This merit award was first introduced in the year 2006-2007.Thi grant is given to meritorious students who meet other eligibility criteria. This Competitiveness grant is given in addition to the Pell Grant. A maximum of $750 is paid for the first year of the undergraduate program and $1300 for the second year. The grant is paid to Pell Grant recipients who are full time undergraduate students and completed a rigorous high school program in US.
The candidates need to meet the following minimum eligibility conditions for availing the academic competitiveness grant.
1. Must be a US citizen or an eligible non US citizen.
2. Must be a Pell Grant recipient.
3. Must be a student enrolled at least half time in a degree program.
4. Must be a first year or second year student in a degree course
5. Must have at least a cumulative 3.0 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale at the end of the first year for a second year degree student.
The Secretary of Education recognizes at least one rigorous secondary school program of study every year for each American state. The following high school programs are recognized as a rigorous study program for the award of academic competitiveness grant.
1. High school program of State Education agencies and state authorized Local Education Agencies.
2. Advanced or honors secondary school programs.
3. Secondary school recognized by Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) of Boulder, Colorado.
4. Having completed at least two courses in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program with a score of four or higher
5. Having completed at least two Advanced Placement (AP) courses with a score of three or higher in the College Board examination.
6. A secondary school program having,
a. Four years of English;
b.Three years of Math;
c.Three years of Science;
d.Three years of Social Studies;
e.One year of a language other than English.
It is a pre condition that the amount of the amount of academic competitiveness grant when combined with Pell Grant shall never exceed the cost of attendance to a degree program. The grant money may suitably reduce if the numbers of eligible recipients are large enough.