Facts and Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions about ACE:
What is the ACE program?
Achieving a College Education (ACE) is scholarship program to help high school students earn college credit. Successful ACE students earn 24 college credits, learn skills, and develop opportunities for growth.
Who can apply to the ACE program?
Any high school sophomore who attends a Maricopa county high school may apply. The application period varies, but opens in November each year. Because of the 2-year duration of the program, only sophomores may apply. Selection is competitive; approximately 30% of all students who apply are selected.
How do I apply to ACE?
Contact the ACE office to request an application packet. The packet includes a program application, a GCC Student Information Form (SIF), and a request for two letters of recommendation, a written essay, and an unofficial high school transcript.
When will I be notified if I am accepted?
All students will be notified in January/February each year.
How much money will the ACE program cost?
The ACE program is free to students. There is no charge for college tuition or fees. Students must purchase required textbooks and provide their own transportation to and from campus.
When will I take the college classes?
If you are selected to participate in the ACE program, you will attend college classes during the following periods:
- Summer 2016: Two classes, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday. 6 credits.
- Fall 2016: One class on Saturday, 9-11:45 a.m. 3 credits.
- Spring 2017: One class on Saturday, 9-11:45 a.m. 3 credits.
- Summer 2017: Two classes, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday. 6 credits.
- Fall 2017: One class on Saturday, 9-11:45 a.m. 3 credits.
- Spring 2018: One class on Saturday, 9-11:45 a.m. 3 credits.
A total of 24 credits is possible. Your ACE scholarship ends upon your graduation from high school. At that point, your ACE Program advisor will help you decide where you might want to continue your college studies.
What classes will I be a taking?
See ACE College Credit Courses. Once you have been accepted into the program, you will take an assessment test to determine your readiness for college-level English and Reading courses. Your ACE Program advisor (similar to an Academic Counselor) will help you choose your classes.
What can I do with the college credits that I earn?
Credit hours from all 100-level college courses (or above), are transferable to any accredited college or university. Courses below 100-level (e.g., ENG 081, ENG 091, RDG 081, RDG 091) are developmental courses that will help you improve your writing or reading skills to raise them to the college level. You will earn college credit for these courses, but they will not transfer.
If I am accepted, what placement test will I take and how can I prepare for it?
You will take the Accuplacer test for English (writing) and Reading. The Accuplacer test is computerized and it is NOT timed. Practice tests and worksheets will help you prepare. Since the GCC ACE program does not include math courses, you will not take the math placement test.
What are some other ways to earn college credit besides the ACE program?
1. Ask your high school counselor about Advanced Placement (AP) classes. AP and/or credit may be granted to students who have satisfactorily completed College Board Advanced Placement Examinations during high school. See “Credit for Prior Learning” in the GCC college catalog (beginning on page 18).
2. Dual Enrollment: GCC's Dual Enrollment Program is a great way for high school juniors and seniors to get a head start on their college education. Learn more about Dual Enrollment.
3. Any high school student can take college courses at GCC. There are specific admission procedures for students under age 18 and you'll be required to pay all tuition and fees.
Does GCC offer a Junior ACE program for middle school-aged students?
No, but Junior ACE programs are offered at Phoenix College, Estrella Mountain Community College, South Mountain Community College, Scottsdale Community College, and Gateway College. Please contact these colleges for more information.
Important Fall 2015 Dates:
- No Classes Saturday, November 28, 2015 (Thanksgiving).
- Last day of ACE classes: Saturday, December 12, 2015.
Tues.-Fri. 8 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Sat. 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Mon.- Thurs. 7 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.