WCHS Senior Guide
Graduating from high school and deciding what to do with your future is a difficult decision. The purpose of this booklet is to help you in making decisions. The Senior Guide is designed with the intention of giving you as much information as possible; however, it cannot possibly answer all of your questions. I strongly encourage you to share this information with your parents as you make decisions concerning your future. As always, we are here to help you if you have questions. Hopefully, your senior year will be successful as well as exciting.
The following information about the school is often required for applications:
Warren County High School
199 Pioneer Lane
McMinnville, Tennessee 37110
Phone: (931) 668-5858
Guidance Fax: (931) 668-5913
Counselors: Keri McGiboney (student last name A-E)
Marisa Young (student last name F-L)
Kari Burnett (student last name M-Ri )
Kathy Ewton (student last name Ro-Z )
School Code: 431-367
All students will pursue a focused program of study preparing them for postsecondary study. A high school diploma will be awarded to students who earn the specified 22 units of credit, and have satisfactory records of attendance and conduct.. Each Senior will also be required to take the ACT in order to graduate. The Guidance Office will provide a transcript and a graduation checklist for each student. If you have any questions about your graduation requirements, please see your counselor immediately.
A special education diploma may be awarded at the end of their fourth year of high school to students with disabilities who have (1) not met the requirements for a high school diploma, (2) have satisfactorily completed an individualized education program, and (3) have satisfactory records of attendance and conduct. Students who obtain the special education diploma may continue to work towards the high school diploma through the end of the school year in which they turn twenty-two years old.
The ACT is a standardized test administered six times annually. The ACT is the most important key to academic scholarships and is a requirement for college admission. The best way to improve the ACT score is to continue to take academic core courses. Colleges usually look at the highest score, but students should be aware of individual college scholarship deadlines. Applications for the ACT and practice tests are available in the guidance office, library and at the ACT website. Students are responsible for completing the applications and mailing them before the deadlines.
Warren County High School ACT Test Center Code: 184950
In addition, a senior can take a Residual ACT at the college of his choice on different dates if he or she arranges for the test through the individual school. This test score could be used only at that college or university.
It is recommended that students take the ACT for the first time during the spring of their junior year. Students should re-take the ACT during their junior and senior year as long as their scores continue to improve (55% of students who take the ACT more than once improve their scores).
Choosing a College
Choosing a college is one of the most important decisions you will make. Since you will be spending at least two to five years at a college, you need to select a school where you will be happy and one where you will develop academically, spiritually, emotionally, and personally. Students should apply to several colleges during the first semester of their senior year. These choices might include a “dream” school, as well as a “safety” school where the student can be sure he will be admitted and be able to afford.
For admission and scholarship consideration, colleges consider many different qualities. They are typically looking for a well-rounded student who has an outstanding resume, reflecting his or her GPA, advanced courses, career goal, rank, ACT, awards, leadership, community and school involvement, and other activities. This resume should be included with all college applications.
Contacting the College
Students should contact both the school’s admission and financial aid office. Most state universities have recruiters who visit us throughout the year. Students must make themselves aware of deadlines for individual schools.
Colleges and Universities require that your transcript be sent directly to their admissions office from the guidance office. A transcript request form is available in the guidance office. Your ACT scores are included on your transcript if you had the scores sent to Warren County High School. Do not request that a transcript be sent to a college until you have submitted your admissions application. Students must also request a final transcript be mailed to their college of choice. Forms will be given to students prior to graduation to make this request.
Class rank is determined following the seventh semester (middle of the senior year) of enrollment. Rank will be available for students one week following the issuance of semester report cards. Final rank will be determined at the end of the senior year. The year end rank will be posted on students permanent records.
In order for students to participate in athletics at a Division I or Division II school they must be cleared through the NCAA. This is an application process is administered online. NCAA website
Advanced Placement courses are college level courses offered to high school students. High school students may earn college credit depending on the AP test score. Students who have taken AP courses and AP tests need to check the AP policy at all of the colleges and universities to which they are applying to determine possible college credit. Many schools will accept AP scores between the 3-5 range.
Credit by Assessment
At present, WCHS has credit by assessment agreements with Motlow, MTSU, and the Tennessee of Applied Technology - McMinnville. Credit by assessment allows students to receive college credits for certain technical classes taken in high school. Students will be required to pass tests on the course and in some cases complete a research paper or pass a skill assessment. There is also a testing fee which is required. If you are interested in additional information please contact the college or technical school of your choice.
The following list contains information on schools that our students often attend. Other information is available through the use of the College Handbook in the guidance office and online.
