Connections Weekly Newsletter

October 28, 2022

Upcoming Events

S’more Session - PSAT/NMSQT Results

10/31 at 10:30 in Connections

On Monday, Oct. 31, we will continue our S’more series for all interested high school students. S’mores are topic-specific chats during Flex in the Connections (and yes, we have s’mores or cookies). This S’more topic is “Understanding PSAT/NMSQT Results.” It is open to students who completed the PSAT/NMSQT in October.

CLASS OF 2023 - Advisor Skip Zickmund

College Applications: Two quick reminders as you get ready to send your applications. First, recommendations - teacher and counselor - need to be made 2 weeks in advance of the deadline. Second, if you complete a transcript request through a college website, you must also make a request through Naviance. All transcript requests must be made in Naviance after applying to the college.

Athletic Transcripts: Transcripts needed for recruiting purposes or for eligibility must be requested through Naviance. Here is a link to explain the process. When prompted, select the blue-green box labeled “Using Managed Transcripts” The 5:52 minute mark will explain the process for athletic transcripts.

The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is open for the 2022-23 academic year. The U.S. Department of Education uses this form to determine a student's eligibility for need-based federal financial aid for college based upon their financial situation.

Here is a link to a series of ten short videos with quick tips and advice from Colorado College to help jump-start college applications. Some of the content is specific to Colorado College, but overall, you can apply the information to all colleges.

CLASS OF 2024 - Advisor Skip Zickmund

Starting the college search is sometimes thought of as a milestone moment. There might be a lot of talk and anticipation building up to it. In reality, though, the college search sometimes doesn't have an official starting moment. Instead, it's often a slow, rolling start with small steps building up over months or even years. Here is an article to help to start thinking about the process.

Many colleges are currently test-optional, giving students the option to submit ACT/SAT scores as a part of their college application. Many scholarships and specific academic departments might still require test scores even if general admission is test optional. It is in the best interest of all students to have a test score available if needed. Here is an article to help you decide when to take the ACT/SAT.

One of the biggest mistakes in the junior year is not taking advantage of college meetings from college representatives when they visit TCA. A complete list of upcoming visits can be found in Naviance: Naviance home page> Scroll right side>”What’s Newbox> Bottom of box> Click “Show More”>Click “More Info”>Click “Register” to sign up. Students can use these same steps to sign up for Career Chats.

Here is a link to the Junior Year Checklist to help stay aware of some of the monthly “milestones.”

CLASS OF 2025 and 2026 - Advisor Joanna Peters

One of the recent quotes I read was “You had a plan…and things changed.” It is perfectly appropriate for my meetings with freshmen and sophomores. My top goals for the freshmen and sophomores’ years are to 1) broaden students’ awareness of future opportunities, 2) introduce them to tools to help in their exploration, and 3) encourage them to be ok with a change in plans. Think back to your career journey. Low are the numbers of people who have always known what they wanted to do and are still doing it after 20 or more years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the number of jobs held by individuals to be more than 12. We want to teach students how to find, advance, and/or pivot in their careers. We recommend trying new things. By doing so, we learn to like (or dislike) those new things.

I have told the story about a TCA student who in 8th grade said they wanted to become a dentist. A great career! That decision was based on positive experiences at her dental office, and she wanted to do the same thing. After completing a two-month program in Colorado that was a hands-on opportunity to complete tasks that a dentist might do, such as pulling teeth (from a pig’s jaw), building a mouth guard, etc., she decided that it was a great experience but not what she wanted to do. Trying and discovering NOT to do something can be as valuable as finding the thing you love! High school is the time to try it out. Stop in Connections with any questions about how to find opportunities and continue reading the weekly newsletter as we highlight careers each week.

FAFSA application for 2023-24 school year is NOW OPEN

If you have not yet completed the FAFSA, here are a few tips and videos to help with the process. Feel free to connect with me, Ms. Peters or your senior advisor with any questions.

FAFSA Myth: It’s so hard to complete the FAFSA; there is no help available.

Where to create a FAFSA account you will specify a role and be prompted to create an FSA ID

How to create an FSA ID. Parent/Guardian AND student must create their own FSA ID!

SAVE your FSA ID, username, and password somewhere secure. You’ll need It every year!

You will need to confirm via email and cellphone.

At the end of the process, you will see a confirmation success of account/FSA ID creation.

FAQ about the FAFSA

Our Connections team recommends the following steps for EVERY grade level:

Read our weekly newsletter--sent every Friday to IC emails and student school emails. Take action.

  • SAVE programs of interest to an EXPLORATION Spreadsheet. Specify if it is an option in your later years of high school, along with the link to the program.

  • SAVE potential future scholarships to a SCHOLARSHIP spreadsheet. Include links, deadlines, and amount.

  • Immediately sign up for events and programs of interest WHILE you read the newsletter! Add to calendar!

Sign up for and attend career and college visits during and after school hours. Sign up in Naviance.
  • Consider Copying this iCal link to add the Connections Family calendar to your personal calendar

Create and follow a personal budget Start now to be prepared for later.

Career Chats

If you are a TCA family member or know a TCA graduate who would be willing to share their career story with our students, we would love to have you. Many careers are welcome, but here are some of the fields our students have expressed an interest in: Healthcare, Art or Music Therapy, Biochemistry, Legal – Lawyer/Judge, Firefighters, and Interior Design.

Career Chats are held on most Fridays during Flex. Contact Jodi Hoffman at if you are interested.

Do you enjoy baking and would like to earn some volunteer hours? If so, we are looking for someone to bake cookies for our Career Chats. Stop by Connections or email Mrs. Hoffman at if you are interested.


