Welcome to Senior Year!

Hi Seniors,

I'm Ms. Rainey, the director of college counseling for Elevated and Peak Education. This is the first Senior Newsletter for Peak Ed and Elevated students of the school year! I'll be working with you closely this year.

What can Ms. Rainey help you with?

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

  • Part of your requirements include a one-on-one meeting with me in the fall semester (Aug-Oct). You can schedule your meeting using this link.

  • When signing up for a meeting, please put the meeting date and time in your phone. Set your phone to remind you 1 hour and/or 1 day before the meeting is to occur.

Need essay help?

  • This year I have a recent Colorado College graduate completing a one-year fellowship with me. Her name is Amy Ji, and she has a background in helping students with college essays! You can schedule a one-on-one meeting with her to review your essay topic and brainstorm by clicking HERE.

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

I look forward to working with you all this year! -Ms. Rainey

Elevated Grant and Peak Ed Scholarship

At the end of your 12th grade year, you're eligible to receive an Elevated grant and/or to apply for a Peak Ed Scholarship for college. To maintain eligibility, you must completed the required college counseling tasks for 12th grade students. See the next section for details.

12th Grade Requirements

Your requirements consists of one-on-one meetings with me, presentations, workshops and tasks. They're all designed to help you be more successful with the college and financial aid process this year. You have all the dates in advance; so, please plan to attend. If you have conflicts, communicate with Ms. Rainey in advance.

Your first fall event takes place soon on Thursday, September 8th at 6pm: How to Craft a Strong Activities List & resume Presentation; location: Zoom.

Once again, completing these tasks and attending these events maintains your eligibility for your Peak Ed scholarship and/or Elevated grant! So, please plan to attend the live events when possible.

Fly-In Programs (all expenses paid!)

Learn more about free college visit programs using this link. I put together some programs to take advantage of this fall. Deadlines are quickly approaching; so, start working on these applications ASAP! Please let Ms. Rainey know if you decide to apply to any of these programs!

Upcoming Events

  1. Thursday, September 8th at 6pm: How to Craft a Strong Activities List & Resume Presentation; location: Zoom (link will be emailed to you week of 9/5)

  2. Thursday, September 15th at 6pm: College Essay Presentation and Workshop; location: Zoom

  3. Tuesday, September 20th at 6pm: Admissions and Financial Aid Presentation; location: Zoom

Review your senior requirements for more info.

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:

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

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

  3. 1 letter needs to come from a core teacher (English, math, science, social science/history).

  4. 1 letter can come from an elective teacher, another core teacher, coach, the organizer of your extracurricular activity or community service, your boss, etc.

  5. 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.


Gates Scholarship

Amount: Full Ride

Deadline: September 15, 2022

Apply HERE.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • A 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

  • A minimum cumulative weighted GPA of 3.3 on a 4.0 scale


  • An outstanding academic record in high school (top 10% of their graduating class)

  • Demonstrated leadership ability (e.g., as shown through participation in community service, extracurricular, or other activities)

  • Exceptional personal success skills (e.g., emotional maturity, motivation, perseverance, etc.)

Tips from Ms. Rainey: The first stage of this application usually consists of an application without essays. So, they make their decision on if you will move to the next stage based on your grades and activities list and descriptions. Make sure to attend the How to Craft a Strong Activities List and Resume on September 8th for tips to make your activities stand out. If you want to start working on this application earlier, review the tips found HERE. Before submitting your application, let someone like Ms. Rainey review it and provide feedback.


QuestBridge Scholarship

Amount: Full Ride at partner colleges

Deadline: September 27, 2022

Apply HERE.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • A high school senior

  • In top 5-10% of class

  • Financial Need

  • See all requirements HERE.


  • An outstanding academic record in high school

  • Evidence of strong writing ability, intellectual spark, and determination.

Tips & Insight from Ms. Rainey: Your QuestBridge application also serves as a college application for the partner college. Learn more about this scholarship by reviewing this presentation , which was created by a Peak Ed college intern and former finalist for the QuestBridge scholarship.

After you complete your application, you will have the chance to rank up to 10 colleges; make sure you rank them in order of interest because if you match with a college, you're committing to go there and have the QuestBridge scholarship fully cover your tuition!

There are a lot of pieces to this application; so, if you have questions, email Ms. Rainey. Prioritize writing the essays and short responses (including the short sentences) NOW. Make sure you submit everything to Ms. Rainey for feedback at least 1-2 weeks before the deadline.