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9.28.23: Preparing for the Application Process

Hello, seniors,

What's in this update?

  • Student shout outs and other announcements and resources

  • Glimpse--a tool that all students should use to add their voice to the application process.

  • Reminders about senior requirements, make up opportunities and upcoming events

  • September checklists

  • Scholarships!

October, which is college and career success month, is almost here! Make sure you're prepped to start your college and scholarship applications. If you attended your required senior activities, this month you've learned about admissions 101, how to craft your activities list and write strong college essays. 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


Announcements, Tips and Resources

Student Shout Outs
  • Congratulations to Tray White for being admitted to CSU Pueblo and receiving a merit scholarship!

If you told Ms. Rainey about an acceptance but didn't submit proof, we can't record it. Please Report your acceptances and awards using the methods below.

Report your college acceptances and scholarship awards to Ms. Rainey. You can choose 1 of 3 ways:

  1. Complete the Acceptance/Award Google Form

  2. Email me ( a screenshot/photo/PDF of award/acceptance.

  3. Text me a screenshot/photo of your acceptance letter or award.

How to pay for college applications?

  • Eligible students can receive a fee waiver from their high school counselor? Check out eligibility requirements HERE.

  • Participate in Free Colorado Application Days--October 17-19th

  • Remember that some college applications are always free! Colorado State University (Ft. Collins) is now always free to apply, as is Colorado College and PPSC.

  • Attend college fairs and rep visits and ask if they have a fee waiver code. I recently received a conference and learned Colorado Mesa University's fee waiver code is NEWMAV. Not all colleges will provide this, but some will!

  • Elevated Students--remember that you can get reimbursed for 5 college applications and 3 standardized exams. Send Ms. Rainey your receipts.

    • Pro-tip: If you're ineligible for a fee waiver, apply to your in-state colleges during the Free Colorado App days and save your 5 reimbursements for your out-of-state colleges.

College Application and Essay Resources

  • Peak Ed & Elevated are partners with Glimpse! The Glimpse tool adds another layer to your college applications! You can include a 60-90 second video that provides colleges a "glimpse" into who you are outside of the application. It allows you to insert your voice into the college admissions process. Please utilize this resource as you're applying to colleges, especially competitive schools!

    • View resources to get started HERE.

    • As you create an account, please make sure to indicate you're in Peak Ed or Elevated when it asks you about your program.

  • College Essay Guy How to Craft an Awesome Activities List

  • Watch Ms. Rainey's Admissions 101 Presentation (see make-up section above) for more info about the college application/admissions process. .

  • 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 . Make sure you give Ms. Rainey "editing" permission before sharing.

In-State Colleges and Scholarships Updates

Ms. Rainey recently attended a workshop where In-state colleges provided updates. Below are a few that stood out.

  • Regis University's application Early Decision deadline is Oct. 1st to receive a decision by Oct. 18th. Remember that Early Decision is binding! Students can receive $30,000 per year in merit scholarships.

  • UCCS will be offering an aerospace engineering degree in 2024.

  • University of Colorado at Denver (aka UCD or CU Denver) added a college of arts and media degree with 2D, 3D and animation options.

  • UNC guarantees admission if you have at least a 3.0 GPA or higher and have earned 4 years of math and English and 3 years of social science and science.

  • PPSC offers Spanish-speaking college tours for families!

  • Are you a fan of mindfulness, meditation and contemplative education? Then Naropa could be the college for you.

  • CSU Pueblo offers free tuition to families who earn $70K or less (Colorado Promise Program). Also offers merit scholarships of $8,000 per year.

  • CU Boulder offers free tuition to families who are Pell eligible (determined by completing the FAFSA).

  • Colorado State University (Fort Collins) if waiving application fees for Colorado students! So, it will always be free to apply!


12th Grade Requirements

Fall Requirements

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

  • 2 of the 3 required fall semester events have already taken place. If you missed one, restore eligibility for your Elevated grant or Peak Ed scholarship by following the steps in the make-up section below.

  • View all requirements for the school year at


Do you need to make-up a required event you were unable to attend?

Thursday, September 7th at 6pm: Admissions 101 & Crafting a Strong Activities List

Make-Up Assignment due 10/2 (email Ms. Rainey if you need extra time).

  1. Watch the recording of the Admissions 101 and Crafting a strong activities list presentation

    1. Note: During the polls, you won’t be able to see the actual poll that live participants saw. So, you can fast forward to the discussion section of the poll!