Connections, Room 1104

* Monday, 10/31 8:40, Northern Arizona University
* Monday, 10/31 10:30, Understanding PSAT/NMSQT Results
* Tuesday, 11/1 10:30, BINGO
* Tuesday, 11/1 12:20, University of Dallas
* Tuesday, 11/1 1:15, St. John’s College

In the Community

Savannah College of Art and Design Admissions Event - Saturday, October 29 from 10-noon at the Kimpton Hotel Born on 1600 Wewatta Street, Denver. Register here.

Civil Air Patrol

Have you considered any of the following careers or skills - EMS, Aerospace, Aviation, Space, Military, or Leadership, Character, Self-Confidence, Discipline, and Fitness Skills? You may be interested in the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) As a CAP cadet, you will participate in a year-round program where you fly, learn to lead, hike, camp, get in shape and push yourself to new limits. Many of the nation's astronauts, pilots, engineers, and scientists first explored their careers through CAP. The leadership skills, self-confidence, and discipline you gain will prepare you to achieve whatever goals you set for yourself in life. Open to students 12-18. If you are interested in hearing more about the program, complete this quick form.

Apprenticeship Programs

Parents and guardians, do you want to encourage your employer to start or expand their apprenticeship program? Employers can receive up to $7500 in grant funding! Accelerate Apprenticeship Grants encourage employer adoption of registered apprenticeships in the state of Colorado. Click here to learn more. The online application is anticipated to go live on November 18, 2022.

Enrichment Opportunities

Rensselaer Admissions invites academically talented, underrepresented students to participate in the Science, Technology, and Arts at Rensselaer (STAR) Program on Sunday, November 6 at 2 pm. STAR is an opportunity for prospective students to explore their academic offerings, learn about the admissions and financial aid process, and connect with current students involved with their multicultural student organizations. This year, STAR Program will be held virtually to allow for a deeper dive into their culturally vibrant institute. You must register for the event here.

United States Department of Education Internship Program is open to students 16 years of age or older who are interested in the mission of the Education Department and formulating future career plans in the field of education.

Smithsonian Student Travel enables high school students to deepen their knowledge and cultural awareness of the world through immersive summer travel programs in the U.S. and abroad. Ranging from 14 to 19 days, students engage with their program theme while gaining a deeper understanding of the history, culture, cuisine, language, and environment of their destination.

On Saturday, November 5th, at the Edith Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center on the Colorado College campus, Youth Documentary Academy (YDA) will be hosting a Gen Z Media Lab at 1pm and World Premiere of new films at 6:30pm. Sign up for free here.

Interested in blacksmithing? Welding? Casting? Find more information here

Interested in Medicine & Science, Government & Law, Business & Leadership, Engineering & Computer Science, or Design, Art & Media? Consider attending the National Student Leadership Conference. For more information, click here. Video, Scholarships are available.

Bennington College’s Young Writers Awards competition is accepting submissions, the deadline is Tuesday, November 1. Students may enter in one of the following categories online here:

  • Poetry (a group of three poems)
  • Fiction: a short story (1,500 words or fewer) or one-act play (max. 30 minutes run time)
  • Nonfiction: a personal or academic essay (1,500 words or fewer)

Scholarships and Incentive Programs

At Colgate University all eligible domestic students from families with annual income levels up to $175,000 will have federal loans replaced with university grants as part of the Colgate Commitment, beginning in the 2023–2024 academic year — an expansion from the current income threshold of $150,000.

In-state tuition at out-of-state schools

It is possible to pay in-state tuition at out-of-state schools. Some options may be:

  • Tuition Reciprocity Agreements

  • Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE)

  • Special Circumstances (i.e. parent in the military)
    Flexible Residency Rules

  • Legacy (parent or grandparent)

You don’t know if you don’t ask. We are seeing an increase in these programs and as college-age attendee numbers in their state decrease, we may see more exceptions.

Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln is expanding eligibility for its full-tuition Access NWU Scholarship. Now ALL Pell-eligible students automatically qualify to attend NWU tuition-free. This expanded program serves most students from households with an adjusted gross income at or below $60,000. There is no separate application for the Access NWU Scholarship. Students automatically qualify with their FAFSA information when they apply for admission.

This guide from the Boettcher Foundation is a great guide to help you ace your scholarship applications. It has ideas starting as early as Freshmen year. How to Ace Your College and Scholarship Applications

Career Focus - Education

Interested in becoming an educator? Resources are available for you!

College Highlights

If you are interested in a small school with generous merit aid or reduced price, check out this affordable small college list from Peter Pitts, owner of

John Hopkins offers a 3+1 Biomedical Engineering Program . 3 years undergraduate + 1 year graduate receives bachelor and masters degrees in 4 years.

Are you interested in Sweet Briar College? Sweet Briar is focused on pioneering spirit and entrepreneurship through women’s leadership, sustainability, creativity, and science. And they are seeking young women who are just as passionate as they are in these areas. That’s why they created the Fly-In Program! It is designed for all female high school juniors and seniors and provides funded travel to and from campus for one student and parent or guardian; accommodations at their on-campus hotel; and all meals while on campus. If you are interested, drop by Connections and chat with Ms. Peters.

Things to Know

1001 Things Every Teen Should Know Before They Leave Home

by Harry H. Harrison Jr.

14. They should know things are rarely as good or as bad as they seem.

15. They should know the cure for staying at home and being miserable is to go outside and find someone to serve.

16. They should know life is not about avoiding struggles but overcoming them.

18. They should know young adulthood means apartments are smaller, clothes are cheaper, money is tighter and public transportation could be involved.

19. They should know the solution to running low on money isn’t to start spending more.

Connections Center (Career & College)

Joanna Peters, Director - 9th & 10th Grades, PSAT/NMSQT, Scholarships

Skip Zickmund, Assistant Director - 11th & 12th Grades, AP

Jodi Hoffman, Office Manager - Rep Visits, Community Service