Offering dedicated opportunities throughout the academic year for cultural and learning experiences. ASCEND Scholars are expected to actively participate in ASCEND and remain committed to actively participate for this academic year.

Faculty, Staff and Community Members can help make this experience at KSU even better by adopting a student's move-in wishes and/or their campus rent. 

Adopt a Student

Also this program is the namesake of our CARE Services' ASCEND Impact Model.

ASCend impact model info


  • Participants must be Kennesaw State University students pursuing their first bachelor’s degree. They must also meet at least one of the following criteria:

    • Unaccompanied Homeless Youth status based upon the McKinney-Vento Act.1

    • Verified as a Runaway Homeless Youth, defined as a youth that is not more than 21 years of age and "for whom it is not possible to live in a safe environment with a relative and who have no other safe alternative living arrangement." 2

    • At any time since turning age 13, both parents deceased, in foster care, or a dependent or ward of the court.3


    Eligible participants admitted to ASCEND commit to:

    • Regularly attend meetings with KSU CARES staff
    • Attend ASCEND-sponsored events
    • Participate in academic and professional development programming
    • Bridge Week: Students arrive a week early to campus for fall semester. Move onto campus to explore campus, interact with current CARE students, meet committed and supportive faculty, staff, and community members and begin a successful transition into college life. Attendees must apply to be apart of this service.
    • ASCEND Living-Learning Village(LLV): Within the program is an option to reside in the ASCEND LLV. Depending on room availability, and if the eligibility requirements below are met, these students live together as a community so they can build stronger, hopefully life-long, relationships with students with similar life experiences. Housing is available on a yearly lease August-July. Students must apply for the ASCEND LLV. Tour the ASCEND LLV.

    • Academic and Professional Development Workshop Series: Providing students with strategies on improving their study and time management skills, economic mobility, and engagement with the KSU campus and peers. Workshops are offered throughout the fall and spring semesters.

    • Cultural and Education Abroad Enrichment Activities: Providing exposure to new cultural experiences is key to a broaden students’ world-view. Activities may include attending plays, concerts, and visiting museums. As available, stipends will be awarded to students to support their Education Aboard travels.

    • Near Peer Mentoring: Over the first year, CARE’s current students or recent graduates will be available to offer firsthand insight and advice to newly enrolled ASCEND scholars.

    • Case Management: Together, the student and case manager will develop an individualized plan intended to empower the student to work towards their daily living needs. The case manager may provide students with resources, referrals, and additional life skills to enable the student’s self-sufficiency.

  • We understand that KSU may not be the right fit for every student, and at times students need to explore other institutions. The steps to accessing higher education often follow the same path. For a guideline to prepare for post-secondary education, see our College Transition Road Map!

    college roadmap
  • We help guide eligible ASCEND students to their first day of class at KSU after being accepted. Click below to see your next steps!

    • How do I get my finances ready? Be sure to complete and submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) documentation. If you need assistance, you may find contact information for your Financial Aid Counselor. You may also apply for KSU scholarships and external scholarships. Keep in mind that the application period for KSU scholarships in November to March.


    • How much does is cost to attend KSU? You can find the undergraduate in-state and out-of state estimated cost of attendance. Please note that with these 2022-2023 estimated costs, you will have some variances based on your individual situation. In-state versus out-of state status is often an issue for CARE students, but we will work with Registrar to get a Residency Waiver and/or other paperwork to have your status corrected.  If you need help with this, email


    • How do I register for orientation? Visit the  KSU Orientation Website to register for your session. There is a $40.00 Registration Fee to register for orientation sessions. If you need help paying for the registration fee, email


    • How do I apply for KSU Housing? You can apply for on-campus housing with KSU Housing. There is a $375.00 Reservation Fee to apply for on-campus housing.  If you DO NOT have a guarantor or need assistance with this fee, email before you apply.


    • What can I do if I need to make summer living arrangements? CARE Services will work with Admissions as well as KSU Housing if you need a place to sleep before Fall Semester begins. If this applies to you, email


    • How do I learn more about living in the ASCEND house? You can take a virtual tour of the houses and learn more about the included amenities. If you are interested in taking advantage of the benefits of a Living-Learning Village (LLV) ASCEND house, email to inquire about costs and the application process. CARE Services will cover the $375 Reservation Fee for those students accepted in the LLV.  


    • How do I apply for a campus job? If you are interested in working on KSU campus, check out the program information for Federal Work Study (FWS) and search on-campus jobs for open positions.


    • What can I do if I am not accepting into KSU? You can work with an Embark Designated Point of Contact (DPOC) to learn about other schools who are currently offering such programming and the resources that are available to you.

Viewbook with Next Steps