How competitive is the application process?
Approximately 125 students apply each year, 50 are selected to interview, and 25 are admitted.
What are you looking for in applicants?
(HS)2 is looking for highly motivated and engaged students who have a demonstrated interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), are interested in working hard during their summers, and are prepared and excited to contribute positively to our learning community.
What are your eligibility criteria for admission?
(HS)2 accepts applications from African American, Latino, and Native American students who are currently in the 9th grade in a public high school. Eligible students must qualify for free/reduced-fee lunch or be able to demonstrate financial hardship, be a first-generation college student (i.e., parents/grandparents did not attend college) and have status as a U.S. Citizen or legal resident. Students should also have a deep interest in math and science and be in the top 10% of their class academically.
What cities does the program serve?
(HS)2 currently partners with high schools in Denver, Dallas, Fort Worth, New Orleans, and New York City.
I live don’t live in one of the cities named above, can I apply to the program?
You are welcome to send an email inquiry to email@example.com
, however, (HS)2 currently only accepts students from the cities listed above. The reason for this is that we want our students to stay connected with one another and encourage them to have a leadership presence in their home schools and communities, and by recruiting students from select regions, (HS)2 can have a more profound impact in the communities we serve.
How do I apply for the (HS)2 program?
There are three steps to apply to (HS)2. The first step is to complete the pre-application and essay
, found either on our website or in your school counselor’s office (October). Once (HS)2 determines your eligibility, we will send an application packet to your high school counselor which includes student/family contact information and questionnaires, teacher recommendations, school transcripts, a math assessment, and financial information and verification (November and December). Completed applications are reviewed by the (HS)2 admission committee, and finalists are selected in January and interviewed by the Program Director in February and March. (HS)2 scholars are selected and notified of their admission to the program at the end of March.
If I am accepted, and decide to go, do I have to attend for all three summers?
When students accept the invitation to participate in the (HS)2 program, they and their families commit to attend
all five weeks of the program for three consecutive summers. To ensure that students receive the full benefit of all that (HS)2 offers, we ask that students do not delay their arrival date, move up their departure date, or miss any days during the program.
When and where will my interview take place?
School counselors are notified in late January if their students are finalists for the (HS)2 program. Personal interviews with finalists will take place either in their home city or via Skype during February and March.
What if I have a conflict with the interview date or time?
(HS)2 will work with you to schedule a time that works for everyone.
Can parents/guardians/family attend the interview with the student?
We encourage an adult family member or guardian to attend the interview. During the first 20 minutes, the student finalist is interviewed individually, and then during the last 10 minutes, family members may join to ask questions.
What if my parent(s) can’t make it to the interview?
We know it can be challenging for parents to take time from work to attend an (HS)2 interview. Parents are welcome to contact (HS)2 directly to talk with the program director by calling 970-963-2562 x134, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
to ask questions and learn more about the program at any time throughout the admission process.
What should I wear for the interview?
Applicants should wear clothes that look nice and are comfortable. Suggestions include collared shirt and trousers, a sweater and pants, blouse and skirt/slacks, or a dress.
What can I expect during the interview?
The interview is the best way for (HS)2 to get to know finalists and determine if they are a good match for (HS)2 and if (HS)2 is a good match for them. Interview questions typically focus on students’ academic strengths and weaknesses, goals and dreams, extracurricular activities, and home life.
How can I prepare for the interview?
Do your homework! Visit the (HS)2 website (good job – you are already here!), read about the program and come prepared with questions.
What does a typical weekday involve?
Students attend six hours of academic classes each weekday, two hours each of math, science, and writing/college counseling. In the afternoons, they participate in the Active Program, which includes rock climbing, kayaking, and team sports, as well as art classes such as silversmithing, blacksmithing, and music. Students also attend an additional one and half hours of evening study hall every day.
Who decides what level of math I will take?
(HS)2 will work with you and your school counselor before the start of the program each year to determine which math course is appropriate for you. We consider the material you are currently learning, the course you will take the following academic year, as well as your current level of understanding and challenge in your current course.
How much homework will I get every night?
Homework varies from class to class, but you should expect at least 30 minutes of homework per night from each class.
Is additional academic support, beyond evening study hall, available for those students who require it?
If students have a grade average below 72 or fail to turn in assignments on time, they will receive extra instructional support outside the classroom, as well as Sunday study.
Do I get credit at my school for courses I take at (HS)2?
You will not receive high school or college credit for the courses you take at (HS)2. However, you will be well prepared for college by the end of your third summer with the program.
Living on Campus
Where will I be living?
Scholars live in the dormitories on the Colorado Rocky Mountain School (CRMS) campus. Males and females are separated into different dorms and are chaperoned by a Residential Advisor (RA) who also has a room in the dorm.
Will I have a roommate?
Yes, typically there are two students in a dorm room.
Are meals provided?
Yes, breakfast, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner are all provided in the dining hall – called the Bar Fork. Our kitchen staff does an excellent job of providing tasty, healthy options at every meal, and can accommodate food allergies or preferences.
Can I buy snacks?
