ASCENT - Accelerating Students through Concurrent Enrollment
Get a year or more of college paid for!
ASCENT is a program that pays Front Range Community College tuition for students to take a year of college courses after their senior year. If a student plans appropriately, they could complete that 5th year of High School with as much as two years of college completed and paid for.
- 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?
In May 2009, the Colorado State Legislature passed House Bill 09-1319 and Senate Bill 09-285, the Concurrent Enrollment Programs Act. The collective intent is to broaden access to and improve the quality of concurrent enrollment programs, improve coordination between institutions of secondary education and institutions of higher education, and ensure financial transparency and accountability.
This legislation also created the ASCENT program.
ASCENT stands for Accelerating Students through Concurrent Enrollment. It is a “5th Year Program” that allows seniors to remain enrolled at the high school and take a fifth year consisting entirely of college classes, if they have met all of their high school graduation requirements and have taken 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 senior (4th) year.
- Have completed, or be on track to complete at least 12 credit hours of college coursework prior to the completion of the 12th grade year. Concurrent Enrollment classes count. AP and IB classes do not count as they are high school classes, but if a student is enrolled in a college class while in high school, the college in which they are enrolled may transcript AP/IB courses. 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 the Colorado postsecondary institution where they plan to take college classes.
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.
Boulder Valley School District will pay tuition at the local community college tuition rate. If a student attends a school other than a community college, they will only be eligible for the amount of tuition at the local community college tuition rate. The payment of any tuition charged above the community college rate would be the responsibility of the student. Students are also responsible for payment of fees and books.
Students who pass their classes with a grade of “C” or better do not reimburse Boulder Valley School District for the amount of tuition paid. However, students who drop a course after the college drop deadline or receive a failing grade (“D” or “F”) will be required to reimburse the district for the amount of tuition paid.
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.
Students can take classes at any two-year or four-year Colorado school that has an ASCENT agreement in place with Boulder Valley School District. Currently, BVSD has an agreement with Front Range Community College. If students are interested in attending a different institution, they should consult with Margaret Crespo, to inquire whether other agreements can be put into place.
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.
|9th- 11th Grade||
Determine if ASCENT is appropriate for your academic plan
|9th-12th Grade||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|
|Ongoing||Research College Scholarship opportunities|
|December of 12th grade||Submit ASCENT Letter of Intent to Counselor|
|January of 12th grade||Apply to Front Range Community College (includes signing up for COF)|
|February of 12th grade||Complete and submit BVSD ASCENT Letter of Interest, Checklist, 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|