ACE Program

Welcome! We're excited to have you as a GateWay Gecko student

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

The mission of the ACE Program is to academically prepare students, increase graduation rates among first generation college bound students, and to assist students in making a seamless transition from high school into community college and then to transfer into a four-year university to complete a baccalaureate degree.

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Program Applicant Requirements

Application Process

Who Qualifies?

The ACE program is looking for high school sophomores who have taken at least 6 high school credits at the time of application submission and who meet two or more of the following criteria*:

  • First generation to attend college
  • Living in a single-parent home
  • Member of an underrepresented group
  • Experiencing economic hardship
  • Environmental factors, such as:
    • Working 10 to 30 hours per week while attending high school
    • Living in foster care or temporary housing
    • Teen parent

*Even if you think you might not fit all the requirements, we still encourage you to apply and let us decide.

The Benefits of Being an ACE Student

  • Get a jump start on earning college credit
  • Cultural events, guest speakers, workshops, and field trips
  • One-on-one advising
  • Cohorted classes
  • On-campus experience and resources: tutoring, counseling, library, computer lab, and more

Participants in the ACE Program will also receive the following:

  • Paid Tuition, earn up to 24-college credits
  • Books
  • Bus Passes
Application Steps

Application Steps

  1. Complete and submit an online application.
    What is needed for the application:
    • Two complete recommendations (full name and email address)
    • Personal essay (300 words)
    • College Student Information Release form
    • Unofficial high school transcripts
  2. Your completed application will be evaluated per the selection criteria listed above.
  3. You will be notified by letter of the status of your application by February of your sophomore year.
  4. Students who are accepted into the ACE program, you will receive a scholarship offer to attend the GateWay ACE program their junior and senior year.
  5. You will be required to attend a mandatory New ACE Student/Parent Orientation.

Priority Deadline: Friday, December 15, 2023

Apply Now

Use the "Apply Now" button to create an account and start your ACE application

Return to Application

Use the "Return to Application" to return to a saved application.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fall and Spring Semester: Every Saturday

Summer Semester: Monday – Thursday

Participating High Schools*

  • Camelback High School
  • Central High School
  • Carl Hayden High School
  • Metro Tech High School
  • Cesar Chavez High School
  • GateWay Early College High School
  • Academies at South Mountain 
  • Mountain Pointe High School
  • Tempe High School

*List represents only a partial number of high schools where we recruit.

The following lists include just some examples of classes you will take during your participation in each of the specified career pathways.

  • Business/Entrepreneurial/Management 
  • Health
  • S.T.E.M.
  • Art/Visual Arts/Performance

* Please note: Classes offered are subject to change based on student enrollment and class availability.

Program Contact Information

ACE Office Location

GateWay Community College - Washington Campus

Main Building, Room MA1372

108 North 40th Street

Phoenix, Arizona 85034

Phone: (602) 286-8195


Hours of Operation

Fall and Spring Semester

Tuesday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sunday & Monday: Closed

Summer Semester

Monday – Thursday: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Friday – Sunday: Closed