Counselor Connection

Class of 2018

Morristown West High School Counseling Department Newsletter December 2017

January 16th is FAFSA Deadline!!

We're getting close to the deadline for FAFSA completion. It is very important that ALL seniors planning to go to college complete the FAFSA as soon as possible!!

TN Promise applicants MUST submit the FAFSA (available at by January 16, 2018 to remain eligible for the scholarship. A student should file a FAFSA even if the student thinks that he/she will not qualify for need-based aid. The FAFSA serves as a student’s application for the TN Hope Scholarship and is needed to access federal student loans.

Students or parents may contact the student's counselor or Mrs. Gillett in the Counseling Office for assistance with FAFSA.

FAFSA Application Process

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a student's application for financial aid for the 2018-2019 academic year and must completed by students planning to go to a postsecondary institute (2-year, 4-year, and technical schools) to determine eligibility for federal, state, and institutional financial aid. The FAFSA application is available at

Prior to completing the FAFSA, students must create a Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID), which is used to confirm a student's identity when accessing financial aid information and to electronically sign federal student aid documents, including the FAFSA. Dependent students will also need to have one of his/her parents create an FSA ID so that the parent may electronically sign the student's FAFSA. To create an FSA ID, please visit

Please remember that the FAFSA is FREE!! There are many internet scams which require payment to file a FAFSA. You should never have to pay for any part of this process.

After submitting the FAFSA, a student should be sure that he/she receives 2 e-mails: one verifying that the FAFSA was submitted and another stating that the FAFSA was processed.

Extended Hours

The West High Counseling Office will be open until 6:00 pm on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month to offer more availability for parents who are not able to come in during the school day. The next date for extended hours is December 14th - help will be available for FAFSA on this date until 6:00. Please stop by if you haven't submitted your FAFSA yet!

Attention Dual Enrollment Students!

TCAT dual enrollment students need to report to TCAT as usual on Wednesday, January 3rd.

Any student enrolled in WSCC courses for the spring semester needs to bring a copy of his/her WSCC student schedule to the Counseling Office. Any student who needs to make a change to his/her West High schedule to accommodate WSCC classes should see his/her counselor as soon as possible.

WSCC classes begin on January 16th. WSCC dual enrollment students need to report to TNN first thing on Wednesday, January 3rd, and then report to the library for any class period for which they are enrolled in dual enrollment classes. Students will continue to do so until told otherwise.

Who's Who

Who's Who applications will be available in the Counseling Office beginning on Monday, December 18th. The Who's Who award is based on a student's excellence in academics; involvement in school publications; vocational awards; leadership in school activities, clubs, and organizations; participation and awards in the Arts; and outstanding athletic accomplishments. Applications are due to the Counseling Office by Friday, January 12th.

Ned McWherter's Scholars Program

The Ned McWherter Scholars Program is a highly competitive scholarship program created to encourage academically exceptional Tennessee high school graduates to attend college in Tennessee. This renewable award is $6,000 per academic year - $3,000 from the State of Tennessee and $3,000 from the college or university that the student attends. To be eligible, the applicant must:

  • be a resident of Tennessee, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and attend an eligible Tennessee college or university full time, AND
  • have at least a 3.5 unweighted cumulative grade point average, AND
  • have a minimum composite score of 29 on the ACT (or concordant equivalent score on the SAT).

An applicant may receive extra credit for honors or advanced placement courses and leadership in extracurricular activities while in high school.

The application as well as additional information about eligibility and renewal criteria may be found at

Any student wishing to apply must request that a copy of his/her transcript and test scores be sent to the scholarship program. The scholarship program must receive all application materials by February 15th.

Honors and Distinction Diploma List

A list of students graduating with State Honors and/or Distinction will be posted in the main office windows soon after school resumes in January. Students need to check that they have requested the correct type of diploma and see their counselor for any corrections.

TN Promise Community Service

In order to stay eligible for the TN Promise Scholarship, students who applied for this scholarship program must complete and submit 8 hours of community service between November 2 and July 1. Students do not turn these hours in to the Counseling Office - they submit them on-line here.

