Athens High School


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While drive is in short supply at the end of the semester, there are so many important deadlines that occur. I would hate to see you miss out on any opportunities. Know important deadlines to schools where you are applying. Many of their deadlines fall in December and early spring. I would strongly suggest that you keep a calendar specifically with deadlines for college- scholarships, programs, etc. Local and community based scholarships are starting to pick up and will continue especially after the new year. Check out the scholarship section here in the newsletter and grab a few applications to fill out over the holiday break.

Speaking of breaks, it is vital that you push through and finish this semester strong. It will certainly make the holidays feel so much sweeter knowing that you did your very best. Once you've knocked out those exams, take time to relax. You have two weeks to rejuvenate and be ready to tackle second semester.

I wish for you all a restful & safe Christmas and the happiest New Year. TWENTY TWENTY has great things in store for you!

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Still not ordered your cap & gown?

If you need to order and/or pay for ONLY a cap/gown/diploma, you can do it HERE ( Click on "Make a Payment" and fill out all of the information. The cost for that is $75 puls tax which comes to $81.75. There is also a service fee for paying online. The Balfour rep will be back to collect payment/orders one more time towards the end of January if you would rather pay via cash or check. That date has not been determined yet.

If you would like to order OTHER senior stuff (announcements, gear, etc.) plus your cap and gown, you need to click HERE ( Search "Athens High School" and follow directions from there.

Please try to have the cap and gown order placed and paid for BEFORE February 3rd. The cost will go up after that date. If you have any further questions, you can contact our Balfour representatives at (423) 265-2060.

Don't forget to fill out the FAFSA

After completing your application to college, the next step is completing the FAFSA. Even if you aren't sure whether you will qualify, there is no harm in trying. What would be unfortunate is if you did not fill out the FAFSA and there is FREE money that is sitting out there to assist you in paying for school.

What is the FAFSA?

You must submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) if you want to apply for federal and state financial aid. Many colleges and universities, especially public institutions, also require the FAFSA. You must submit the FAFSA every year that you want aid.

The FAFSA is available in several formats, including online, PDF and paper versions. The best option is to complete the web-based version of the FAFSA at, known as FAFSA on the Web.


1. Parents entering their info into the student's section

2. Parents reporting untaxed benefits that are not required in the worksheet

3. Parents not "signing" the FAFSA

4. Not entering a college in student's home state first (for state grant eligibility)

5. Parents reporting unemployment earnings as wages, salaries, and tips

6. Reporting the incorrect figure for Total Tax; reporting taxes withheld instead, or listing AGI there

7. Parents who go to

8. Not reporting rental real estate net worth in assets

9. Incorrectly reporting number of people in the household

10. Not using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool

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Check out the US Dept of Education's College Scoreboard

Compare size, degree, location, cost and much more!

Senior Ads

Senior ads are now available for purchase. All orders for senior ads should be made online at Full page ads are $195, half page ads are $125, and quarter page ads are $75. Specifics for design, number of pictures, and words are on the website. Please contact Ms. L. Carter in room A1164 ( for any questions.


2nd Semester Begins

Tuesday, Jan. 7th, 8:15am

This is an online event.


Fall Preview Days are a great way to see many facets of a college or university. Go to a school's website to sign up online to participate in their preview day. If you cannot make the preview day, then sign up online for a tour of campus. If the preview day or campus visit takes place on a weekday, make sure to fill out a College Visit form in advance so that absence does not affect your attendance. College Visit forms can be picked up in the attendance office.


February 29, 2020


February 17, 2020

Need a Recommendation?

Many of you will need recommendations over your senior year, whether it is for a job, school application or scholarship. Here are some things to consider when asking for a recommendation...

  1. Look at the recommendation criteria. It will be specific in who the recommendation can come from.
  2. Don't assume they will write one for you- ask.
  3. Choose someone with whom you've had a positive relationship.
  4. Provide them with a resume, what or who the recommendation is for, and when you need it completed.
  5. Let them know if it is to be returned to you or if they are to mail it. If they are to mail it, please provide them with a stamped, addressed envelope.
  6. Don't rush in the day before the deadline. Give them ample time to write the recommendation. A month before the deadline is preferable. The more time allow, the more thoughtful your recommendation will be.
Student Brag Form

If you would like for me to complete a letter of recommendation form, please take a moment to fill out the Student Brag Form linked here. It allows me the opportunity to know more about you and craft the best letter possible.

