Access College and Excel (ACE)

Academic Level
Issue Area
Key Personnel
Program Focus
First Year Support,


The Access College and Excel (ACE) scholar program at the University of Texas at San Antonio is uniquely designed for ambitious, talented high school students from predominantly Hispanic inner-city high schools. ACE offers scholarships up to $2,400 to incoming freshmen who have at least a 2.5 high school GPA, an attendance record of 80% or better during their senior year, and graduate from targeted high schools in the downtown San Antonio area. The program, which supports students for their first two years at the university, promotes academic success through a variety of services including tutoring, peer mentoring, dedicated individual advising, and a college success course designed to promote college success.

Program Description

The Tomás Rivera Center for Student Success and the USAA Foundation teamed up in 1999 to create the Access College and Excel (ACE) Scholar Program. The goal was to promote college success among predominantly first-generation, low-income students. Historically, these students, although talented, are at risk for dropping out before graduation.


The ACE program has become a model for student success at UTSA. It has shown great success since 1999 in helping students succeed and meet their academic goals. We are pleased to report that the six-year graduation rate of 58%, for ACE Scholars who entered UTSA in Fall 2000, is almost twice that of the rate for all UTSA students (30%).