• Accelerating Students through Concurrent Enrollment (ASCENT)


    ASCENT is a 5th year high school program that allows eligible students the opportunity to attend one year of college for free. Students join ASCENT the year after 12th grade and take all classes on a college campus. Students attend a participating technical, community, or 4 year college beginning the fall after 12th grade. ASCENT gives students a head start in earning a certificate, associate's, or bachelor's degree...all while saving time and money.

  • ASCENT Applicants (current HS Seniors)

    On April 5, 2024, all ASCENT applicants and counselors received an email informing them of their application status. Students were: 

    • Eligible and Conditionally-Eligible: Student has met, or is in the process of meeting, ASCENT eligibility requirements. If conditional, student must pass CE course(s) with a C or better this semester.
    • Not-Eligible: We have reviewed the student's application and determined the student is not, and will not become, eligible for ASCENT. If you feel a decision of "not-eligible" is incorrect, please email to re-evaluate this decision. 

    After April 5th, students eligible and interested in joining ASCENT must...

    1. Attend an informational meeting (see below)
    2. Officially accept a spot in ASCENT by June 1 (link will be shared during meeting)
    3. Pass spring CE courses (if needed for eligibility)
    4. Meet high school graduation requirements
    5. Provide ASCENT team with your high school diploma (see below), college transcripts (see below), and ASCENT Agreement Form (provided in meeting)

    Students no longer interested in ASCENT can decline their application at any time using this link. Once submitted, our team will decline their application and remove them from our communications list.


    All eligible and conditionally-eligible students must attend an ASCENT meeting before accepting a spot in the program. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the benefits and requirements of ASCENT to help students decide if the program is right for them. Meeting dates are listed below. Please attend one meeting on the day that works best for you. Spanish is available on specific dates. 

    Informational Meeting - Dates

    Attendance at an informational meeting is required before a student can accept a spot in the 2024-25 ASCENT program (required for students, recommended for parents/guardians). Students will be able to accept a spot via a link provided during the meeting.

    If you are unable to attend, following the final meeting you will be emailed a recording along with instructions for meeting the attendance requirement. Completion of the ASCENT Agreement Form will be covered at the meeting.

    Deadline to Accept ASCENT - June 1
    Eligible students have until June 1st to officially accept a spot in the 2024-25 ASCENT program. A link to accept will be shared with students during each Informational Meeting. Students must officially accept a spot in the program in order to participate. Receiving an email stating you are eligible for ASCENT is not sufficient to join the program. 

    After accepting a spot in ASCENT, students must provide the following: ASCENT agreement form, high school diploma, official or unofficial college transcripts showing credits earned toward ASCENT eligibility.

    High School Diplomas
    ASCENT applicants are allowed to receive their diplomas at graduation. Students participating in ASCENT are required to turn in their original high school diploma by June 1st. Students can bring their diploma to their high school counselor or directly to the ASCENT team. The ASCENT team will hold diplomas until a student completes or exits the program.

    College Transcripts
    CDE now requires students to provide an official or unofficial college transcript(s) showing college credits earned through Concurrent/Dual Enrollment and AP/IB/CLEP exams that count toward ASCENT eligibility. A transcript(s) must be provided for a student to participate in ASCENT. We appreciate counselors' support in helping students access transcripts if they will participate in ASCENT. See resources under "Quick Links" for guidance on how to order transcripts.

  • 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. 

  • Eligibility

    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.

  • College Partners

    ASCENT Program College Partners

    Community Colleges
    · Arapahoe Community College (ACC)
    · Community College of Aurora (CCA)
    · Community College of Denver (CCD)
    · Front Range Community College (FRCC)
    · Red Rocks Community College (RRCC)

    Technical Colleges
    · Emily Griffith Technical College (EGTC)
    · Pickens Technical College (PTC)

    · Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU) 

  • Application Process

  • Important Dates

    Important Dates

     - 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

  • College Ready Measures

  • Things to Know about ASCENT

    • DPS ASCENT pays for all tuition, fees and textbooks for the Fall and Spring semesters following 12th grade. 
    • DPS ASCENT offers chromebooks, hotspots and graphing calculators for students to use during the ASCENT year.
    • ASCENT students are considered 5th year high school students and therefore cannot accept federal or state financial aid while in the ASCENT program. Students are allowed to apply for scholarships that do not require first-time undergraduate student status.
    • ASCENT students continue to have full access to Denver Health clinics.
    • ASCENT students participate in all high school graduation activities. 
    • A high school diploma is held by ASCENT team until student completes or exits the program.
    • The official graduation date on a high school transcript will reflect the date a student completes or exits ASCENT.
    • Courses taken during ASCENT year will appear on the high school transcript however they will not impact HS GPA.
    • Students may not be able to live on campus (it varies by campus).
    • Early College, PTECH students cannot participate in ASCENT as they are excluded from the Concurrent Enrollment Programs Act.

  • ASCENT Graphic Image