Who Qualifies for ASCEND? 

ASCEND is a retention program aiming to ease the transition from high school to & through college for students who have experienced homelessness or foster care.

Youth must be currently enrolled or accepted to attend Kennesaw State University, must be pursuing their first bachelor’s degree, and meet at least one of the following criteria:

An individual who experienced homelessness during grades nine through twelve, verified either by Unaccompanied Homeless Youth status based upon the McKinney-Vento Act provided by their High School Homeless Liaison or other relevant documentation.

An individual who experienced the foster care system

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. 

sponsor A STUDENT

ASCEND is the namesake for CARE Services’ ASCEND Impact Model. You can find more information about the ASCEND Impact Model here:


Sponsor an ASCEND Scholar

Mentor an ASCEND Scholar: CARE provides professional mentors to ASCEND Scholars through a partnership with Fostering Great Ideas.

Support a college student who has experienced homelessness or foster care by volunteering as a community mentor for ASCEND with CARE Services.

Make an impact on the life of a young person by providing guidance as they begin navigating their academic journey and young adulthood.

For information about the next mentor training, please contact CARE Services.

Volunteer: Contact us to find out about upcoming volunteer opportunities! 


Program Components

  • ASCEND scholars arrive to campus a week early for Fall Semester to explore the environment, interact with current ASCEND students, meet committed and supportive faculty, staff, and community members and begin a successful transition into college life. 
  • ASCEND scholars can choose to live in a on-campus community together, building stronger, hopefully life-long, relationships with other students with similar life experiences.
  • ASCEND scholars have additional opportunities for social, academic, and professional engagement and enrichment through participation in workshops that provide life skills coaching, opportunities for one-on-one interactions with campus and community resources, and more. 
  • ASCEND scholars may participate in cultural enrichment, travel, and social opportunities. As available, stipends may be awarded to students to support their Education Aboard or other university-affiliated travel opportunities.
  • Current ASCEND scholars provide peer-mentoring to incoming students. Students also have the opportunity to be paired with a community-based professional mentor through CARE Service's partnership with Fostering Great Ideas.
  • Together, ASCEND scholars and CARE staff develop an individualized plan to empower the student to work towards their self-identified goals utilizing on-campus resources and relationships.

Still Deciding if KSU is Right for You?

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!


Next Steps after Acceptance into KSU

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

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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.
  • 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 careservices@kennesaw.edu.
  • 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 careservices@kennesaw.edu.
  • 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 careservices@kennesaw.edu before you apply.
  • 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 careservices@kennesaw.edu.
  • 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 careservices@kennesaw.edu to inquire about costs and the application process. CARE Services will cover the $375 Reservation Fee for those students accepted in the LLV.  
  • 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.
  • 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.

Contact Us

Questions: Email the ASCEND Program Coordinator, Carlynn Sharpe-Ehui, at csharpe5@kennesaw.edu

Apply or Refer: Schedule a virtual meeting with the ASCEND Program Coordinator, Carlynn Sharpe-Ehui

Schedule a virtual meeting