AUSTIN PEAY (1-800-844-apsu)
BELMONT UNIVERSITY (1-800-563-6765)
CARSON-NEWMAN UNIVERSITY (1-800-678-9061)
CUMBERLAND UNIVERSITY (1-800-467-0562)
EAST TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY (1-800-GO2-ETSU)
LIPSCOMB UNIVERSITY (1-800-333-4358)
MARTIN METHODIST (1-800-467-1273)
MARYVILLE COLLEGE (1-800-597-2687)
MOTLOW STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE (931-393-1524)
MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY (1-800-331-MTSU)
TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY (1-888-463-6878)
TENNESSEE TECH UNIVERSITY (1-800-255-8881)
TENNESSEE WESLEYAN COLLEGE (1-800-742-5892)
UNION UNIVERSITY (1-800-338-6466)
UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS (901-678-2000)
UNIVERSITY OF TN AT CHATTANOOGA (865-974-2184)
UNIVERSITY OF TN AT KNOXVILLE (1-800-221-VOLS)
UNIVERSITY OF TN AT MARTIN (1-800-829-8861)
VOLUNTEER STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE (615-452-8600)
Technical schools are specialized schools designed for specific career training to use on the job. Training may take from three to twenty-four months depending on the chosen program. Students are encouraged to visit technical schools to learn about all of the programs that are offered.
TENNESSEE TECHNOLOGY CENTER…..CROSSVILLE (931-484-7502) or Toll Free (877-811-7502)
CHATTANOOGA STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE (423-697-4422) or toll free (866-547-3733)
NASHVILLE STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE (1-800-272-7363)
Tennessee Lottery Grants and some local scholarships are available for use at area technical schools; financial aid is available through additional grants and loans. The cost of attending technical schools is typically affordable. Students can often have full time employment while attending technical schools. Completion of the FAFSA form is recommended for financial aid requests. At the completion of a technical education students receive an associate’s degree or a certificate. Because of the demand for these programs, seniors are encouraged to indicate their interests with the school early.
Funds for job training or attendance to a technical program or a university are available for students who have a disability. Students who have been absent frequently for health reasons or students who have been restricted from physical activities or had accidents may qualify. To apply for these funds students or parents should contact the Vocational Rehabilitation Office at (931) 473-4667.
Applying For Financial Aid
Many students qualify for financial aid based on the income of the student and his or her parents, the size of the family, and the cost of attending the selected college. The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is used to apply for federal and state grants, for work-study programs, for federal loans, and for Tennessee Lottery Scholarships. Students should apply as soon as possible. Upon completion and submission of the FAFSA a Student Aid Report is generated. This is a FREE service and is one of the most important components of the financial aid process.
- FAFSA website.
- Parents and students both need to get a personal identification number in order to complete the FAFSA on the web. Submitting the FAFSA form through the website may actually save 3-4 weeks of waiting for your Student Aid Report.
- Students and families interest in assessing their eligibility for federal student aid can access FAFSA4caster. The links for FAFSA4caster are located in the lower right corner of the home page.
- The FAFSA checks your qualifications for the following aid programs:
Pell Grant: Awarded by the federal government to lower income students for college or technical school. This grant does not have to be re-paid by the student.
Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant: This grant is awarded by each institution and does not have to be repaid by the student.
Federal Perkins Loan: This is a long term, low interest loan from the college for graduate or undergraduate studies. These must be re-paid by the student. Federal Work/Study Program: These are part-time, wage earning jobs for students. The hours vary.
Army Loan Repayment Program: Repayment program to recruit college graduates who need loans paid.
Federal Parent Loan (Plus Loan): This is a long-term loan with variable interest rates. Repayment begins within 60 days after the loan is received.
Federal Stafford Loan: This is a long-term loan with a low interest rate. Repayment begins after student is no longer enrolled in an educational institution.
Tennessee Student Assistance Award: This is a grant based on need that does not have to be repaid by the student.
Tennessee Education Hope Scholarship (Lottery) Program: The FAFSA serves as the application for this program.
Tennessee Promise: Completion of the FAFSA is required to apply for this program.
Scholarship information is available from many sources. Remember the most important criteria for receiving a scholarship is the ACT score, in addition to the GPA and school and community activities. Neither school counselors nor the WCHS administration have any control over who receives scholarships and who does not. It is the responsibility of the student to apply for scholarship funds. Students should follow six basic steps in order to obtain scholarships:
1. Complete an on-line scholarship search. Many companies provide this search for free, websites are listed below.
2. Apply to your college of choice and then check with the college financial aid department and ask for available scholarships.
3. Read the newsletter published by the guidance department. New scholarship information is updated daily on the high school website.
4. Check with your employers, your parents’ employers, your church, and your civic organizations to ask if there are any scholarships available.
5. Complete the FAFSA . This is the lottery scholarship application as well as the application for all federal aid (grants and loans), and is required for the Tennessee Promise.
State Lottery Scholarship Program
The state of Tennessee Lottery Scholarship Program is updated annually. College Pays TN website has the most recent lottery scholarship information.