Students should keep track of the following information related to their community service so that they have what they need for on-line submission: place, date, number of hours, supervisor's name, supervisor's phone number, and supervisor's e-mail address. More information may be found on the TN Promise website or in the green TN Promise student handbook that students received during the assembly on October 11. Students who did not attend the meeting on October 11 or pick up their student handbook may stop by the counseling office to get a copy.

TN Promise Timeline

TN Promise applicants must meet all deadlines to remain eligible for TN Promise.

January 16, 2018 - FAFSA deadline

Fall 2017/Spring 2018 - complete application for admission for selected TN Promise school

March 8, 2018 - MANDATORY 2nd TN Promise meeting at 5:30p.m. in West High cafeteria

November 2, 2017 - July 1, 2018 - complete and report 8 hours of community service

Fall 2018 - if selected for FAFSA verification, provide requested documentation to financial aid office

Financial Aid Presentation

Please click here to view the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) presentation to learn about the different types of financial aid available for high school students in Tennessee. Erika Adams is the Outreach Specialist for this region. She may be contacted at 615-417-0355.
May 7 - AP Chemistry (8:00 AM); AP Psychology (12:00 PM)

May 9 - AP English Literature and Composition (8:00 AM)

May 10 - AP United States Government and Politics (8:00 AM); AP Environmental Science (12:00 PM)

May 11 - AP United States History (8:00 AM); AP Studio Art deadline

May 14 - AP Biology (8:00 AM)

May 15 - AP Calculus AB (8:00 AM); AP Calculus BC (8:00 AM)

May 16 - AP English Language and Composition (8:00 AM); AP Macroeconomics (12:00 PM)

May 17 - AP Statistics (12:00 PM)

May 18 - AP Human Geography (8:00 AM); AP Microeconomics (8:00 AM); AP European History (12:00 PM)

Class of 2018 Remind Messages

Don't miss out on important events and deadlines! Please sign up to receive updates from the West High Counseling Department! To receive messages via text, text @mowest2018 to the number 81010.

College Open House Dates

College visits can be extremely helpful as a student is making important decisions about to which schools he/she will apply and eventually about to which school he/she will eventually commit to attending. College visits and open house events often give students opportunities to learn about the application process, available financial aid and scholarships, housing options, and academic programs/majors. Students will generally be offered a tour of campus which includes dorms, dining and recreation facilities, student centers, and academic buildings. Setting foot on a college campus and experiencing some of the same things experienced by the college's students can help high school students decide if the school is a good "fit". Click the links below to register on-line for upcoming events. If these dates do not work, students may check college websites for other visit opportunities.

Carson Newman College

February 24

March 20

April 10

East Tennessee State University

March 17

April 7

King College

February 3

March 17

Middle Tennessee State University

February 24

March 17

Scholarship Updates

Be sure to visit the Morristown West Counseling Department webpage often for scholarship updates! To access this webpage, please go to the Morristown West High School main webpage and click on the “Scholarships” link on the left (under “News & Events”). Here you will find scholarships listed in order of receipt. This is not an exhaustive list. Many scholarship opportunities are available to students, and it is the student's responsibility to seek these opportunities. Students may wish to research opportunities to apply for scholarships at the post-secondary institution(s) to which they plan to apply as well as on-line search engines (some are listed below) and places of student/parent employment. Of course, the TN Promise scholarship is available to eligible students (see article above).


Upcoming Dates to Remember

October 1 - FAFSA – Seniors and parents can start completing FAFSA after this date.

November 1 - Deadline to apply for Tennessee Promise Scholarship

January 16 - FAFSA Deadline for Tennessee Promise Scholarship

March 8 – MANDATORY 2nd TN Promise meeting at 5:30p.m. at West High (cafeteria)

April 13 - Deadline to submit Work Ethic Diploma Requirements

April 15 - Deadline to submit Tennessee Scholar Applications

Register on-line at

West High ACT Code 431-587 (Where your scores are sent)

West High Test Center Code 193810 (Where you take the test)

Upcoming Exam Dates

*February 10, 2018 - registration deadline is January 12, 2018

*April 14, 2018 - registration deadline is March 9, 2018

June 9, 2018 - registration deadline is May 4, 2018

July 14, 2018 - registration deadline is June 15, 2018

Please visit for information about late registration and photo upload deadlines.

