Get a year or more of college paid for!
ASCENT is a program that pays tuition for students to take a year of college courses at a community college after their senior year. If a student plans appropriately, they can complete that 5th year of High School with as much as two years of college paid for.
|9th- 11th Grade||
Determine if ASCENT is appropriate for your academic plan
Earn a minimum of 12 college credits with a grade of C or better (AP/IB test scores do not apply unless they have been accepted by a college)
|October of 12th grade||
Apply for FAFSA
Research College Scholarship opportunities
|December of 12th grade||
With your counselor, complete this checklist
Submit ASCENT Letter of Intent to Counselor
|January of 12th grade||Apply to Community College (includes signing up for COF)|
|February of 12th grade||Complete and submit a one page essay explaining why you want to participate in ASCENT. Submit to your counselor the completed and signed Agreement Form (English / Spanish), and High School and College Transcripts|
|May of 12th grade||Walk with your graduation class|
|End of May||ASCENT notifications determined|
|June 30||Confirm you will participate in the ASCENT program|
- What is ASCENT?
- How would ASCENT benefit students?
- How do students qualify for the program?
- Should all qualified students participate in ASCENT?
- How much college tuition will Boulder Valley School District pay?
- Do students have to reimburse Boulder Valley School District for the cost of tuition?
- Will Boulder Valley School District pay for student’s room, board, books, supplies, and fees at the college?
- Does participating in this program impact the amount of financial aid a student may receive?
- If students stay enrolled at the high school for a 5th year, when will they be considered a high school graduate?
- Will students be able to participate in a high school graduation?
- Where can students take college classes?
- Is there a limit to the number of credits a student can take?
- Are students required to participate for the entire school year?
- Which college classes can a student take?
- Can a student participate in college activities and athletics?
- Can a student live in the dorms?
- Will Boulder Valley School District provide transportation to the college?
- What else does a student need to know?
- When do students have to decide and commit to the program?
- What do students need to do now?
ASCENT (Accelerating Students through Concurrent Enrollment) is a “5th Year Program” in which seniors remain enrolled in high school and take a year of college classes. To qualify, students need to have met all of their high school graduation requirements and have 12 credit hours of college-level courses prior to the end of their senior year.
Remain enrolled at the high school for a fifth year (they do not attend classes at the high school)
Be under the age of 21.
Have a GPA of at least 2.0.
Be on track to meet all high school graduation requirements by the end of their 4th year.
- Have completed, or be on track to complete at least 12 credit hours of college coursework prior to the end of their 4th year of high school. There are a variety of ways to get college credit while in high school. AP and IB classes do not count unless test scores have already been accepted by a Community College. Please talk to the college’s concurrent enrollment liaison for more details.
Not be in need of basic skills or remedial course work as defined by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education’s (CCHE) remedial education policy.
Have satisfied the minimum prerequisites for the college courses before enrollment in the course, including having the required ACT, SAT, or Accuplacer scores. Students are responsible for providing ACT/SAT/ACCUPLACER scores to their counselor for verification.
Complete an Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) with high school counselor.
Apply to and be accepted into Front Range Community College.
Have not participated in the ASCENT program in previous years.
No. The following students should not participate:
Students who want to attend college out of state their freshman year.
Students who want to play inter-collegiate sports (NCAA) their freshman year.
Students who will require federal financial aid (federal student loans, federal grants) to cover expenses not covered by ASCENT. For example, some students may benefit from accepting a federal Pell Grant rather than participate in ASCENT, as Pell Grants generally cover an entire year’s expense at local community colleges or more than ASCENT at a four year college.
Yes. Students are not eligible for any federal student financial aid including federal student loans and grants while participating in ASCENT. Students will qualify for federal aid after they have completed or dropped the program. Students may disqualify themselves from certain scholarships or grants since 12 semester hours or more earned in college may cause the student to be classified as a transfer student rather than a freshman. It is important for families to weigh all of their financial options before committing to the ASCENT program. Please be sure to consult with your high school counselor for help with this important decision.
Until students complete the 5th year ASCENT program, they will still be classified as a high school student. High school transcripts will show high school graduation requirements have been met and the student is considered enrolled in ASCENT for a 5th year. Once students complete or stop participating in the ASCENT program, they will receive their high school diploma and be classified as a high school graduate.
If a student is taking classes during the 5th year through ASCENT, there is no limit to the maximum number of credit hours a student can take unless otherwise restricted per a college’s maximum credit policy. However, Boulder Valley School District will require a minimum number of 12 credit hours each semester to participate in ASCENT if student has requested and was granted full time status. Part time status requires a minimum of 3 credit hours and no more than 11 credit hours per semester.
Students may only participate in the ASCENT program for one academic year.
Online classes and summer classes are not covered under the ASCENT program.
Students will have to apply for and use the Colorado Opportunity Fund (COF).
The grades a student receives in the college classes will appear on both their high school transcript and college transcript.
Undocumented students can participate in ASCENT.