From 1983 to 2014, the price of college has risen 260 percent according to businessinsider.com. Desperate students looking for college funding are turning to the ACE program. The ACE program, created in 1983, assists students with their financial needs for college. This program enrolls Arizona high school sophomores in college and gives them the opportunity to earn 24 college credits for free before graduating high school.
With Red Mountain 19.4 miles away from Mesa Community College, many Red Mountain students do not have a way to get to Mesa Community College to attend the ACE program.
“Since 2003 only 203 Red Mountain students have applied for this opportunity. Only 93 students fit at least two of the criteria that we are looking for and only 53 students actually went through with the program,” ACE Director Angela Chavez said. “We are really wanting to have more students from Red Mountain join, but the location of Red Mountain makes it harder for the students to commit to the program.”
“The ACE Program has allowed me to earn enough credits to qualify as a college sophomore, while also giving me the opportunity to explore my career field by sending me to the National Society of Black Engineers National Convention.”
– Demetrius Stroughter II
This program creates a pathway for students to become more equipped for college and allows students to explore different professional career options.
“The ACE program has allowed me to be more prepared for the future and what it takes become a nurse,” senior Bianca Duran said. “This program also allows me to be aware of the tiny details and steps that is needed along my path.”
As long as each student stays enrolled with Mesa Community College until the time of graduation, the ACE program will provide enough college credits to send a student into their sophomore year of college, and the program will help create many more opportunities for students to get real world experiences and scholarship money.
“The ACE Program has allowed me to earn enough credits to qualify as a college sophomore, while also giving me the opportunity to explore my career field by sending me to the National Society of Black Engineers National Convention,” ACE Alumni Demetrius Stroughter II said. “I was also able to earn a $6,000 scholarship because I was an ACE student. I am now in my second year on a full ride at the University of Arizona as an industrial engineering student, and I can say that I owe a lot of my success to the Maricopa ACE Program.”
The program runs on Saturdays during the fall and spring semesters. For the first month of summer, the program runs Mondays through Thursdays. For more information about the ACE program and the deadline on Dec. 7, 2016, go to Ms. Willis in the Career Center.
(Featured photo by Angela Chavez)