ACES Aces Preparedness

S%C3%A1nchez+helps+a+member+of+the+ACES+program.+She+is+happy+to+be+part+the+program+and+helping+kids+plan+their+future.+She+uses+positive+encouragement+to+keep+kids+movitvated+to+do+their+best.+--Meklit+Bekele

Sánchez helps a member of the ACES program. She is happy to be part the program and helping kids plan their future. She uses positive encouragement to keep kids movitvated to do their best. –Meklit Bekele

SA?nchez helps a member of the ACES program. She is happy to be part the program and helping kids plan their future. She uses positive encouragement to keep kids movitvated to do their best. --Meklit Bekele
SA?nchez helps a member of the ACES program. She is happy to be part the program and helping kids plan their future. She uses positive encouragement to keep kids movitvated to do their best. –Meklit Bekele

A new countywide program is being introduced to ease the stress that comes with the college application process.

The Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) program is currently targeting students who are underprivileged, minorities or the first in their families to attend college. Many low-income families struggle to pay for college, so ACES provides scholarship and financial aid information.

“Anyone can benefit from someone guiding them through the application process,” ACES academic coach Natalie SA?nchez said.

ACES not only helps students with college applications, but also provides tutoring services, job planning, college visits and an academic coach. Juniors and seniors can apply to be in the program, but ACES recognizes students as early as freshman year. The program accepts 60 juniors, 60 seniors and is completely free.

“Thinking about college really begins as soon as you walk into high school,” Principal Billie-Jean Bensen said.

The ACES program is a collaboration between MCPS, Montgomery College and the Universities at Shady Grove. Support from the program does not stop when a student finishes high school. If an ACES student decides to attend Montgomery College, they can apply for scholarships specifically for the program’s participants.

Students who enroll in Montgomery College receive an academic coach to support them towards their associate degree and potentially their bachelor degree if they choose to transfer to the Universities at Shady Grove. Academic coaches ensure that their students will succeed in higher education.

To receive more information regarding this program, students can visit RHSa�� ACES academic coach, Natatlie SA?nchez, in the counseling office. Once ACES begins, after school and lunch time group sessions will be implemented. Since the program is new to the school, most students who apply will be accepted. Senior Uriel Adomou said, “I recommend ACES to anyone who is unfamiliar with the application process.”

ACES works with students and parents to help complete their financial aid requirements and research scholarships. Academic coaches also monitor the grades and make students aware of the due-dates and requirements for certain colleges. ACES participants do not have to attend Montgomery College; however, students who go can continue with the program.

The primary goal of ACES is to increase college enrollment by supporting students who are underrepresented in higher education transition from high school to college. The program makes a seemingly overwhelming process become a manageable process.

“I’m kind of scared about college, but knowing RHS has programs like this is reassuring,” sophomore Malvi Rajput said.