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Accelerating Students through Concurrent Enrollment (ASCENT) Option
ASCENT: Accelerating Students through Concurrent ENrollmenT
Learn about the benefits, challenges and costs of participating in ASCENT.
Listen to what students and school counselors think about this option, if offered at your school.
No tuition cost to you
There is no tuition cost for ASCENT courses, though you may have to pay for books, supplies or fees (check with your school). The tuition bill is paid by your school district.
Save money and time on college
By taking ASCENT courses while in high school at no tuition cost, you save money and time by not having to take and pay for those courses when you enroll in college after you graduate high school. Learn more about the costs of college here: How Much Does College Cost?
Guaranteed credit transfer
ASCENT courses are guaranteed to transfer to any public institution within the state of Colorado. However, while courses transfer, it is still important to determine if they will apply to your college degree or certificate. Learn more about the transfer of credits here: How Will My Credits Transfer?
1 full year of college credit accumulation
By participating in the ASCENT program and enroll full-time in each semester, you can potentially accumulate one full year of college credit at no tuition cost.
There are a limited number of ASCENT slots in the state, which means that not every school has ASCENT slots to offer. Ask your school counselor if ASCENT is available at your school.
ASCENT eligibility requirements
There are several requirements you need to meet to be eligible to participate in ASCENT. Find out what the state requirements are here. Also, check with your school to find out if it has more requirements.
Not receiving your diploma until after ASCENT
You will continue to be classified as a high school student with your current school district, which means you will not receive your diploma until you complete your 5th year of high school in the ASCENT program. Check with your school to find out if you can participate in graduation ceremonies with your current classmates or not.
Not receiving scholarships or financial aid until after ASCENT
Before you learn if you have been selected as an ASCENT student, you may be applying for and receiving scholarships or financial aid as if you were graduating in your regular 4th year of high school. However, once you accept to participate in ASCENT, you may not be eligible to receive scholarships and financial aid since you have decided to remain in HS for a 5th year. One thing to consider: if the scholarships and financial aid packages you receive end up being a better opportunity for you, you may not want to participate in ASCENT. If at any point you decide to give up your ASCENT slot, you should notify your school right away, in case another student wants to participate.
You may have to pay for books, supplies or fees
Some schools cover these costs and some schools do not. Check with your school to find out who is responsible. Also, some ASCENT courses use free books and resources called Open Education Resources (OER). Check with your instructor before purchasing or renting books. Fees may include things like: course fees, lab fees, parking fees, etc. Check your college student account to review your bill.
You may have to pay the cost to get to your class if it is taught on a college campus
Your school district is not required to cover your transportation costs if you take a ASCENT class at a college campus. Paying for gas in your car or a paying for a bus pass is your responsibility.
You may be required to pay tuition costs if you do not complete or fail your ASCENT course
If you do not receive approval from your school to drop or withdraw from your course or if you earn a failing grade in the course, you may have to reimburse the tuition costs to your school district. The form that you and your parent/guardian sign to participate in ASCENT should include this information.
Authorize your College Opportunity Fund (COF)
You need to authorize COF to help pay for your college courses. COF is a stipend provided by the state to help cover a portion of tuition. Learn more about COF here. Please note that college-level credits earned through ASCENT will be deducted from your 145 COF lifetime credits account maximum.
Hear From a Student
Hear From a School Counselor
Want more details?
Still have more questions?
Talk with your school counselor about the specifics of participating in ASCENT at your school.