Parent Brag Form

Parents & Guardians- this is your opportunity to brag of your babies! Fill out the Parent Brag Form to help me know what makes your children special!

Need a Transcript?

Athens High School has now partnered with Parchment to order and send your transcripts securely. You should have received an email with a link and code to create an account. You can create an account with or without the code, but registering with the code is much quicker and easier.

You will be able to order a transcript and track the process of your order all online!

Some things you should know:

  • For current students, the first 3 orders are free
  • After the first three orders, there will be a fee of $5 for each transcript ordered
  • Your FINAL transcript upon graduation will be free if ordered by June 30th of your graduation year
  • Paper Transcript Requests for current and former students will no longer be accepted

The link to order a transcript is available on the school's main webpage as well as under the Guidance Page> Senior Resources

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All scholarships and special opportunities will be listed here in chronological order. This section will continue to grow throughout the year. Keep an eye out as new information is listed. If you see a scholarship that you are interested in and need an application, those are available in the scholarship box in the Guidance Office.


  • Students who are members of FBLA are eligible to apply for the FBLA-PBL Foundation Scholarship. A $1,000 scholarship will be awarded per district. Applicant must attend the state FBLA conference. Applications available in the Guidance Office. Deadline is December 15, 2019.

  • Each year, Huggable awards $1,000 in scholarships to high-achieving high school students who are supported by single mothers.More about The Huggable Supermom Scholarship is available at Deadline is December 31, 2019.

  • The 2020 P.E.O. Alabama Chapter Z Scholarship for women is available to female seniors with a minimum 3.0 GPA and be active in extra-curricular, community service or employment. Applicants must be entering an accredited school in fall 2020. The application is available at Deadline is December 31, 2019.

  • The National Wild Turkey Federation's Dr. James Earl Kennamer Scholarship Program is available to seniors with a GPA of a 3.0 or higher and be active in community and school activities. The applicant must also hold a current NWTF membership and participate in hunting sports and hold a hunting license. Award amounts can range from $250 to $10,000. Applications are available in the Guidance Office. Deadline is January 1, 2020.

  • The Calhoun Principal's Choice Scholarship is available to anyone going to Calhoun who has a 20 ACT & 3.0 GPA. If you are interested, sign up in the Guidance Office. Deadline to sign up is January 15, 2020.

  • The Smith Scholarship Foundation provides assistance to high school seniors who have "given back" to their community through volunteer activities or care of family while overcoming financial and personal challenges. SSF provide up to $15,000 a year in financial assistance plus opportunities for study abroad, professional training through its Internship Program. Visit their website for an application and additional information at Deadline is January 10, 2020.

  • The National Co Op Scholarship Program is for students interested in attending one of these 10 schools: Clarkson U, Drexel U, Johnson & Wales U, Merrimack U, Rochester IT, State U of NY Oswego, U of Cincinnati,, U of Toledo, Wentworth IT. You must have a 3.5 GPA and apply to one of the schools above. Awards range from $6,000 to $30,000 over 4 years. Applications available at Deadlines range from November 1, 2019- February 15, 2020.

  • Mediacom Communications is offering 55 $1,000 non-renewable scholarships through its World Class Scholarship Program. For more information and to apply, visit Deadline is February 15, 2019.

  • UNA National Army ROTC Scholarship is available to seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or higher, have a minimum 22 on the ACT and be active in school, church, scouting or civic organizations. Benefits include tuition and fees, a book stipend and monthly stipend. Go to to apply. You must list a minimum of three schools. There are three cycle deadlines in October 2019, January 2020 and March 2020.

  • The F.A.I.T.H. Initiative invites seniors to apply for the Fellowship Advocacy Inspiring Transformation and Hope Initiative Scholarship. There will be 7 winners selected to receive $1,000 scholarships. Applicants must have 3.0 GPA to apply. Applications are available in the Guidance Department. Deadline is March 19, 2020.

