Karns High School College/Career Planning Guide

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1 Karns High School College/Career Planning Guide

2 Table of Contents -Senior Year Planning Calendar- -Graduation Requirements & GPA- -Advanced Placement/Dual Enrollment- -College Admissions Tests- -Selecting and Applying to College- -Transcripts and Letters of Recommendation- -Scholarships and Financial Aid- Welcome to your senior year, Class of 2014! We hope this guide will help you get started on your journey to life after high school. Remember that your senior year does count and we encourage you to take the challenging courses to build strong academic skills and strengthen your GPA. The more prepared you are, the more options you will have. Your KHS counselor is available to help you through the process of choosing and applying to college. Reading and using this guide is the first step. Pay attention to procedures and deadlines and let us know when you need help!

3 September Senior Year Planning Calendar Create a master calendar to record important application deadlines, test dates, etc. Check your transcripts to ensure all of your graduation requirements are complete. Narrow your list of colleges/career schools and request their application materials and financial aid information (most can be found and completed online). Register for the October ACT or November SAT. You can register online at for the ACT and at for the SAT. KHS school code is If you need your counselor to write a recommendation letter, complete and turn in your Senior Brag Sheet at least 2 weeks in advance. Be sure to make a copy for any teacher you may ask to write a letter as well. October If you re applying for early decision, pay attention to admission deadlines. Begin your scholarship search. Information is included in the monthly Scholarship Bulletin and can be found online at Pay attention to deadlines. Submit transcript requests to the counseling office at least two weeks before deadlines. Go to college/career fairs and make plans to visit your target schools. Fall Break is a great time to plan these trips. KHS allows Seniors two college visit days which will be counted as a field trip day if pre-approved. November Complete all enrollment and scholarship applications and review them. Ask teachers/counselor to write letters of recommendation if necessary for admission. Allow at least two weeks to complete an adequate recommendation. Provide stamped, addressed envelopes and your Senior Brag Sheet. If you have not already done so, sign up and take the ACT/SAT. December Try to wrap up college applications before winter break. Apply for your PIN for your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). You and your parents/guardian will need a PIN. The FAFSA cannot be completed until after January 1 at

4 January Your parents/guardian should complete and file your FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1. Aid is distributed on a first come, first served basis. This is also the HOPE Scholarship application. Continue to watch deadlines for scholarship applications and get them turned in on time. February If you haven t already done so, visit schools to which you have applied. Make sure you make copies of all applications and financial aid forms for your records before you mail them out. Check with schools to make sure they have the documentation they require. Wait. March Decision letters may begin arriving. Read everything carefully and respond if necessary. Review your SAR (Student Aid Report), a report of all the data submitted through your FAFSA, for accuracy. The SAR should arrive anywhere from 2-4 weeks after the FAFSA is submitted. If the SAR has not been received 4 weeks after submitting the FAFSA, call FED-AID. Enjoy Spring Break! April Most admissions decisions and financial aid award letters arrive this month. Notify all colleges which have accepted you of your final decision. Don t give in to senioritis. Your admission may be contingent upon your final grades. May Pay the required deposit to the college/career school you choose. This is usually due by May 1, so continue to be aware of due dates. Sign and return your financial aid award letter. If it will be difficult for your family to pay the Expected Family Contribution for the semester, it s time to start pursuing alternatives such as parent loans or private loans to close the financial aid gap. Fill out a final transcript request for the college you will attend and turn in to Counseling Office. Thank your parents, teachers, counselor, and anyone else who helped you through this process. GRADUATE!!!

5 Karns High School Graduation Requirements Core Subjects Number of Credits English 4 (English I, II, III, IV) Mathematics 4 (Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, higher level math) Science 3 (Biology, Chemistry or Physics, one add l lab science) World History or Geography 1 US History 1 US Government ½ Economics ½ Physical Education and Health 1 ½ (Lifetime Wellness and one additional ½ credit)* Personal Finance ½ Elective Focus 3 University Admissions Students must complete two units of the same world language and one unit of fine/performing arts in order to meet college/university admission requirements.** Total 27*** *The ½ credit PE requirement may be satisfied by completing 65 documented hours of physical activity outside of the school day in other school-related areas and must be completed during one school year. **Waivers were not created as an approach to exempt students from the world language and fine art requirements; waivers are for exceptional circumstances to serve the needs of CTE students. ***Total credits required for graduation is 4 credits less than the potential number available in the master schedule of the student s school (or schools) during the four school years following the student s entry into 9 th grade. Grading Scale and GPA Final grades are cumulative, representing all class work from the beginning of the course to the date of the report. Each successive report is not the average of previous grade reports; rather, it represents the compiles scores of all daily lessons, homework, projects, quizzes, examination and other classroom assignments during that grading period and includes all grades prior to that grading period. Grades Percent Scale Grade Points* A % 4 B 85-92% 3 C 75-84% 2 D 70-74% 1 F 0-69% 0 *Knox County high schools maintain two cumulative GPAs for students. One is based on a four point scale: A=4, B=3, C=2, D=1. It is noted on the transcript as the TN Lottery GPA. On this scale, students completing an Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate course will have five points added to the final class average. Students completing an Honors course will have three points added to the final class average. The second cumulative GPA will be calculated using weighted quality points. It is noted on the transcript as the Knox County Weighted GPA. AP/IB and Core Dual Enrollment courses will receive additional weight as follows: A-5, B-4, C-3, D-2, F-0. In addition, an Honors course recognized by the Knox County School System will be weighted as follows: A-4.5, B-3.5, C-2.5, D-1.5, F-0.