The Tennessee Promise is both a scholarship and mentoring program that began in the fall of 2015. It will provide students a last-dollar scholarship, meaning the scholarship will cover tuition and fees not covered by the Pell Grant, the HOPE scholarship, or TSAA. While removing the financial burden is key, a critical component of Tennessee Promise is the individual guidance each participant will receive from a mentor who will provide guidance and assistance as the student enters higher education. In addition, students will be required to complete 8 hours of community service per term enrolled, as well as maintain satisfactory academic progress (2.0 GPA).
Most outside scholarships (those that are not based on academics and connected to a college or university) are for students with exceptional abilities or talents. Examples of these abilities are leadership, athletics, music, and community service. To receive scholarships, students must dedicate themselves to a scholarship search and to applying for scholarships. We encourage students to search for scholarships from different sources. Guidance newsletter available every month in your homeroom and updated daily on the Warren County Schools website under the guidance tab.
Websites for Scholarships
Many local scholarships are available to seniors. Applications are available in December right before Christmas break. Applications will be available on the website for students to print out or the Scholarship Office will have copies available to pick up.
A senior scholarship and award ceremony is held each year during the spring. Decisions regarding the recipients of each particular scholarship are made by the individuals or organization sponsoring the scholarship. Scholarship decisions are not made by the school counselors or the school administration. Often times the guidance office is not notified if a student receives a scholarship. We ask all students to inform us of any scholarships that they have won so that they may be recognized during the scholarship ceremony.
Preparing for College
Be sure that you have taken the courses needed for college success and admission.
Scores on the ACT are the single most important qualification for an academic scholarship and play an important role in receiving an athletic scholarship. Be sure to take and re-take the test to meet qualifications for scholarships and avoid taking remedial courses.
Prepare a resume or activities record.
Use numerous sources to find information on scholarships. Listen to announcements and read the Guidance newsletter. Also check the school website under guidance.
Learn about the scholarships and financial aid available at your selected colleges or universities.
Fill out applications to your schools. Visit with former students to get their perspective of the college.
Complete the transcript request form so that your transcript can be mailed. Bring counselor recommendation forms to guidance early. One week’s notice is necessary for a written recommendation. Remember you must apply at the college before receiving a scholarship or any form of financial aid. Consider applying to Honors Programs.
Save copies of all letters from colleges. Call the college or university with any questions you may have.
Complete the NCAA clearinghouse form if you intend to participate in athletics at a Division I or Division II college. NCAA Applications
Apply for federal aid by completing the FAFSA as soon as possible. Some grants are available on a first-come basis.
After you receive your Student Aid Report (will receive after completing FAFSA forms), arrange a meeting with the university’s financial aid office.
Be sure to reserve a dorm room.
Before the scholarship ceremony, report all scholarship offers to the scholarship coordinator.
Prior to graduation, complete the final transcript request form.
Participate in orientation programs offered at colleges during the summer.
Write thank you notes! (Especially for local scholarships)
Review your high school course work.
Review your career plans and decide which type of school is right for you.
Visit some college campuses.
Narrow your college list to 3-5 schools.
Request catalogs and admission information or view them online.
Register for the ACT and/or SAT ( ACT Packets are available in the guidance office or online).
Meet with college admissions representatives who are visiting your school.
Make a list of test names, dates, fees, registration deadlines, and of deadlines for college admissions and financial aid applications.
Remember that you must take test like the SAT and ACT at least six weeks before the deadline for scores to be submitted to colleges.
Begin asking teachers, counselors, and employers for letters of recommendation to include with your admissions and/or scholarship applications.
Begin preparing your college applications. Check with the colleges to find out when materials must be postmarked.
You must apply online at the FAFSA website. Guidance does not have paper applications.
Take the ACT or SAT exam.
Visit your top school choices. Interview students, faculty and staff.
Find out which financial aid applications your college choices require and when the forms are due.
Some private universities may require that you register for CSS/Financial Aid Profile at this time. (This determines your qualification for private school aid.)
Make sure you have applied for the Tennessee Promise.
Continue to research your scholarship options on line and with your employers, churches, and community resources.
Obtain Local Scholarship applications on the Guidance website or pick up applications in the Scholarship Office (Room 102 1/2)
Fill out Scholarship Applications and pay close attention to scholarship deadlines.
Request transcripts from the counseling office, to be sent to colleges to which you have applied.
Submit your FAFSA if you have not already done so.
Look for your Student Aid Report (SAR) in the mail. Your SAR contains federal financial aid information.
Submit SAR and tax forms to the financial aid office of the college if requested. Contact each office to make certain that your application is complete. Find out what else you need to do to establish and maintain your eligibility for financial aid.
Watch the mail for college acceptance and financial aid award letters. Compare the financial aid awards you receive.
Make your final decision and send in a deposit by the deadline.
Check with the college you’ve chosen about the details of signing and returning financial aid award letters.
Notify the other schools that you will not be attending.
Watch for important deadlines at your chosen college (housing, financial aid, etc.).
Take AP examinations.
Finalize summer school or summer job plans.
Talk with parents about what type of budget you will be on during your freshman year.
Graduate from High School.