*The test will be administered at Morristown West High School

Students will not be admitted to the test center without an admission ticket.

To register and to check for late registration information, visit

March 10, 2018 - registration deadline February 9, 2018

May 5, 2018 - registration deadline April 6, 2018

June 2, 2018 - registration deadline May 3, 2018

Work Ethic Diploma

The Work Ethic Diploma was first offered in the 2015-16 school year as part of a LEAP (Labor Education Alignment Program) grant. The standards that students are required to meet to earn the Work Ethic Diploma reflect the skills and characteristics that are needed for students to be college and career ready. More than 30 Lakeway region businesses and industries guarantee an interview to students who have earned the Work Ethic Diploma and who meet other job-related qualifications.

Seniors will apply in their TNN classes. Students who successfully complete the application process will earn cords to wear during the graduation ceremony. The deadline for meeting requirements and submitting completed applications is April 13, 2018. Please click here to view the Tennessee Work Ethic Diploma standards. Please click here to view a list of frequently asked questions.

Students may use any provider they wish for the 10 panel drug test. To get reimbursed, they bring their receipt (must be under $50) and clean results to Mrs. Alvarado at the Hamblen County Board of Education.

Credit Recovery

Seniors who need credit recovery should see their counselor for an application. The first session of credit recovery began on October 24, but it's not too late to start! Sessions are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays through February 1, 2018. Another session will begin on February 6, 2018.

TN Hope Scholarship

How to Qualify:

· Entering freshmen must have either a 21 ACT score OR an overall unweighted minimum 3.0 GPA.

Award Amounts:

For entering freshmen beginning with fall 2015 and thereafter

· Four-Year Institutions and two-year institutions with on-campus housing: Up to $1,750 per full-time enrollment semester as a freshmen and sophomore; then up to $2,250 per full-time enrollment semester as a junior and senior

· Two-Year Institutions: Up to $1,500 per full-time enrollment semester as a freshman and sophomore

Award amounts are available for summer enrollment

· Class status is determined by the postsecondary institution

How to Apply:

· Complete your FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1, 2017. The completion of the FAFSA is your application for the TN Hope Lottery Scholarship.

Click here for a list of eligible institutions.

College Scholarship Deadlines

Below is a list of FIRM scholarship deadlines for some local colleges. Please note that in some cases, students must apply and be accepted before they are able to access the scholarship application(s). It is important to apply well before the stated deadlines!

Carson-Newman University - Apply Early

East Tennessee State University - December 15

King University - Apply Early

University of Tennessee at Knoxville - November 1 (competitive); December 15 (general)

Walters State Community College - March 31

Transcript Requests

Students who need their transcripts sent to colleges may see Ms. Davidson in the Counseling Office to complete a transcript request form. The first transcript is free; each additional transcript costs $3.00. Please allow at least two weeks to process transcript requests.

Meet Erica Gillett - Niswonger CARE Advisor

West High is excited to have NiswongerCARE College and Career Advisor Erica Gillett with us for another year! Mrs. Gillett can help with TN Promise applications, FAFSA, career searches, college applications, scholarships, registration for ACT exams, and any other college and career needs. Students may stop by and see Mrs. Gillett in the Counseling Office during school hours on Mondays-Thursdays.

Counseling Office Contact Information

  • Jill Reuschel: Students A-E
  • Gwen Ledford, Lead Counselor: Students F-L

  • Renae Byrd: Students M-R

  • Melanie Justis: Students S-Z

  • Crystal Davidson: Counseling Office Secretary

  • Office Contact Information:

  • Phone- 423-581-1600
  • Fax- 423-585-3791