Accelerating Students through Concurrent ENrollmenT or ASCENT is a program created by Colorado law that allows Denver Public Schools and other school districts to pay the tuition, fees and cost of textbooks for one full year (fall and spring semesters) of college for participating students.
Passed into law in 2009, the purpose of ASCENT is to improve academic programming and create a path for students to enroll in college courses and earn credits while in high school.
Specifically, the program gives high school students the opportunity to attend college as full-time students if they have met the specific qualifications. Students are eligible to enroll in a minimum of 12 credit hours each semester at one of many participating community or technical colleges.
The program gives students the chance to get a head start on earning a certificate, associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree while saving money.
How to Qualify
- Apply by submitting ASCENT Agreement and Registration form by December 14th of senior year.
- Submit one-page essay and one letter of recommendation by March 5th of senior year.
- Meet all DPS high school graduation requirements by the end of their senior year.
- Complete and pass 12 credit hours (typically four classes) of college coursework prior to the end of the 12th grade year. These courses must be 100-level or higher and must be on the student’s high school and college transcripts. Advanced Placement (AP), College Level Examination Program (CLEP), and International Baccalaureate (IB) transcripted coursework may also count toward the 12 credits with specific exam scores.
- Have at least 2.75 cumulative or overall GPA – strongly suggested.
- Apply and be admitted to any Colorado community college and/or technical school (Emily Griffith Technical College and Pickens Technical College exclusively). (See below for list of the ASCENT program’s college partners.)
- Must be college ready for the courses in their degree or certificate programs and not need remediation (determined by SAT/ACCUPLACER subject scores and/or the passing of Concurrent Enrollment developmental education courses – CCR 092 and MAT 050 or 055 with a grade of “C” or higher). Generally, students need to have a SAT Reading-Writing score of 470 and Math 500 or ACCUPLACER Sentence Skills score of 95 and Elementary Algebra 85.
- Register with College Opportunity Fund (COF).
ASCENT Program College Partners
- Arapahoe Community College (ACC)
- Community College of Aurora (CCA)
- Community College of Denver (CCD)
- Emily Griffith Technical College (EGTC)
- Front Range Community College (FRCC)
- Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU)
- Pickens Technical College (PTC)
- Red Rocks Community College (RRCC)