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Our Mission & Success Stories

Our mission is to empower students with lived experience in foster care to transform their lives through higher education.

Ace Scholars ServicesACE Scholars Services is an innovative, top-tier program at California State University San Marcos (CSUSM) designed to support former foster youth at a time when they need it most.

The ACE program is not an extension of the state foster care system. Instead, it's about ensuring academic success upon exiting the system — and making the transition from being cared for, to caring for oneself.

Our primary objective is to meet the unique needs of students who are former foster youth through services and support systems that will improve their rates of matriculation, graduation, and career success.

Quite simply, we transform lives, one degree at a time...

Learn more about the accomplishments of ACE Scholars Services in the Annual Review.

The faces of ACE: A sampling of our amazing students

A successful mission: ACE by the numbers

Pie chart showing 86 percent

ACE boasts an 86% persistence rate — far greater than the national average of 50%

Bar chart showing almost 40 total college graduates

ACE has produced over 100 college graduates since its founding in 2007

roughly 60 enrolled students

Almost 60 current students are enrolled in the ACE program at CSUSM

Pie chart showing 100 percent

100% of applicants who meet eligibility requirements are accepted into ACE

Map of US showing CSUSM as the only university

CSUSM is the only university in the US to offer guaranteed admission to former foster youth

A hand with a single finger raised indicating number one.

CSUSM is the only university in California to offer THP+FC housing to former foster youth

Three masters-level social workers

ACE Scholars are supported by 3 full-time staff members 


Impressive Results: Our Program Evaluation Study

In 2012, we commissioned CSUSM's National Latino Research Center to conduct an external evaluation of the ACE program, and the results were impressive. The study revealed that students are very satisfied with ACE, and find its services and resources to be valuable:

Learn more about ACE

Whether you're a prospective student looking to apply, or a donor looking to transform a young person’s life, we encourage you to learn more and consider becoming a part of ACE Scholars Services:

Prospective Students     Donors & Friends