Mississippi Public Universities
Academic Common Market
How ACM Helps Students
Adam Martin
The ACM has been one of the most important factors affecting my graduate level education. Without the aid of the staff from the Institutions of Higher Learning and Mississippi Common Market I would not have been able to accomplish my professional education goals. They have supplied the funding to loosen the burden on my professional education. The degree I am seeking, Master of Urban Design at UNCCS,will give me the abilities to design healthy, and resilient communities and improve the quality of life. I believe this education will provide me the opportunities to continue learning as a professional and gain experiences needed abroad. My hope is to one day bring these experiences back into the design, planning, community forming, and governmental environments in Mississippi and the south east region.

The program has saved me approximately $2,500 a semester over a 1 year period and has provided the economic leverage needed to accomplish all my life goals. A special thanks to, Pearl Pennington, Gloria Miller, Dr. Al Rankins and all the staff at the Institutions of Higher Learning, the Coordinators of the Academic Common Market, and to Dr. Johanna Watson, at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Thanks to all for assisting me with coordinating these efforts across state lines. My hope is that this program will continue to be an asset to future students following a similar path.

Adam Martin
University of North Carolina


Jay Holmes
My name is Jay Holmes and I would like to thank the Academic Common Market for the tremendous financial support they have provided me. I am near completion of my first year of graduate school in nurse anesthesia and ACM has already saved me nearly $20,000 by not having to pay out-of-state tuition. Because of the strenuous course load and many clinical hours required each week in my program, it is not possible to have a job while taking classes. ACM has greatly impacted my financial situation and has decreased my stress level over student loans extremely. I do not know how I could have managed graduate school without the help of ACM. I cannot give enough thanks for their help.

Jay Holmes
University of Tennessee


The Academic Common Market saved me roughly $10,000 over two semesters and one summer. Having the opportunity to study real estate finance and valuation at Texas A & M University in College Station has enriched my life in innumerable ways. The skills I learned here have broad application and I hope to one day create wealth and opportunity for myself and others in the state of Mississippi. The Academic Common Market and its kind administrators helped to make this leg of my journey possible, and for their support and benevolence I am grateful.

James R. Graves
Texas A&M University


The Academic Common Market benefited me in several ways. It has allowed me to obtain a Masters Degree in nursing without having a Bachelor degree. I attend the University of Tennessee Heath and Science Center and I am currently enrolled in the MSN-Clinical Nurse Leadership program. The Veteran Affairs Hospital has nationally required that Clinical Nurse Leaders work on every floor. This opportunity not only allows me to start my career as a leader, but also gives me the opportunity to work for the federal government. The academic common market has saved me $8,000.00 a semester. I am truly grateful to be able to partake in an extraordinary opportunity.

Lauren Russell
University of Tennessee Health Science Center


Brittany Chapman
Since 11th grade, I have had the desire to become a nurse anesthetist. Without the Academic Common Market, I would not be in anesthesia school. Taking on an educational venture of this magnitude is emotionally and financially taxing. The ACM has allowed me the opportunity to remove part of the financial burden by decreasing my tuition by 50%. If not for this program, my full tuition costs would exceed $100,000. I am grateful for ACM and what it provides to students: a golden opportunity to pursue their dreams and improve their lives.

Brittany Chapman
University of Alabama


Ashley Chaffin
Without the assistance from the Academic Common Market, my graduate studies would not have become a reality. After graduating from the University of Mississippi in the spring of 2011, I knew I wanted to pursue a Master's Degree in Historic Preservation and Urban Planning. With no program specific to my academic aspirations in the state of Mississippi, I looked to out of state universities. I was accepted into several programs and ultimately chose the University of Florida school of Design, Construction, and Planning.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my coursework, professors, and opportunities at the University of Florida, and I look forward another year. This summer I am fortunate to have an internship with the City of Fernandina Beach, Florida. This opportunity will help me determine if I want to practice planning in a public setting or in a private practice. I am so thankful to study a subject that I enjoy and I know I will make a difference in the field.

The out of state tuition is $31,622.51 and the in state rate that I receive through the ACM is $10,355.73. I am truly grateful for the patience and assistance of the Mississippi Academic Common Market Office.

Ashley Chaffin
University of Florida


The academic common market has helped me achieve my personal goals by allowing me to be able to return to graduate school earlier than would have otherwise been possible. With Mississippi not having a nurse anesthesia program, returning to school and paying out of state tuition would not have been an option for me for some time. I have never borrowed money, and therefore have very little credit. No banks would give me a loan for school. The only financial support I received was my FAFSA. This would have been completely drained by tuition alone (not counting books and fees) if I were to have had to pay out of state tuition. By utilizing the ACM program I was able to pay my tuition and fees, and have a small amount left for living expenses. I do not know how I would have ascertained money for rent, food, gas, and bills without this extra bit of money. This program allows students to pursue their goals while alleviating some of the stress that goes along with such an endeavor. Students have plenty to worry about without the added burden of being tens of thousands of dollars in debt the day they receive their diploma. I definitely would have reconsidered returning to school at this time if this program was not available. I have been in school for three semesters and the ACM has saved me roughly $16,000 already. I am very thankful for this program.