6 College Admission Tests ACT/SAT KHS School Code: Taking a college admissions test is a major component of the admissions process. The score received will be used when evaluating your consideration for admittance. The better you do on the test, the more options for admittance and scholarships you may have. It is advisable to take a preparation course before the attempt. Most colleges/universities accept both the ACT and SAT. However, students should check the websites of their schools of interest to determine what is required or preferred. The ACT is a standardized test taken to measure your college-readiness in the areas of English, Math, Science, Reading, and Writing. The ACT is usually taken by students for the first time in the spring of their Junior year and can be retaken, without penalty, as many times as desired. You must register to take the ACT online at The ACT costs $35 and each test has a registration deadline about three weeks prior to the test date.. The KHS school code is ACT Test Dates -Sept 21 -Oct 26 -Dec 14 -Feb 8 -Apr 12 -Jun 14 The SAT is the college admissions test typically used by more highly selective colleges/universities. It tests students knowledge of subjects that are necessary for college success: reading, writing, and mathematics. The SAT assesses the critical thinking skills students need for academic success in college skills that students learned in high school. You must register online at The SAT costs $ SAT Test Dates -Oct 5 -Nov 2 -Dec 7 -Jan 25 -May 3 -Jun 7

7 Earning College Credit in High School Advanced Placement (AP) Information AP classes are those taken in high school which a student may test for college credit ($86 each) upon completion of the coursework in May. Karns High School offers an extensive list of AP class choices. AP means work, but it s work that pays off. It is to your advantage to take as challenging a course load as you can successfully complete. In Knox County, one point is added to your weighted GPA for the effort. For example: If you earned a B (3 quality points) in the AP class, you would actually receive 4 quality points. It is important to note that college/university AP acceptance policies differ so use the following website to find out what the policy is at the college/university of your choice: Dual Enrollment Information Dual Enrollment provides the opportunity for 11 th and 12 th grade students to earn college credit while still attending high school. To meet Pellissippi State s dual enrollment admission requirement, a student must: Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 to take general education classes and 2.0 to take career/technical classes Meet the ACT requirements for the course How to Apply: 1. Discuss dual enrollment with your counselor to determine eligibility 2. Complete the Pellissippi State online application 3. Fill out a Transcript Request form in the counseling office to have your transcript and ACT scores sent to Pellissippi 4. Download, complete, and return the Pellissippi State the Hepatitis B form found on their website 5. Complete the online Dual Enrollment Grant application at * 6. After the above has been processed, you will register for classes and confirm your attendance online via your mypellissippi account. Return a copy of the class schedule to your KHS counselor so your schedule can be adjusted. 7. Upon successful completion of the class, have your final grade sent to KHS so credit can be awarded. *Dual Enrollment students are eligible for the Tennessee Dual Enrollment Grant to help pay for the dual enrollment class. The grant will pay $300 for one class per semester and up to $600 for two classes per semester. Students must be a Tennessee resident for one year prior to receipt of the grant and maintain a 2.75 GPA in the dual enrollment class. For more information regarding the Tennessee Dual Enrollment Grant program requirements, please contact Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation at or visit their website at

