Sept. 10th: Starting Strong

Hi Seniors,

This is the first Senior Newsletter for Peak Ed and Elevated students. As a reminder, I serve as the director of college counseling for Peak Ed and its partner program Elevated. So, most of the college counseling events, activities and newsletter will consist of joint programming. Let me know if you have any questions. -Ms. Rainey


Announcements & Reminders

  • Required 12th Grade Events. To remain eligible for your Peak Ed Moniker Scholarship or Elevated Grant, there are certain “required” activities that you must complete with me this year. While I’ll host many workshops, presentations, and activities this semester to help you with this college process, there are only two required activities for this Fall Semester. For the Fall semester, you’ll need to:

  1. Have a beginning of the year meeting with me before September ends. Schedule your meeting HERE if you haven’t done so already.

  2. Complete the Rising Senior Summer Program (make-up assignments were due 8/31).

To see the spring semester’s required events, please click HERE. Save the dates now.

Note: These are the required activities for the college counseling part of Elevated and Peak Ed programs. Your mentors and programs might have additional attendance requirements to maintain eligibility for your scholarships/grants.

  • The College Corner Website has been updated! Check it out at Here. The site includes various pages on topics like admissions, financial aid/scholarships, college essays and 12th grade info. Find short videos, resources, and info on each topic.

  • View your 12th grade webpage and checkout the senior checklist by clicking HERE.

  • Use MaiaLearning to research college, careers and scholarships.

  • What can Ms. Jasmine Rainey help you with?

  • The entire college/scholarship process—filling out college and scholarship applications, essay review, FAFSA and much more!

  • If you need your college and/or scholarship essays edited, then please send them to me at Share them as a Google document if possible since it makes editing and sharing easier. Make sure you give me “editing” rights when you share the document.

  • How do I contact Ms. Rainey?

  • Emails:

  • I work for two organizations; so, I have two emails! Email me at or It doesn’t matter which email you use; I check both.

  • Phone Numbers (save both of these phone numbers to your contacts as “Jasmine Rainey”)

  • 719-301-9483 (call or text me; main phone)

  • 719-204-1359 (text only; students can also text me at this number. This number allows me to send mass text messages and reminders to students.

  • We want to celebrate and acknowledge you.

  • As you are accepted into college and/or receive scholarship awards, please report them HERE. (please report ALL acceptances and scholarship awards as you receive them.)


Upcoming Events & Save the Dates

Put reminders in your phones now!

Peak Ed/Elevated Events:
  • Thursday, September 16th @ 6 pm: Admissions and Financial Aid Presentation

  • Who: 12th grade parents/guardians and students

  • What: Learn about FAFSA and what you need to do to prepare for the FAFSA’s opening on Oct. 1st. Also learn about college admissions with Ms. Rainey

  • Where:

  • 5:30 pm: Greenhouse Scholars Presentation

  • Leah Zillner from Greenhouse Scholars will be presenting on her scholarship and what it takes to be a strong applicant. Last year only 3 or 4 Greenhouse scholars came from Colorado Springs, and guess what? Three of those students came from Peak Ed/Elevated! So, attend this presentation and make sure to work with Ms. Rainey on your applications!


Other Events:


College & Scholarship Application Tips

  1. Include Elevated and Peak Ed on your applications. Don’t forget to include them on your college and scholarship applications and resumes. This is a common mistake that I find. If you did extra programming through these programs, include those too as separate entries on your applications (e.g. community service, ISP program, internships, etc).

  2. How do I pay for college applications or the SAT?

  3. Students eligible for free or reduced lunch can receive SAT fee waivers and college application fee waivers from their high school counselors! So, do not pay. Let me know if you have questions or need help.

  4. If you’re NOT eligible to receive SAT or college application fee waivers? Do the following:

  5. Utilize Oct. 19th -21st –Free Colorado College application days. Apply to any college in Colorado for free!

  6. If you’re in Elevated, the Elevated program will reimburse you for 6 college applications and 3 SAT exams. Send your receipts to me for reimbursement.

  7. Pro-tip: wait until the free dates to apply to your Colorado colleges and use your 6 reimbursements on your out-of-state colleges.

  8. Are you applying to Northern Arizona University? Use #NAU22 as a fee waiver code!

  9. Create a Google Document or some type of cloud-based note to keep all of your passwords and log in information for college applications, scholarships, FAFSA, SAT/College Board accounts, etc.

  10. As you’re accepted to colleges, store your college ID number and other info in this same document. Doing this will make your life easier!