Thomas Parker
University of Tennessee


Pamela Camille Golden
The ACM program has made my graduate school attendance possible. Without it, I wouldn't be able to afford getting my Master's degree. Without this degree, I may not be able to get a job that fulfills my needs or wants for my career. The ACM program has saved me about $10,000. That is $10,000 that I do not have to borrow in the form of student loans. This, I'm sure, will make my life as a beginner in the career world much easier to handle and afford. I have attached a picture of my mom and me on my graduation day from college.

Pamela Camille Golden
Louisiana State University


Jack Griffith
Participating in the Academic Common Market program has made it possible for me to attend the University of Alabama and pursue my goal of majoring in Marine Science. The out of state tuition is really expensive, and I don't think I would be able to work toward this major (and still be fairly close to home) without the help of the ACM program. It's so great for people like me who don't have this major available in their home state. I estimate my family's savings to be around $12000, just this freshman year. I appreciate so much being able to take part in ACM, and offer my thanks to everyone there who has helped me.

Jack Griffith
University of Alabama


Alea D. Ausmer
With the Academic Common Market I am able to follow my dreams of becoming a certified forensic scientist. I have always dreamed of getting a master's degree. I fell in love with a program at The University of North Texas Health Science Center. Unfortunately, I was not able to find a school in my home state of Mississippi that would allow me to get a master's in forensic genetics. This school has the most prestigious scientists in the forensic field and I am grateful to have the chance to learn under them. This truly is a blessing that I was able to qualify for the ACM program. Otherwise, I would not be able to take the next step in my educational goals. I will be the first person in my family to complete a graduate degree. Therefore, my family is thankful as well that I am able to have the chance to go out of state and complete this graduate degree. With the money I am saving I will have less debt and not have such a significant financial burden when I am done with my degree. With the Academy Common Market waiver I am able to pay instate tuition of $4,098.00 instead of $14.772.00.

In the future, I see myself obtaining a position at the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command lab in Atlanta, GA, working in the D.N.A and Serology department. Also, I see myself working with the Innocence Project, an organization working to exonerate wrongfully convicted individuals by further testing of DNA. So once again, I am beyond blessed to be able to be a part of the Academic Common Market program and able to get the proper degree I need to follow my dreams.

Alea D. Ausmer
University of North Texas


As an Academic Common Market Participant, I must say I am very appreciative for the opportunity to pursue my graduate degree in the field of Nurse Anesthesia. I currently have a 3.63 GPA on a 4.0 scale after completing the first two semesters. As you are aware the State of Mississippi does not have a program in state, so having this opportunity to obtain my degree with in-state tuition has made it possible while my wife and I continue to raise our 4 children. As a husband and father, I want my children to see that hard work does pay off, and that education is the best way to open opportunities for advancement and economic independence. In-state tuition is half of what out-of-state tuition currently cost here at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Again, I thank you for your assistance in the pursuit of my goals, and I look forward to returning to my home state of Mississippi to serve as an Advance Health Care Provider.

Cornell D. Graham
University of Alabama


Robert Bobby Bowen
My experiences with ACM to this point have been wonderful. The application process was very simple. The staff has been very helpful in making sure I have completed and submitted the right information in order to receive the waiver. Once I submitted my information, the process went quickly; I was notified of my waiver within weeks. I am grateful for having the ability to participate in ACM. Without ACM, attending a school out of state would be impossible. I could not afford the tuition there. ACM has allowed me to consider many more options than I initially thought I had. I believe ACM has granted me the ability to receive an education at a school that I think fits me best. Thank you for all you do to help the students of Mississippi.

Robert "Bobby" Bowen
University of Alabama


Ellas Aldrich
I am so thankful for the help that the Academic Common Market has provided! I was accepted as a graduate student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham to pursue a Master's of Forensic Science. I was very lucky to have been accepted at UAB because it is one of the only universities in the south that offers a graduate degree in forensic science. The only problem with pursuing this degree was the out of state tuition fees. Without the help of the Academic Common Market, I would never have been able to afford to attend UAB. Overall, I am saving $417 for every credit hour that I take. I will graduate from this program in May 2013 and having a graduate degree will give me the extra edge I need to find a job. Thanks again!

Ellas Aldrich
University of Alabama at Birmingham


Electra Beard
I would like this time to say THANK YOU to the state of Mississippi for assisting me with obtaining my Masters of Nursing Degree at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, TN. I have always wanted to be a nurse however I followed a different path immediate after getting my Bachelor degree and due to me not feeling fulfilled I came back to nursing and to a program that I believe is great. Not only will I receive my Masters of Nursing I will also receive a special certificate call the Clinical Nurse Leader which will allow me to possibly go directly into a management position in nursing if I choose to. Without the assistance of the Academic Common Market I would pay at least $13,000.00 a semester however because of ACM assistance I am only responsible for $5645.00 a semester. If it was not for the assistance of the ACM I am not sure if I would have been able to obtain this degree at this time. Again thank you for your assistance!!