There is a grocery store a half-mile from campus that students may visit during scheduled times to purchase snacks. We encourage students to eat all their main meals in the Bar Fork – it’s good practice to expand your palate so that you are prepared to try new foods that you will likely encounter when in the college dorms.
What amenities are provided in the dorms?
All dormitories have wireless access (with limited hours in the evening) and a basic kitchen, with a shared refrigerator, microwave, and limited kitchenware. Each room includes two twin beds, two closets with hangers, a desk with drawers, a desk chair, bed linens, a pillow, a blanket, and bath towels. Each dorm has a shared bathroom(s) with showers, toilets, and sinks. Each dorm also has a common area (like a living room) with couches and chairs and a television (that is only on during scheduled weekend times).
Can I bring my Xbox or PlayStation?
Please don’t – You’ll be far too engaged in learning, bonding with new friends, having adventures, and creating memories.
What about Laundry?
You will do your laundry – knowing how to do your own laundry is a beneficial life skill! Laundry machines are available in the student center, and quarters and laundry detergent are provided. Lessons in the art of doing laundry are provided if needed.
Are the dorms air-conditioned?
Rooms are not air-conditioned, but nights in the mountains tend to be very cool (50-60 degrees).
What activities are available during the weekend?
Weekend activities include a Welcome picnic at the (HS)2 Founder’s ranch; whitewater rafting, rock climbing and kayaking trips (if you choose those activities as your afternoon Actives), hiking at Maroon Bells and Aspen Mountain. For those who wish to attend, we do provide transportation to two local churches (Catholic and non-denominational) on Sunday mornings.
Is there any downtime?
Not much! Sunday is the one day set aside for rest and relaxation, hanging out with friends, or studying on your own (except for study hall and ACT/SAT prep Sunday evening.). All other days, you will be busy from 8:30 am to 10:30 pm.
What is the weather like during the summer?
Summer day temperatures are typically around 80-90 degrees, while the nights are much cooler. We often have thunderstorms in the afternoon. Humidity in Colorado is very low, and we recommend you bring moisturizer for your skin.
What if I get sick while I’m there?
(HS)2 employs an on-call nurse/EMT at all times during the summer program. Students needing additional medical care are taken to a local physician or Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs.
Communication with Home
How does a student contact a parent or vice-versa during the summer?
Students and parents can communicate with one another via cell phone or email during designated times during the summer session. (HS)2 strongly recommends that student/parent communication be limited to allow students to acclimate to their new environment and fully engage in the (HS)2 experience. There will be days at a time during the summer session where students will be “unplugged” from their cell phones to promote more “real-time” interaction among peers and encourage less social reliance on technology.
Does the scholar need to have a cell phone during the summer?
Students are not required to have a cell phone during their time at (HS)2. However, most do. It is recommended that students have a cell phone when traveling by airplane to (HS)2, as it is possible to experience delays, canceled flights, and other unforeseen events. There are several inexpensive pre-paid phones available at retail stores like Walmart, Target, and Walgreens, that you can purchase and used during the five-week (HS)2 program. Students should plan and save enough minutes to use when traveling to and from Colorado.
What if parents need to reach a scholar during class time?
Students do not have access to their phones when they are in class, during afternoon activities, or during study hall. If a family emergency occurs and parents need to contact their student immediately, parents may call or text a member of the (HS)2 administrative staff, who will alert the student to contact their parents. The contact information of lead (HS)2 administrators will be provided to parents before students arrive at (HS)2.
Can scholars receive mail or packages?
Yes – Mail should be addressed to your student’s name c/o (HS)2 Program, Colorado Rocky Mountain School, 500 Holden Way, Carbondale, CO 81623
Cost & What to Bring
Do I have to pay for the program?
No. (HS)2 is free of charge for all students selected. Scholars attend on full scholarships for three consecutive summers. Included are room and meals, textbooks, course materials, and transportation to and from the program.
What expenses are NOT covered by the program?
(HS)2 does not cover the cost of airline baggage fees, which typically run $25-$35 per checked bag each way. Additionally, most students bring $200 for snacks/souvenirs.
Is transportation to Carbondale, CO, covered if I am accepted?
Yes. The program covers students’ round-trip transportation costs from a major airport near their home city to Denver, Colorado. Chartered buses drive students from Denver Airport to Carbondale (a four-hour drive). Students receive their airline itineraries in May after (HS)2 has received all enrollment paperwork.
What should I bring with me?
Students should pack appropriate summer clothing, including athletic attire, as well as a more formal outfit for college trips, graduation, dances, etc. Students should also pack a hat, warm jacket (i.e. a fleece), a rain jacket and hiking/tennis shoes with good tread. Although (HS)2 will provide students with Chromebooks and graphing calculators, students are encouraged to bring their own to campus. (HS)2 provides its scholars with all school supplies; however, students should bring a backpack. A complete packing list is provided to admitted scholars.
Can parents visit scholars during the summer?
Parents of (HS)2 students are asked not to visit during the 5-week session. This allows students to fully immerse themselves in all aspects of (HS)2. Parents of third-year students are welcome to attend the commencement ceremony and dinner on the Friday before departure day.