Connections Weekly Newsletter

November 18, 2022

CLASS OF 2023 - Advisor Skip Zickmund

As you are applying to college, verify what other materials you need in addition to the application and all required parts from you. Other than the transcript, you do not have to submit the application before requesting materials.

  • Transcript (enter in Naviance AFTER applying)
  • ACT or SAT official scores (send from or
  • Teacher Letter of Recommendation (ask your teacher in person and then add to Naviance, including only the names of colleges for whom a letter is required or recommended. Give them 2 weeks to write it. Give your teacher a copy of your resume.)
  • Counselor Letter of Recommendation (complete Skip’s form in Schoology; request CR letter from Connections)
  • FAFSA or CSS Profile (don’t miss this step. Some colleges have FAFSA deadlines of Dec. 1)
  • Early Decision form or Fee Waiver form (let Connections know you have requested it)

If you are working on these steps over break and have questions, remember to use the multiple HOW TOs on our webpage, Naviance documents, and FAQs in Common App and FAFSA.
See you after Thanksgiving break!

Community Service: This week in Civics class Seniors were reminded of the Community Service requirement of 30 volunteer hours and 3 papers that are to be entered into x2Vol by the end of the third quarter, March 17, 2023. If they need a refresher on how to enter their information into x2Vol, they can stop by Connections or check out this x2Vol HOW TO video. More information on the Community Service Graduation Requirements can be found on the TCA website on the Connections page.

We have had several questions about the advantages of applying to an honors college at your university. In many cases, after you have applied to the institution, they will invite you to apply to an honors college. Be sure to check out what it means for your specific college, but in general, an honors program can provide smaller and more rigorous courses, more interaction with faculty, early course registration, special housing, scholarships, internships, and research opportunities.

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 Skip Zickmund 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

Here are some additional topic-specific presentations about the FAFSA, such as How to Create and Account and FSA ID.

If you will be working on completing your FAFSA over the break, here are some common mistakes families make. Recommendation: Always review your document for accuracy BEFORE submitting. Why fill out the FAFSA? It's the gateway to more than $150 billion in college grants, work-study funds, and federal student loans, as well as certain state-based aid.

Connections team is willing to schedule some FAFSA help sessions for our families. If you are interested, please complete this quick form before November 28.


Connections, Room 1104

* Tuesday, 11/29 10:30, BINGO
* Friday, 12/2 10:30, Career Chat: Jessica Massie, Architect


On Wednesday, December 7th from 5:30-7:00, the University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado School of Mines, Colorado State University and the University of Denver will be hosting a virtual Admissions event. During this event, you will hear quick updates from each university and can ask a panel of admissions professionals questions that may be on your mind about the admission process. Click here to register.

Enrichment Opportunities

November 29 Deadline: AI Winter Camp Scholarships are available for a virtual Artificial Intelligence camp, founded by Standford Ph. Ds, over the Christmas break. The scholarship deadline is Nov. 29, the earlier you apply, the more likely you will get in.

Register Soon: Carnegie Mellon offers Pre-College Programs over the summer and Discover Sessions over winter break that help students prepare for the college experience while exploring their educational and career options. Their programs vary in length and all offer scholarships. Register here

The Virtual Exploring Energy Program offers students the opportunity to join the National Energy Academy where they will meet other like-minded classmates from around the country and learn about the energy industry from industry professionals. Scholarships and other opportunities are available. To join, complete this online registration, The next meeting is November 28 at 5:30 pm.

St. John's College Summer Academy helps students hone their reading, critical thinking, and discussion skills and is perfect for high school students who want to immerse themselves in books, ideas, and a community that loves learning as much as they do. Sessions on both their Annapolis, MD and Sante Fe, NM campuses. Apply here.

Fordham University will once again be holding a weeklong Cybersecurity Summer Camp for high school students run jointly by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF). The focus of the camp will be on educating students about cryptography and cryptocurrencies.

With The Experiment in International Living students will gain a deeper understanding of the world through their ABROAD and VIRTUAL programs. Students will experience homestays with trusted families, immerse themselves in new cultures, and learn alongside diverse groups of people, all while fueling your purpose-driven passions along the way. Apply online for summer abroad 2023 programs before February 15, 2023.

The Telluride Association Summer Seminars (TASS) are six-week educational experiences for high school sophomores and juniors. More information here

Worcester Polytechnic Institute is offering a 2-week summer program to explore a STEM major with a humanities and arts minor. Applications open January 16.

Scholarships and More

December 1 Deadline for College Application: The University of Texas at Dallas Eugene McDermott Scholars Program offers a full-ride scholarship with challenging academic and extracurricular opportunities to top students who use their time and talents to lead and serve. Interested students must submit their UT Dallas application well before the December 1 deadline. The scholarship application will be due in early 2023.

All college & university websites have a Net Price Calculator. Net price calculators allow prospective students to enter information about themselves to find out what students like them paid to attend the institution in the previous year, after taking grants and scholarship aid into account.

The Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) is an agreement
with 160+ participating public colleges and universities to provide steep nonresident tuition savings for Colorado students. Click here for the full list of participating WUE schools! Through WUE, eligible students can choose from hundreds of undergraduate programs outside their home state and pay no more than 150 percent of that institution’s resident tuition rate.

Career Focus - Explore Career Options/Sports Facilities Management

While these articles and guides are written for students in higher education, the recommendations also apply to high school students. Check out the ways to explore career options: informational interviews, volunteer opportunities, job simulations, job shadowing, and internships. Many resources are available at Create an account (TCA is listed under charter schools) and explore the opportunities.

Considering an exciting career in sports facilities management? Get an overview of this field, specific job duties, and salary potential if you choose to pursue this path with a sports business degree from Saint Leo University.

College Highlights

If you are interested in small colleges for Public Health Majors and Minors, check out this affordable small college list from Peter Pitts, owner of

Interested in Engineering? Curious about college programs? Check out this information from Rutgers.

Things to Know

1001 Things Every Teen Should Know Before They Leave Home

by Harry H. Harrison Jr.

They Should Know How to Get a Job

117. They should know the best time to start networking is way before they actually need a network.

156. They should know to arrive early to each interview for no other reason than to avoid a speeding ticket.

170. They should know a thank-you note will make them look more professional than other candidates, and they can add anything they forgot to say.

178. They should know to not hold out for the “perfect” job. They have forty or fifty years to find that

181. They should know to celebrate their job offer. It’s a very cool thing.

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