Electra Beard
University of Tennessee Health Science Center


Stephanie Aanstoos
The ACM has helped me tremendously and allowed me to pursue my desired degree. I currently am finishing my first of two years in the Integrated Marketing Communication program at Florida State University. IMC is a vitally important field to today's business environment, but few schools offer this unique degree.

Since I was able to get in-state tuition through the ACM and a teaching assistantship at FSU, my tuition is completely covered. Out-of-state tuition would have been $1072.18 per credit hour, or a total of $38,600 for the entire program (36 hours). In-state tuition, if I did not also have the assistantship, would be about $15,800.

I am so grateful for the Academic Common Market allowing me to receive in-state tuition since my program is not offered in Mississippi. I have been able to focus on my school work and internships, rather than having to hold another job pay for tuition or student loans, and I will now be better prepared for the career of my choice upon graduation. Thank you so much!

Stephanie Aanstoos
Florida State University


Brandon Chase Habkouk
The Academic Common Market has helped me achieve my goals by allowing me to pursue my educational endeavors without having extra thousands of dollars in loans just because my state does not offer the program. With the ACM I have been able to take out loans that I need to pay for basic amenities such as food, living, and other bills, and not have to stress about having out of state tuition lingering over my head. So far the ACM has saved me $20,500 in out of state fees and this is only my 3rd semester. Overall I will save over $40,000 in out of state fees by participating in the ACM.

Brandon Chase Habkouk
University of Tennessee Health Science Center


Evelyn C. Interis
I am writing to let you know how the Academic Common Market (ACM) program has benefitted me. I will soon be completing the first year of a Master in Public Health (MPH) degree at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), which would not have been possible without the help of the ACM program.

The ACM program has helped me achieve my educational goals by allowing me to attend graduate school in my chosen field. Mississippi, my home state, does not have an MPH program, which requires me to attain my education in another state. Out of state tuition at UAB is more than twice that for in-state residents ($5,284, versus $12,148), which would be cost-prohibitive for me to attend if not for the ACM program. Obtaining my MPH will allow me to become a public health professional in service to communities in need, which would not be possible without the ACM program.

Thank you for making this program possible. It has certainly had a huge impact in my life and has allowed me to pursue my academic interests and achieve my educational and career goals and aspirations.

Evelyn C. Interis
University of Alabama at Birmingham


Felicia Mars
I would like to say thank you for the opportunity to be charged in state tuition. I would not have been able to attend radiation therapy school if not for the ACM program. It has allowed for me to continue my dream to have a great career where I can do netter for myself and my family. I have saved me about $13,000 total on tuition through the ACM program. I am very thankful for this opportunity!

Also, I had trouble with my school receiving the information that I was accepted. I called Mrs. Miller and she was so sweet and helped me out immediately. I was very impressed how nice and willingly she helped me and made sure the correct information got to the right person.

Felicia Mars
University of South Alabama


The Petroleum Services degree that I am pursuing is not available in Mississippi. It is available in Louisiana, but I could not afford the out of state tuition. When I heard about the Academic Common Market program, I knew that Jesus had answered my prayers. Without continuing my education, I would not be able to continue my career in the oil field. This is because I have degenerative disc disease, which does not mix well with the physical nature of working on a drilling rig. I have several herniated discs, bulging discs and spinal stenosis. So I will have to have surgery in the future. This degree will put me in a situation where I won't be doing manual labor, and I could have the surgery whenever I needed. I will have the job that I always dreamed of; I will be a Drilling Representative trainee. So without exaggeration, I can say that the Academic Common Market program has changed my life and helped me achieve my career goals. Thank you for all your help. Your work is not going unnoticed.

Darrell Maistros
Nicholls State University


Christina Thomas
I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who makes the Academic Common Market available to us students who are forced to go out of Mississippi to advance our education in programs that are not offered within our state. I am a long time participant of the Academic Common market and without it would not have been able to pursue my Bachelors and Masters in such a specialized area of Radiologic Technology.

Christina Thomas
Midwestern State University


I would like to take this time to express my sincerest gratitude and appreciation for what the Academic Common Market has made available to me. With this resource, I am able to achieve my aspirations of becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist in spite of the fact that my home state, Mississippi, lacks a program of this sort. Financially speaking, the ACM reduces my tuition by $37,000. I can never be thankful enough for the opportunity this provides for me and how it will provide for the future of my family. I have nineteen more months remaining in this program and cannot wait to finish as my new profession more than triple my old income! To God be the glory for His will and this opportunity.

Stuart L. Britt
University of Alabama


Jason P. Kiger
Without academic common market, my dream of attending graduate school would not be realized, it is that simple. Financially there is no way my family could have afforded it at this time. I cannot begin to tell you how important this has been not only to me and my wife, but also my parents. I am the youngest of four children and the only one to attend and graduate college. Although he had only a fourth grade education, my father stressed the importance of hard work and education. Before his death, I promised I would find a way to take care of my mother and because of academic common market that promise will come to fruition. Thank you.

Jason P. Kiger
University of Tennessee