College and Next Steps Guidance

Meaningful Next Steps

The Denver Waldorf School supports students to prepare for the post-high school experience that best suits their individual personalities, abilities, and inclinations. We guide students to reflect on their paths and set future goals while planning for college, a gap year, certificate programs, or other options that might be available. More than 98% of DWS graduates choose to pursue college as their next step, and 100% of the students who apply to college are accepted.

College Nights

Our monthly College Nights series focuses on different aspects of the college and post-secondary application process. Laura Shope designed each evening to answer questions and support parents and students in the college application process.  These meetings are open to all, although probably most useful to the grade listed with each topic. All sessions will be on zoom (link will be in weekly newsletter).

Upcoming Sessions

  • September 18 Application 101: Overview of the Process (Grades 10 and 11)
  • October 23 — SAT and ACT: What You Need to Know (Grades 10 and 11)
  • November 6 — Supporting Your Student Through the Process (Grades 10 and 11)
  • January 29 — Paying for College: Understanding Costs and Aid (Grades 10 , 11, and 12)
  • February 12 — Making Choices: How to Know What’s Right (Grades 10 and 11)
  • March 4 — Gap Years and Alternative Pathways (Grades 10 and 11)
  • April 15 —  Engagement and Success for the Transition to College (Grade 12)
  • May 6 — Preparing to Apply & Making the Most of Summer (Grade 11)

Our Next Steps Curriculum

We are thrilled to welcome Laura Shope as our new College and Post-Secondary Guidance Counselor. In this role, she guides the next course for students graduating from The Denver Waldorf High School, and supports other academic and career preparation needs throughout their high school years. Specifically, the Next Steps Curriculum will:

  • Provide support and guidance for college admissions and financial aid, internships, gap-year experiences, trade schools, and entrepreneurial opportunities. 
  • Interface on behalf of each student regarding college admissions, financial aid, and trade programs, as well as assist with essay writing and student applications. 
  • Assess students’ academic progress to meet requirements of specific colleges and alternate programs 
  • Develop programs to teach students and parents about the college admissions process 
  • Assist students in their search for scholarships and other supportive programs
  • Act as a liaison with various colleges, universities, and programs that support volunteering, internships, gap years, and trades 
  • Develop local partnerships for students looking to pursue internships and volunteer opportunities

About Laura Shope

Laura Shope is coming to us from the Rudolf Steiner School of Ann Arbor, where she has been the High School Student Support Coordinator and High School Administrator for the past three years, and a parent in the Waldorf community for more than 17 years. She has extensive training in career development and personal coaching, along with having recently completed her Waldorf High School Teacher Training through the Center for Anthroposophy. Her plans for working with our students and faculty include creating a rich program of self-reflection, support, and clarity around the decisions the students make for their plans after high school.

Laura is a passionate artist and works with stone, clay, wood, weaving, and plaster to create abstract forms. She and her husband, Dale Jensen, are outdoor enthusiasts and look forward to their move to Colorado. They have two sons, Wilder and Corbin, who attended Waldorf schools from preschool through grade 12 (Corbin will graduate from RSSAA in 2022).


College Preparation Resources

Scoir: The College Network

Coalition for College

Universal College Application

Financial Aid Forms

FAFSA: Free Application for Federal Student Aid

College Search Service Profile from the College Board

Scholarships and other Financial Aid

Broke Scholar

College Board

Fast Web