Achieving a College Education (ACE)


The transition from high school to college can be challenging — especially if there are financial barriers in your way. Achieving a College Education (ACE) helps make it easier and can help ensure your success.

Please use our online application to apply for the ACE program.

ACE is an early college two-year scholarship preparation program designed to help first-generation, underrepresented, financially disadvantaged college-bound students succeed.

Juniors & Seniors Earn Up to 24 College Credits

Through the program, you can earn up to 24 college credits during your junior and senior years of high school. You’ll take classes on the CGCC campus to experience and get used to a college environment and ease your transition.

Class Dates for Summer, Spring, and Fall

Summer classes begin in June and are held on Saturdays during the fall and spring semesters.

Resources for Students & Families

During the program, ACE students and their families participate in an orientation as well as activities and events like financial aid workshops to keep them informed and connected. ACE students enrolled at CGCC are considered college students, with all the corresponding rights, responsibilities, privileges, and benefits.


To be eligible for ACE, current high school sophomores must have taken at least 6 high school credits by the time they apply and meet two or more of the following criteria:

  • First generation to attend college
  • Single-parent home
  • Underrepresented group
  • Economic hardship
  • Environmental factors (works 10-30 hours, lives in foster care, lives in temporary housing, is a teen parent)

  1. Submit a complete application packet, which includes the following:
    • ACE program application
    • College admissions application
    • Two (2) completed recommendation forms
    • Personal essay
    • Education and record release form
    • Statement of commitment form
    • Unofficial high school transcripts 
    • Proof of age (under 18) – Provide a government-issued photo ID online or in person at Admissions and Records
    • Proof of residency – Provide documentation verifying your citizenship and residency status online or in person at Admissions and Records
  2. Your completed application will be evaluated based on the selection criteria listed above.
  3. You will be notified by letter on the status of your application by January of your sophomore year.
  4. If you are accepted into the ACE program, you will receive a scholarship offer to attend the ACE program for your junior and senior year, as well as the ACE Student/Parent Orientation New Student Kick-Off event.

Applications are accepted for the ACE Program annually, starting in September. Check with your high school counselor to see when ACE will be on your campus to recruit students for the program.

The following is an estimated timeline for the ACE application submission process.

  • September to November: Applications are available and recruitment presentations are held at area high schools. Check with your counselor for more information.
  • January: Notifications are sent confirming the ACE application was received and will be considered for committee review.
  • February: Letters of conditional acceptance and denial are mailed to students via USPS.
  • March: Mandatory Preliminary New Student/Parent Orientation and placement testing are conducted for all accepted students.
  • May: Mandatory Final New Student Orientation for all accepted students.
  • June: First day of ACE college classes!

  • Academic assessment and college orientation
  • Academic advising
  • University field trips
  • Parent/guardian seminars
  • Financial aid and scholarship workshops

ACE seeks to:

  • Increase the number of students graduating from high school
  • Increase the number of students continuing onto college after ACE
  • Increase the number of degrees or certificates earned

Chandler Unified School District

  • Chandler High School
  • Basha High School
  • Casteel High School
  • Hamilton High School
  • Perry High School
  • El Dorado High School

Gilbert Public Schools

  • Campo Verde High School
  • Desert Ridge High School
  • Gilbert High School
  • Highland High School
  • Mesquite High School

Higley Unified School District

  • Higley High School
  • Williams Field High School

Queen Creek High School District

  • Queen Creek High School

Charter High Schools

  • Arizona Virtual Academy
  • Learning Foundation and Performing Arts (LFPA)
  • Academy with Community Partners (ACP)