  11. Use a college and scholarship tracker. You can always use MaiaLearning to track your applications process, but this tracker can also be helpful. Make a copy and save it to your Google Drive.

  12. Use the Common App to apply to colleges. One application that allows you to apply to multiple colleges will save you much time!

  13. Don’t wait to apply for scholarships. The school year has started and many of you are already extremely busy. However, some of the largest and best scholarships are due this semester. So, make time to apply to them and don’t think you’ll have a chance to focus more on scholarships next semester. You’ll constantly be busy; so, create a dedicated time to work on scholarships and college applications each week. If you do this now, it’ll become easier to stick to as the semester becomes busier.

  14. Create a “balanced” list of scholarships. Don’t focus solely on large scholarships. Create a balanced list by applying to smaller scholarships too. These smaller scholarships often times get overlooked. At the same time, if you have done well academically and have significant/meaningful extracurricular and community service involvement, then go for these scholarships. Don’t doubt your ability to receive them. As with anything, your scholarship list needs “balance” between large scholarships and smaller scholarships.


September Checklist

Don’t forget to use MaiaLearning to see what you should be working on each month and to mark items as “complete” so that I know what you’re working on. A few items that you should be completing include:

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

  • Start your Common App (if applicable) or a college application.

  • Write/edit your college essay or personal statement.

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

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

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

  • 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).

View the full senior checklist HERE.



  • Reminder: If you apply to the scholarships below, let Ms. Rainey know (Report them HERE).

  • If you need help with your essays or need someone to look over your application, reach out to Ms. Jasmine Rainey at


Gates Scholarship

Deadline: Sept. 15th

Amount: Last Dollar Scholarship.

Eligibility: High school senior, from at least one of the following ethnicities: African-American, American Indian/Alaska Native*, Asian & Pacific Islander American, and/or Hispanic American, Pell-eligible, A US citizen, national, or permanent resident, In good academic standing with a minimum cumulative weighted GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent). Additionally, a student must plan to enroll full-time, in a four-year degree program, at a US accredited, not-for-profit, private or public college or university.

*For American Indian/Alaska Native, proof of tribal enrollment will be required.

How to Apply


QuestBridge Scholarship

Deadline: September 28th

Amount: Varies from $1,000-$5,000.

Eligibility: High school seniors who’ve shown academic achievement (mostly A’s in the most challenging courses available at your school, usually in top 5-10% of your class. See other requirements here. The QuestBridge college match process can be confusing; so, speak with Ms. Rainey if you have questions.

How to Apply:


Heisman Scholarship (if you’re an athlete, do this!)


Deadline: Oct. 19th at 6pm ET (that’s 4 pm Mountain time)

Amount: Ranges from $1000-$10,000.

Eligibility: Have a GPA of 3.0 or better. Must have participated in at least one sport in grade 9, 10 or 11. Demonstrate leadership qualities.

How to Apply: Click HERE.


Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship

Deadline: October, 31st at 5:00PM EST (which is 3 pm Mountain time)

Amount: $20,000

Eligibility Do you have community involvement or volunteer experience? The Coca-Cola Scholars Program wants to know about it! Eligible students are current high school seniors, U.S Citizens, Nationals, Permanent Residents, Refugees, Asylees, Cuban-Haitian Entrants, or Humanitarian Parolees planning to pursue a degree at an accredited U.S post-secondary institution. This is a merit based scholarship for students who are involved in their community (both in and out of school) and have been leaders or have leadership potential. Students are not required to write an essay or submit letters of recommendation.

How to Apply:


Voice of Democracy Scholarship

Deadline: October 31st. Amount: $30,000 First Place Winner

Eligible students are current high school students in the U.S. or its territories. Citizenship is not required, but students must be lawful U.S. permanent residents or have applied for permanent residence (the application for which has not been denied) and intend to become a U.S. citizen at the earliest opportunity allowed by law.

To apply, record a 3-5 minute long essay answering the prompt and save on an audio CD or flash drive and turn it in along with a typed version of the essay and the entry form found on website. Students can either mail in these materials or drop them off to the VFW Post #2461 located on 1350 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80210. Call (303)-722-3279 for more info. Use this entry form.


Boettcher Scholarship

Deadline: Nov. 1st at 5 p.m.

Amount: Full ride scholarship to certain colleges in Colorado. This year Boettcher has two scholarship models. Learn more HERE.

Eligibility: Senior, graduate from a Colorado high school, be a citizen, permanent resident or DACA student. Students should also have superior scholastic ability, leadership and involvement, community service and outstanding character.

How to Apply:

Recent Posts

See All