Athens High School


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If there is one question that I am asked most often it is "how can I get a scholarship?". There are three main pieces to that puzzle: Do the best you can in school (grades/ACT), invest your time in something outside of school (volunteer, work, school organizations) last, but most importantly put forth the effort to find and fill out scholarship applications.

While all of the scholarship opportunities out there can be overwhelming, there are some shortcuts to make it a little easier on you.

  • Today, you should have received an email with information and a link to "Go Merry" a scholarship website. It is unique is many ways and streamlines the application process. Most scholarships are nationwide.
  • "Achieve Alabama" is a website that collects statewide scholarships into one location. Students can search the database for scholarships and explores colleges and their majors.
  • Local scholarships are listed in the bottom section of this newsletter. The main criteria is listed for each scholarship so that you know whether you qualify to apply. They are also listed in chronological order by due date.

Take a moment to prioritize and set small goals.

Some examples...

  • Make a list and drop by the Guidance Department to pick up applications from the "Scholarship Box"
  • Complete 1 scholarship per week
  • Keep a calendar of due dates for each scholarship
  • Finish your resume to submit to those doing your recommendations

This is the time of year where local and regional scholarships really heat up. The scholarship section at the bottom of this newsletter is full of opportunities. It will continue to grow until mid April where those opportunities will start to subside.

Remember that it is YOUR responsibility to look for and apply to scholarships! Don't be late and miss out on an opportunity.

Going Merry- A New Way to Scholarship

Going Merry is an awesome new scholarship website- it makes applying to scholarships easier. Just click on this link to get started!

Achieve Alabama

Achieve Alabama helps connect students through the State of Alabama with the school that best fits their needs and with scholarship opportunities that will enable them to pursue their goals & dreams.

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Senior Meeting

Thursday, Jan. 23rd, 11:15-11:45am


Balfour Orders- LAST CHANCE

Thursday, Feb. 6th, 11:15am-12:15pm

AHS Guidance/Student Parking Entrance

Last chance to order your cap & gown in person with a Balfour Representative before the price goes up on February 14th. Right now, the cost is $75.00 + .09% tax = $81.75. Checks can be made payable to Balfour SRC.

If you need to order and/or pay for ONLY a cap/gown/diploma online, you can do it HERE ( Click on "Make a Payment" and fill out all of the information. The cost for that is $75 plus tax which comes to $81.75. There is also a service fee for paying online.

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 14th. The cost will go up after that date. If you have any further questions, you can contact our Balfour representatives at (423) 265-2060.

AHS Open House

Thursday, Jan. 30th, 6-7pm

New Athens High School, Athens, AL, USA

Athens, AL

Important info from Calhoun Community College

Don't forget to fill out the FAFSA

DON"T MISS THE FAFSA DEADLINES! Many schools have a FAFSA priority deadline of either February 1 or March 1. Don't leave money on the table. Make sure to complete the FAFSA today!

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

Check out the US Dept of Education's College Scoreboard

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


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

March 23, 2020


February 17, 2020

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.

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.
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.


  • The 2020 Congressional Art Competition is open to all grade levels. The Huntsville Museum of Art will Collect, jury and display the artwork. Artwork entered may be up to 26 inches x 26 inches x 4 inches deep in any of the following: paintings, drawings, collage, prints, mixed media, computer generated art and photography. More information is available in Guidance. Deadline to enter is February 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, 2020.

  • The Redstone Federal Credit Union's 2020 General Membership Scholarship application is now available. Students must be a member with plans to pursue a degree from an accredited college or university starting in Fall 2020. 14 scholarships will be awarded. For more information and to apply, visit Deadline to apply is February 28, 2020.

  • The 100 Black Men of Greater Huntsville, Inc. are sponsoring the 2020 Scholarship Program. Seniors may apply with a minimum 2.5 GPA and will be attending a 2 or four year college or technical school. Awards will be based upon demonstrated academic excellence and community service. Applications are available in the Guidance Department. Deadline is March 2, 2020.

  • The Alabama Conservation District Employees Association is now accepting applications for six $500 scholarships to be awarded to students who are residents of Alabama planning on attending college in the summer or fall of 2020. Student requirements are to be active in student affairs or show leadership abilities and show financial need. Applications are in the Guidance Department. Deadline is March 5, 2020.

  • The Limestone County Farmers Federation is sponsoring a $1000 scholarship for one student within Limestone County. Student, parent, or legal guardian must be a current Farmers Federation member. Applicants must have a minimum 2.5 GPA. More information and applications available in the Guidance Office. Deadline is March 6, 2020.

  • 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 North Alabama Educators Credit Union is making available two scholarships- one $1,500 and one $750. Students in Madison, Morgan and Limestone County are eligible. Applicant must have an account with NAECU. Applications are in the Guidance Department. Deadline is April 17, 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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Hey JUNIORS, come sign up in Guidance if you are interested in...

  • Alabama Governor's School offers academically strong Alabama high school juniors an opportunity to participate in a short residential program of stimulating academic and extra-curricular activities. It will be held June 14-26, 2020 at Samford University. If interested and would like more information, sign up in the Guidance Department by Friday, February 14, 2020.

  • American Legion Boys State and American Legion Auxiliary Girls State are the premier programs for teaching how government works while developing leadership skills & an appreciation for your rights as a citizen. As a participant in the program you, will run for office, learn public speaking, create and enforce laws and actively participate in all phases of creating and running a working government in this exciting and fun summer program. You’ll meet other students from across your state who will become friends for life. You’ll develop confidence and leadership skills that will shape your future. Both Boys and Girls State will take place on the University of Alabama's campus during the summer of 2020- dates have not been released. Please sign up in the Guidance Department by February 14, 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 Ladies Civitan Club & Alabama District North Civitan announce the 2020 School Essay Contest. 9th-12th grade students are eligible to enter with the chance to win cash prizes. More information and guidelines are available in the Guidance Office. Deadline is March 4, 2020.

  • The Alabama Center for the Arts will host the Project 2020, 2-week summer camp experience open to rising sophomore, junior and senior high school students. Areas of interest can include design, film, acting, music/sound and writing. Applications are available in the Guidance Office. Deadline is April 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