    2. URLs provided during the presentation are also included in the Admissions 101 section above!

  2. Complete the Google Form for full credit by 10/2.

Saturday, September 16th: College Essay Workshop (in person)

  • This event was held in person; so, there's not an easy make-up assignment for this like there is for Zoom meetings. Ms. Rainey will send the full make-up once it is created. Your make-up will equal 3 hours (around the same timeframe as the in person essay workshop).

  • Earn ONE HOUR towards your 3-hour make-up by attending the Denison College Visit on Oct. 3rd at 4:30 pm. You'll hear about Denison College and learn about college essays.

    • Location: 1641 S. Murray Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO 80916

    • RSVP HERE if you plan to attend.


Final Required Fall Semester Event in October/November (Read carefully)

Your final event for the fall semester is to have your college application reviewed by Ms. Rainey or another college counseling professional. You can get credit for this by doing one of the the following options:

Option 1: Are you applying for a highly selective college (colleges that have lower acceptance rates, like Colorado College, Harvard, Carleton College, etc)? If Yes, do the following:

  • If you're applying to colleges via Common App, please use THESE INSTRUCTIONS to add Ms. Rainey as your advisor on the application so that she can review your activities list and provide feedback. Please email your college essay in a Google Doc separately. Once she's finished reviewing both pieces, Ms. Rainey will email you feedback and/or schedule a meeting (in person or Zoom based on your preference) to discuss.

    • Please send this AT LEAST 1-2 weeks before the application deadline. Or, free app days if you plan to apply to colleges during this timeframe.

  • If you're applying to colleges outside of the Common App, schedule a meeting with Ms. Rainey to review your responses or copy and paste your activities list responses (if applicable) into a Google doc and share them. Share your essays via a Google Doc as well. Ms. Rainey will provide feedback via the Google Doc and will schedule an appointment if needed.

    • Please send this AT LEAST 1-2 weeks before the application deadline. Or, free app days if you plan to apply to colleges during this timeframe.

Option 2: Are you applying to a college that isn't too selective (e.g. in-state public colleges like UCCS, CSU, UNC, CU Boulder or out-of-state colleges like Arizona State University, UNM, etc)?

  • If you're applying to colleges via Common App, please use THESE INSTRUCTIONS to add Ms. Rainey as your advisor on the application so that she can review your activities list and provide feedback. Please email your college essay in a Google Doc.


  • If you're participating in your school's college application workshop, receiving help from a high school counselor/college advisor, or receiving assistance from AVID, Gear Up or another college access program, you can get excused from this requirement by emailing Ms. Rainey and letting her know another program is helping you.

    • Please note that students applying to selective colleges (a college that has a low acceptance rate), will still need to have Ms. Rainey review your application even if you're getting help from your high school.

    • All students are still welcome to get assistance from Ms. Rainey event if another program is supporting you!

Option 3: Are you waiting until the spring semester to apply to colleges because you want to increase your GPA OR are you mainly applying to community colleges? If Yes...

  • You can skip this step until the spring semester if you aren't applying to colleges until spring. Email Ms. Rainey so she knows you're waiting.

  • Students applying mainly to community colleges or Pikes Peak State College do not need to schedule a review and can be excused. Email Ms. Rainey about this to get this requirement checked off.

You can schedule an in person review at any time, but the following dates have been set aside for reviews in person or on Zoom: 10/11, 10/12 and 11/9.


Upcoming Events (Optional)

  • Monday, October 2nd at 5:30-7:30 pm: 2023 Southern Colorado College Fair

    • Location: Coronado High School  - 1590 West Fillmore Street, Colorado Springs, 80904

    • Please RSVP by clicking HERE.

  • Tuesday, October 3rd at 4:30 pm: Denison Rep Visit

    • Location: 1641 S. Murray Blvd., Colorado Springs, CO 80916

    • Students who need to make-up the essay workshop can earn one hour towards their make-up requirement by attending this (see make-up section for more info).

    • Please RSVP by clicking HERE.


October Checklist + College Application Tips

  • 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)

  • Request at least 2 letters of recommendation. If you need a request form, speak with your high school counselors. If your school doesn't use request forms, contact Ms. Rainey for 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.



Click HERE for a full list of scholarships!

If you make it to the next round of a scholarship, please inform Ms. Rainey.

The Daniels Fund Scholarship is now open. The Coca Cola Scholarship is due soon.

Last week, I had a few students ask about non-financial need scholarships. Students who are ineligible for need-based scholarships should look at Coca Cola, Boettcher, ECOC Scholarships and the Burger King Scholarships since these ones do NOT have a financial need requirement.

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