8 Selecting a College & Applying The factors that will set the parameters for your college search are your GPA, the results of the college entrance exams (ACT or SAT), and the leadership and extracurricular activities in which you have been involved. College essays and letters of recommendation may also be required by some schools. Additionally, be realistic when evaluating your options in regards to location, academics, and cost. Types of Post-Secondary Schools Colleges generally smaller in size and offer 4 and some 2-year degrees Universities usually larger institutions with 2-year, 4-year, graduate and professional degrees Community/Junior Colleges smaller colleges offering 2-year Associate degrees. Many students attend local community colleges with the intent to transfer to a larger institution to further their education. Vocational/Career Schools specialized schools of training for specialized trade jobs. Programs vary in length and there may be a waiting list to enroll. Upon completion, graduates receive a license or certificate. To begin the selection process: surf the web, attend the Knox County College Fair, and visit your schools of interest. Juniors and seniors are allowed two (2) excused college visit days. To take advantage of this option, students must complete the College Visit Approval form (in school office) at least 5 days prior to the visit. Form is to be turned in to attendance upon return. How to Apply: Visit the school website to determine how to apply (most applications are done online). Pay attention to deadlines!! College application deadlines are nonnegotiable. There will be an application fee. Request transcript from Counseling Office after you have completed application. **A number of universities (including UT) are now using Common App as their application. See https://www.commonapp.org for more information and instructions.**

9 TRANSCRIPTS Your transcript is a report of all of your high school grades, test scores (TCAP, PLAN, ACT, AP exams), GPA, and decile. A college/university will require a high school transcript once you have applied. Official copies must be requested in writing in the Counseling Office. (See attached Transcript Request form.) Transcript Request forms should be turned in to the Counseling Office Secretary, along with $3. Official copies will be sealed and sent to the college or scholarship company requested. Please pay attention to deadlines and request the transcript at least a week in advance. You may request an unofficial copy of your transcript for your records at any time. Letter of Recommendation If a school or scholarship company requests a letter of recommendation, you should choose the school professional (teacher, counselor, or coach) that knows you best and ask them to write you a letter. Complete the attached Senior Brag Sheet and make copies Provide teacher/counselor with Senior Brag Sheet or resume and instructions for where to send letter with stamped envelope if necessary. Allow teacher/counselor at least 2 weeks to complete the letter of recommendation.

10 Scholarships and Financial Aid One of the best sources of scholarship and financial aid information is the Financial Aid and Scholarship Office at the college to which you are applying. Be sure to visit each college s website and follow that individual school s instructions regarding required forms and deadlines. Other helpful information on scholarships and financial aid can be found at and Scholarships vary greatly by qualifications and deadlines. You will be required to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to receive most financial aid assistance. Do this as soon as possible after January 1 st of your senior year. You will need your parents to provide their tax information to complete the form. You will complete FAFSA online at The information provided on the FAFSA will determine your eligibility for need-based financial aid. Searching for scholarships is a process that requires a dedicated effort. The ability to organize, prioritize, and follow directions exactly is important. While searching for scholarships, be careful of scholarship scams. These scholarship companies are sometimes difficult to spot and charge fees for their services. There are several avenues for scholarship searches. We recommend that you join the KHS School Counseling Fusion Page to receive the updated scholarship bulletin via monthly. Many colleges offer scholarships as well as departments within the college/university. Some schools offer guaranteed scholarships for meeting specific criteria (ex. GPA and/or test scores) in addition to offering competitive scholarships. Search the website of your choice schools for these opportunities. You may also call the college s financial aid office for information or clarification. Private organizations have scholarship money. Organizations such as the Rotary Club, the Chamber of Commerce, and the DAR have money to provide for a student s education. The following websites are good scholarship search tools:

11 HOPE Scholarship The HOPE Scholarship is offered through the Tennessee Education Lottery Program. There is no application for the HOPE Scholarship, but the FAFSA must be completed to receive the money. The HOPE Scholarship requires a 3.0 unweighted GPA OR an ACT composite score of 21. tnachieves tnachieves is a last dollar scholarship and mentoring program designed to provide an opportunity for Tennessee public high school graduates to receive up to $4,000 annually for community college tuition. Our program has three unique components: Volunteers are donating funds to provide a college education for students who would otherwise lack the opportunity. Volunteers serve as mentors to our students to eliminate the barriers associated with college access and success. Our scholars volunteer their time and energy by giving back to the community eight hours of community service per semester they receive funding See https://www.tnachieves.org for more information and instructions to apply. Application deadline is October 4, Loans Stafford Subsidized Loan A subsidized low interest loan offered in conjunction with private lenders. Interest and principal are deferred for periods of at least half time enrollment Stafford Unsubsidized Loan A low interest loan available to students not eligible to borrow any or all of the subsidized Stafford Loan. Interest must be paid by the student or capitalized during the school period. Perkins Loan A federal low interest loan, offered by the college as the lender, based on the availability of funds. PLUS Loan Parent loan to undergraduate students. See for more information on borrowing money for college.

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