Our mission is to empower students impacted by foster care to transform their lives through higher education.
ACE 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...
Nastassja McDonald, Biological Sciences
Jeff Gutowsky, Business Administration
Jennifer Fiallos, Special Major: French
ACE boasts an 86% persistence rate — far greater than the national average of 50%
ACE has produced 75 college graduates since its founding in 2007
Almost 60 current students are enrolled in the ACE program at CSUSM
100% of applicants who meet minimum requirements are accepted into ACE
CSUSM is the only university in the US to offer guaranteed admission to former foster youth
CSUSM is the only university in California to offer THP+FC housing to former foster youth
Three of ACE’s staff members are Masters-level licensed social workers
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:
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: