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12.20.23: End of Fall 2023

Hello, seniors,

Congratulations on making it through your final fall semester of high school! You're almost finished!

As you head into break, take time to read through this newsletter at least one day before break is over to prepare for FAFSA and other upcoming events. As I've had end of semester check ins with most of you, one thing that most of you need to do is to apply for more scholarships!

The ECOC scholarships deadline was extended until Dec. 31st. So, that's a great place to start. Also, consider applying for the S.I.S. Scholarship also due on Dec. 31st. The Sachs Foundation Scholarship opens on Jan. 1st (I expect Elevated and other eligible students to apply to this one and to send me their essay drafts before submitting it).

So, in between relaxing and enjoying your break and the holidays, make time to apply to a few scholarships (see scholarship section at the end of this email)!

Have a wonderful break and Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!

-Ms. Rainey


Preparing for the Spring Semester

Did you have your end of semester check in with Ms. Rainey?

  • If you did NOT have a brief phone call or meeting with Ms. Rainey to discuss how the semester went and your progress by 12/20, then please make sure to complete the end of the semester form HERE. Military bound students can skip this check in form (if you recently decided to enlist and have not informed Ms. Rainey, please email her).


Are you on track with your Elevated Requirements?
  • If you're off track for your Elevated grant or eligibility to apply for a Peak Ed Scholarship, you should have received an email from my college counseling intern today (12/20) letting you know what you're missing and how to make it up. The message will come from "Intern"( So, please read it to see what you're missing (if applicable).

  • All make-up instructions can be found on the new senior site HERE.


Save the Spring Dates--Required Events

  • All students, including those who attended College App Camp, are required to attend the spring semester events. Save the dates. If you work, play sports or do other after school activities, please inform your bosses, coaches and other others about these dates in advance!

  • For the spring semester, you'll have two events:

    • Thursday, January 11th @ 6-7:30 pm-Next Steps Presentation; location: Zoom (link will be emailed)

    • Tuesday, April 23rd @ 5-7:30 pm-Transition to College Night: Location: In-Person TBD

  • To see all spring semester requirements, visit


Preparing for FAFSA and FAFSA Workshops

As a reminder, FAFSA is the main way you qualify for financial aid (money to help pay for college). The New Simplified FAFSA is scheduled to open on December 31st. Please note that if you "already did FAFSA," you did the wrong one. The FAFSA for the 2024-25 school year (the first year you'll be in college) will open on 12/31.

How can you prepare before 12/31?

  • Create an FSA ID for yourself and for one parent at! An FSA ID is how you'll log into the FAFSA and "sign it." It's also how your parent will connect their tax info to the FAFSA. You will need an SSN to do this.

Pro-tips for creating and storing your FSA ID:

  1. Create a google doc or other cloud-based note where you keep your FSA ID.

  2. If you have older siblings who are alrady in college, your parents probably already have an FSA ID. Ask them to give it to you or use the "forgot" tools to reset their passwords if they don't remember. You may also want to check in with your sibling first because sometimes they'll create and store the username and password for your parents.

  3. Before creating your FSA ID, make sure you double check your SSN card and don't add it based on "memory."

  4. If the name you go by is different than what's on your SSN card, use what's on your SSN card.

  5. Lastly, if you're a permanent resident (you have a green card), you'll usually need to have your A# available when you complete the FAFSA; you shouldn't need it for the FSA ID section.

Other things to consider:

  1. If your parent does not have an SSN, they will not be able to create an FSA ID. Follow up with Ms. Rainey after the break to learn what they'll do instead if you're in this situation.

  2. If you're an undocumented or DACA student, you will NOT do the FAFSA. Follow up with Ms. Rainey to learn about your options with CASFA and the CSS Profile!

FAFSA Workshops:

Peak Ed is hosting FAFSA workshops to assist students and their families. If you need help and your school isn't hosting a FAFSA Workshop, Elevated and Peak Ed students are welcome to attend one of ours!

  • Wednesday, January 17th 5-7 pm @ Peak Ed Office

    • Peak Ed and HSD2 counselors are joining forces for this event! So HSD2 students are encouraged to attend workshop.

  • Saturday, February 3rd 9-2pm @Peak Ed Office

    • All students are welcome to attend this one!

  • More info about all workshops to come in early January!


Let's Celebrate You! College , Post-Secondary Plan, Military and Scholarship Dashboard Coming Soon!

Did you see the Class of 2023 Dashboard? If not, check it out HERE (view on computer for best quality).

Ms. Rainey will be creating a similar board for Class of 2024 to acknowledge your college acceptances, military enlistments, scholarship awards and more!

What will she need from you to do this?

  1. Make sure to constantly report new college acceptances and scholarship awards. Ms. Rainey collected a lot of info from you during the end of the semester check in and via the end of semester form, but please remember to report any new college acceptances or scholarship awards as soon as you receive them! You can report this info one of three ways:

    1. Complete the College Acceptance/Scholarship Award Google Form

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

    3. Text Ms. Rainey a screenshot/photo of your acceptance letter or scholarship award.

  2. Ms. Rainey will send a Google form next semester to collect your senior photos!


Wrapping up with College Admissions Process and Moving Forward

Were you waitlisted or deferred admission? Are you still in the application process and are awaiting a decision?

  • Use Glimpse to enhance your application.

    • What is Glimpse? Peak Ed & Elevated are partners with Glimpse! The Glimpse tool adds another layer to your college applications! You can create and send a 90 second video to your colleges, which provides a "glimpse" into who you are outside of the application.

    • What should I talk about? This is a very informal process. Don't read from a script. Find something you're interested in to talk about for 60 seconds. This could be your family, art, sports,e etc. For examples, click HERE and to see other resources, click HERE.

    • Does Glimpse really help? Yes! students across the nation have used this. College admissions reps do watch the videos and say it adds another layer to applications. This added layer could make the difference between an acceptance and a rejection.

    • How much does it cost? Since you're in Peak and Elevated, it's FREE to you! As you create an account, it will ask if you're in a partner program. Please make sure to indicate you're in Peak Ed or Elevated when it asks you about your program so that it waives the $22 fee.

    • I'm nervouse to create a Glimpse. Help me! Creating a Glimpse can help you if you've been deferred, waitlisted or if you're still in the admissions process. Many of your peers across the country pay to use this, but it's FREE to you. If you're nervous about this, you can schedule time to record your video with Ms. Rainey at the office or even hold a Zoom meeting. Or, you can record your video on your own and through the app, you can use the "send to counselor" feature to send Ms. Rainey your video BEFORE sending it to your colleges.

  • For more info on what to do if you've been deferred, check out this resource for other tips:


Honors Programs, Special Programs and Support Programs

HONORS: If you're used to taking the most rigorous courses in high school and want to continue to push yourself in college, you may want to consider Honors Programs at your college. Some Honors Programs provide additional scholarships! To learn more about honor programs and the benefits of them, check out this article from Bluefield Univeristy. The description they provide about Honors is applicable to other universities.

Here are some examples of local honors programs and special programs that you may want to consider.

  • CU Boulder's President's Leadership Class (PLC)Program. If you want Ms. Rainey to recommend you for this opportunity, email her! PLC is an interdisciplinary, 4-year leadership program that offers an immersive approach to leadership development. Rigorous programming, both academic and experiential, are pursued by a diverse, driven community of undergraduates. Learn more at .

    • If you're admitted into PLC, you can apply for one of their PLC scholarships!

  • Colorado State University Honors Program

  • To see if a college you're interested in has an honors program, simply search the name of the school + "honors program." You can also contact the office of admissions.

Student Support Programs: In addition to Honors programs, you may want to do a Student Support Program. Similar to Peak Ed and Elevated, these programs will provide you with a mentor, coaches and other supports to helps you be more successful during your time in college. Common programs include TRIO programs for students who identify as one or more of the following: low income, first-generation or students of color. There are other support programs based on your interests and that don't have specific requirements. Students who participate in student support programs are more likely to persist (continue on to the next year of college) and graduate on time! Examples:


College Applications are still open!

Here are some top colleges that have later deadlines

There are many other colleges that have rolling deadlines.

Don't forget to use a net price calculator to estimate your costs for colleges and start applying to scholarships (see next section).



Click HERE for a full list of scholarships!

If you become a finalist for any scholarships or move to the next round for Daniels Fund, Greenhouse Scholars, Boettcher, etc, please let Ms. Rainey know so that she can celebrate you, but also support you with interview prep and other tasks!

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