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ACE Puente / Youth ACE Program

ACE PuenteACE Puente is Rio Salado College's scholarship program that assists at-risk high-school students with getting a head start on college. ACE stands for Achieving a College Education and Puente stands for bridging high school students into college. ACE Puente participants are recruited in their sophomore year of high school. Students take hybrid and online college courses while in their junior and senior years, allowing them to graduate with up to 24 college credits.

While simultaneously attending Rio Salado College and high school, students in the program will become a member of a cohort, giving them an opportunity to socialize with their peers, be a part of an eLearning community, and attend workshops only open to ACE participants. 

Program Advantages

  • Gain up to 24 college credits
  • Get a head start on college
  • Gain exposure to college classes through online learning
  • Save money on tuition 
  • Personalized attention 
  • Ability to transfer college credits to a university
  • Achieve educational goals in a shorter time
  • Tuition is funded by the program

Who can participate?

To be eligible for the ACE Puente program, students must be high school sophomores who meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • First generation to attend college
  • Living in single parent home, foster care or temporary housing
  • Economic hardship
  • Underrepresented group 
  • Legacy-sibling or relative of an ACE participant 
  • Works 10-30 hours per week
  • Teen parent
  • Voluntarily discloses physical/mental disabilities

How much money will the ACE program cost?

The ACE program is free to students. There is no charge for college tuition. Students must purchase required textbooks and pay the $15 registration fee every semester.

When will I take the college classes?

If you are selected to participate in the ACE program, all of your courses will be online in the following format:

  • Summer: Two classes
  • Fall: One class
  • Spring: One class
  • Summer: Two classes
  • Fall: One class
  • Spring: One class

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.

Will I come to campus on Saturdays?

The Rio Salado ACE Program is online. You will be expected to participate in workshops which will be typically held on the third Saturday of the month in September, October, November, February, March, April and June.

ACE Puente