9.22.22: Preparing for the Application Process

Hello, seniors,

As September concludes, make sure you're prepped to start your college and scholarship applications. This month, we discussed how to craft a strong activities list and resume. We also discussed your college essay. If you haven't done so already, make sure you create your resume and start the first draft to your college essay. If you wrote a college essay a while ago, use the tips from my college essay presentation to enhance it.

As we enter October, this will a major month for completing college applications, FAFSA and major scholarships. I know many of you are busy with school, work and other activities, but make sure you're managing your time and prioritizing this college process. Read the rest of this newsletter for tips on what else you should be doing!

-Ms. Rainey


12th Grade Requirements: Events

  • Have you had a beginning of the year meeting with Ms. Rainey? If not, sign up HERE.

  • View all requirements HERE


Past Events: Recording and Make-up Assignment

  • Thursday, September 8th at 6pm: How to Craft a Strong Activities List & resume Presentation

  • Students who attended the live event can get a copy of the presentation (PDF) by emailing Ms. Rainey.

  • Make-Up Assignment due 10/14:

  1. Watch the recording HERE

  2. Complete the make-up assignment for credit HERE.

  • Thursday, September 15th at 6pm: College Essay Presentation and Workshop

  • Students who attended the live event can get a copy of the presentation (PDF) by emailing Ms. Rainey.

  • Make-Up Assignment due 10/14:

  1. Watch the recording HERE

  2. Complete the make-up assignment for credit HERE


Upcoming Required Events

The following event is open to ALL students, including students who attended college app camp. I encourage all to RSVP and attend.

Saturday, October 15th: College Application Workshop (+ Larger community event)
  • Please RSVP ASAP using this link.

  • Location: Tesla Professional Development Center, 2560 International Circle, Colorado Springs, CO 80910

  • Your final required event for the fall semester is the college application workshop on Saturday, October 15th. Based on the first two required events (crafting a strong activities list and the college essay presentation), you should come with your resume and a draft to your essay. You'll get assistance with your application and feedback on your essay from college representatives.

  • This event will take place in person and is part of a larger community event. Ms. Rainey (representing Peak Education and Elevated) has collaborated with Educating Children of Color and African American Youth Leadership Conference to host this event for all high school students in Colorado Springs. In addition to the college application workshop, which is required for Peak Ed and Elevated 12th grade students, the event will feature many other sessions, including a financial aid and scholarship essay writing presentation, a scholarship panel and UNCF as its keynote speaker. Space for the application workshop is limited. So, RSVP ASAP. View the event and descriptions of the sessions and RSVP HERE.


  1. Do I need to attend the entire event or only the college app workshop?

  2. Answer: You're welcome to attend the full event. Ms. Rainey will be giving a financial aid presentation and tips for writing scholarship essays at 9 am, but registration opens around 8:30. If you watched Ms. Rainey's previous presentations on financial aid and essay writing, you can skip this session. If you skip it, please arrive by 10:15 am to hear from the Keynote speaker--UNCF--which has over 400 scholarship partners! Lunch and a scholarship panel will follow. It's important that you hear from these guest speakers. Afterwards the application workshop will start.

  3. I attended the 3-day college app camp summer program. I'm technically excused from attending this college application workshop. Should I still attend?

  4. Answer: Yes, you're welcome to still attend the other sessions, which should be very helpful. You can also participate in the application workshop for an application review if needed or you can choose to leave after the scholarship fair and before the application workshop begins.


Upcoming Events (Optional)

  • Sunday, September 25th from 1-4pm: National College Fair; location: Denver Coliseum. For more info and to register, visit: https://www.nacacattend.org/22Denver

  • Thursday, September 29th at 6pm: The Admissions and Financial Aid Presentation; location: Zoom. Come learn more about FAFSA and financial aid, and receive a brief overview of the college admissions process. The Zoom link will be emailed the week of the 29th.



Essay Assistance:

  • Need help brainstorming your college or scholarship essay? Schedule an appointment with Amy Ji using this link. Amy is a recent graduate from Colorado College who is completing a one-year fellowship with Peak Education. She has experience helping students in the writing center and helping students with their college admissions essays. Her services are available to Peak Ed and Elevated students.

  • Have you already written your essay? Get feedback from Ms. Rainey or Amy by doing the following:

  • Add your essay draft to a Google document

  • Share it with Ms. Rainey at jasmine@peakedu.org . Make sure you give Ms. Rainey "editing" permission before sharing.

College Application Assistance:

  • Attend the 10/15 event (see upcoming required events sections).


September Checklist + College Application Tips

  • Use MaiaLearning to research colleges and to see what you should be working on each month.

  • Research colleges, add them to your MaiaLearning college list and narrow down your college list if you have more than 10 schools.

  • Mark deadlines down.

  • Use a net price calculator to determine how much a college might offer you in financial aid. Use this info to ensure you have a balance lists of college, including colleges that may offer you a strong financial aid package even if you don't receive scholarships.

  • Create your resume (use the tips from the crafting a strong activities list session); use your resume to complete the activities section on the Common App and other college and scholarship applications.

  • Start your first draft of your college essay!

  • Figure out how you will pay for college applications (fee waivers, Elevated reimbursement, out of pocket, etc) <--Ms. Rainey will discuss this at the admissions presentation.

  • Request at least 2 letters of recommendation. If you need a request form, use this one.

  1. 1 letter needs to come from a core teacher (English, math, science, social science/history).

  2. 1 letter can come from an elective teacher, another core teacher, coach, the organizer of your extracurricular activity or community service, your boss, etc.

  3. Pro Tip: Many scholarships will ask for multiple letters of rec, and one will need to be from a community member (e.g. Elevated mentor, Peak Ed staff member, etc). So, collect a letter from a community member at the start of the semester.

View the full senior checklist HERE.

For more tips and resources visit the College Corner page.



View the scholarship blog HERE for a full list of scholarships!