Students from Denver-based charter school network DSST will get a leg up on gaining admission to the University of Colorado Denver under a partnership announced Tuesday.

DSST high school students who earn a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or more by the end of their junior years will automatically be granted conditional admission to CU Denver, a research institution in the heart of the city.

Although the offer applies to all DSST students, it has a special focus on DSST Cole High School in northeast Denver, where the announcement was made at an all-school rally.

DSST Cole High School is rated “blue,” or distinguished, on Denver Public Schools’ color-coded school performance system. More than three-quarters of students qualify for government-subsidized lunches, and about 87 percent are students of color.

CU Denver Chancellor Dorothy Horrell said the partnership with DSST Cole made sense given the school’s demographics and proximity to the Auraria campus via the light rail system’s D Line.

“We believe in these students and we know that it’s possible for them to be successful,” she said. “They are coming from a rigorous academic background with the expectation that their academic journey will continue. As I look out at the faces of this group, they look like the faces of our students.”

DSST students who have received CU Denver acceptance letters will still need to complete the SAT or ACT and fulfill their graduation requirements, but the application fee to apply to the university is waived.

DSST has similar partnerships with other campuses in the University of Colorado system.