  • The Athena League recognizes the importance of academic achievement, need, extracurricular activities and community involvement, thus establishing the Athena League Trent-Crutcher Scholarship. The award is a one-time $1,500 scholarship. Senior girls planning on starting college in the fall of 2020 are eligible (except daughters of Athena League members past and present). Applications are available in the Guidance Department. Deadline is March 20, 2020.

  • The Athens Rotary Club Scholarship will be awarded in the amount of $4,000 to one deserving senior. Students must reside in Athens or Limestone County. Selection will be made based upon merit, character, community service, leadership qualities and the potential for future professional growth. Attention will also be given to financial need. Applications are available in the Guidance Office. Deadline is March 31, 2020.

  • The Cops' Kids, Inc. Scholarship is available to a senior or current college student who is a son or daughter of an active duty sworn police officer in Huntsville, Madison, Athens & Decatur Police Departments or Madison or Morgan County Sheriff Departments. The scholarship only requires an essay. GPA, ACT and financial status are NOT factors in the selection process. The winner will receive a $2,000 scholarship. More information and applications are available at Deadline is March 31, 2020.

  • The Elevate Mental Health Awareness Scholarship will award $750 in scholarships to high-achieving, high school students who have been affected in some way by the increasing prevalence of mental health challenges. To apply, visit Deadline is April 1, 2020.

  • The MG Law Scholarship is a $1,000 non-renewal scholarship offered to one student nationwide. Applicants must have a 3.0 GPA & submit a 45-60 second video that creates awareness around how to prevent drunk driving. To enter and for more information, visit Deadline is July 1, 2020.

  • The City Property Management HOA Service Scholarship is available to seniors nationwide and will be awarded in the amount of $1,000. Students must have a 3.0 GPA and be pursueing an education that will lead into real estate. Go to to apply. Deadline is July 31, 2020.
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Opportunities for All Grade Levels

  • Interested in tutoring for the Learn to Read Council after school? Contact Shelia Alsup at 256-274-2366.

  • The Athens-Limestone Chamber of Commerce offers a Job Shadow Program for Students in the 11th and 12th grades. The Job Shadow Program is a great opportunity for students to pursue career paths. Students are placed for one day in an area of interest to them. Job Shadow Placements are done the last two weeks of February. Students will be notified by letter in January detailing the name of the business and date of placement. Applications are available in the Guidance Department. Deadline is December 20, 2019.

  • Auburn University's College of Engineering will host their annual E-Day on February 28, 2020 from 8am-1pm. 7th-12th graders are eligible to attend. For more information and to sign up, visit

  • Students grades 9-12 can enter the John F. Kennedy 2020 Profile in Courage Essay Contest. Prizes range from $10,000- $100 and an all-expense paid trip to Boston to receive a recognition. To enter, visit Deadline is January 17, 2020.

  • The American Legion Post 49 Oratorical Contest will be held on January 18, 202 at 10:00 am. The contest is available to students in grades 9-12. The winners will have the opportunity to compete at the next level with significant scholarship money available the higher you get in the competition. More information is available in the Guidance Office. Deadline is January 18, 2020.

  • The Martin Luther King Essay & Art Contest is open to students in all grades. More information is in the photos above. Deadline is January 20, 2020.

  • The University of Alabama’s Rural Health Scholars Program is available to 25 11th grade students in the state of Alabama. The program pays for all expenses including tuition, housing, books and meal allowance. Requirements are a 21 on the ACT, a resident of rural Alabama for 5 years, currently in the 11th grade with a 3.0 GPA, 2 letters of recommendation and a statement of interest essay. Applications are available online at Deadline is March 15, 2020.

  • The Nucor Technical Academy is a 3-year schooling and training program hosted by Nucor Tuscaloosa. Selected candidates will attend classes at Shelton State and work at the mill for a combination of 40 hours a week. After the 3 year program, candidate will have earned an Associates of Applied Science Degree in Electrical Technology. Must be 18 years old by August 2020, have a GPA of 2.75 or above, positive attitude and a good work ethic. Program covers cost of tuition, books and fees, provides housing and pays hourly for both work and classroom hours. Apply online at and search for the title "NSD Technical Academy".

Mrs. Laura Lou Smith

Junior & Senior Counselor

Athens High School