Accelerating Students through Concurrent Enrollment (ASCENT)
ASCENT is a 5th year high school program allowing students to attend college full-time for free for one year after high school. Students in the ASCENT program can attend a participating technical, community, or 4 year college following graduation from high school.
What is ASCENT?
ACCELERATING STUDENTS THROUGH CONCURRENT ENROLLMENT (ASCENT) is a 5th year high school program funded by the state that allows DPS to pay tuition and fees for one full year of college (fall and spring semesters) for participating students. Students can enroll at one of eight participating colleges and universities (see 'College Partners', below).
Passed into law in 2009 as an extension of the Concurrent Enrollment program, the purpose of ASCENT is to create a streamlined path for students to earn college credits toward an associate’s degree, bachelor's degree or industry certification...all while saving time and money. Any DPS student can participate in ASCENT the year after graduation if they meet the eligibility requirements of the program.
The DPS team provides ASCENT students wraparound services including academic, social-emotional and financial support throughout their first year of college to support the critical transition from high school to college.
Who is Eligible for ASCENT?
Students with at least 9 credit hours of college coursework by graduation may be eligible for the ASCENT program.
To be eligible for the program, a student must:
- Meet all DPS high school graduation requirements by end of senior year
- Complete and pass 9 credit hours of college coursework by the end of senior year:
- 100-level or higher Concurrent Enrollment course w/a C or better and listed on a student’s high school and college transcripts;
- Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) exams taken prior to senior year may count toward the 9 credits needed for eligibility with specific exam scores*
- CLEP exam scores may count toward the 9 credits needed with specific exam scores*
- Apply and be admitted to the college or university you will attend during your ASCENT year (list of partners below)
- Be college ready in English and Mathematics in your desired career pathway (does not apply to students attending EGTC and PTC)
- Be in the Class of 2024 (cannot be a Year 13 or 5th year HS student)
- Be less than 21 years old as of October 1st after graduation
- Graduate from a traditional, pathway or charter school in DPS (not an Early College or PTECH HS)
*exams must be transcripted on a college transcript no later than June 30th of a student's 12th grade year.
ASCENT Program College Partners
· Arapahoe Community College (ACC)
· Community College of Aurora (CCA)
· Community College of Denver (CCD)
· Front Range Community College (FRCC)
· Red Rocks Community College (RRCC)
· Emily Griffith Technical College (EGTC)
· Pickens Technical College (PTC)
· Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU)
- November 1, 2023: ASCENT Application Opens
- March 1, 2024: ASCENT Application Deadline
- April/May 2024:
- Official offer to join ASCENT emailed to applicants who have met ASCENT eligibility requirements, including those pending spring CE grades
- Students must attend a mandatory informational meeting in April/May prior to accepting a slot in the ASCENT program
- Students must provide the ASCENT team with their HS diploma and an unofficial college transcript no later than June 1, 2024. Your diploma will be returned upon completion or exit of the program
- June 1, 2024: Deadline for students to accept/decline an ASCENT slot for 2024-25 school year
Students should work with their high school counselor and/or DSF Advisor to complete the ASCENT Application by the March 1, 2024 deadline.
Counselors: All forms and links posted in Schoology Course: DPS Concurrent Enrollment and ASCENT.