Transfer
  • Return to Title IV
  • Student Web Process for ACG

Filed under each heading are the some of the common questions and answers. The questions contain both broad and specific subject matters; however, many of the specific questions can be generalized to scenarios at different schools.

If you have an unanswered question after browsing the list of topics, you may submit an individual question by clicking the last button in the drop-down menu entitled, “Submit Your ACG & SMART Question.”

We will continue to receive questions and make periodic updates to the site. Following each question and answer is a “Posted on” date that will reflect the updated status of the document. The first posting occurred on July 17, 2006.

Reminder: The Department of Education (the Department) issued regulations to implement the provisions of the HERA on July 3, 2006 (71 FR 37990); however, the regulations are not effective until August 2, 2006. Program participants should implement the provisions of the HERA in accordance with sub regulatory guidance provided by the Department in Dear Colleague Letters and other materials, such as the Frequently Asked Questions, until the regulations are effective.

Contact Information

We appreciate your partnership in serving ACG and National SMART Grant recipients and hope this information is helpful to you.

If you have questions about the information in this announcement, e-mail us at

Last Modified: 07/18/2006