Counselor Connection

Class of 2018

Counseling Department Newsletter October 2017

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Senior Financial Aid Night & FAFSA Frenzy

Monday, Oct. 9th, 6-8pm

1 Trojan Trail

Morristown, TN

Morristown West seniors and their parents/guardians are invited to this event to learn important information about financial aid (scholarships, grants, loans, etc) for 2- and 4-year schools and Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCAT schools). Erika Adams from the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) will be our guest speaker. Help will be available for Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion following the presentation. Please click here for a list of items to bring for FAFSA completion. Information will also be provided about the Tennessee Work Ethic Diploma. This event will be held in the West High cafeteria.

Walters State Scholarship Saturday

Saturday, Oct. 7th, 10am-1pm

500 South Davy Crockett Parkway

Morristown, TN

Walters State will host Scholarship Saturday on October 7th from 10:00 am-1:00 pm in the R. Jack Fishman Library on the Morristown Campus. Admissions and Financial Aid team members will be present to help students and their families with WS Admissions/Financial Aid, FAFSA and TN Promise. Please click here to see a list of items to bring to this event to help in filing your FAFSA. Please contact WSCC Admissions at 423-585-2685 or Financial Aid at 423-585-6811 if you have any questions.

TN Promise Scholarship

Tennessee Promise was created to provide scholarship money and mentoring for students from their senior year of high school through completion of their 2-year or certificate program. It is a last-dollar scholarship, meaning that it covers the remaining cost of tuition and mandatory fees after federal Pell grant, HOPE scholarship, and/or Tennessee grant monies have been applied. Students may use the TN Promise at any of the state’s 13 community colleges, 27 colleges of applied technology, or other eligible institutions offering an associate degree program. (Please note that TN Promise does not cover the full cost of tuition and fees at 4-year institutions which offer eligible associate degree programs.)

To complete the on-line application for TN Promise, please visit

TN Promise Timeline

Oct. 11, 2018 - 1st TN Promise Meeting at 1:30 in West High auditorium

Nov. 1, 2017 - TN Promise application deadline

Jan. 16, 2018 - FAFSA deadline

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

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

Nov. 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

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. Please call the Counseling Office at 423-581-1600 to make an appointment. For those needing assistance with FAFSA completion, please call at least one week in advance for an appointment so that arrangements can be made and plan to bring these items.

Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Now Available

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opened on Oct. 1, 2017. The 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. A student should file a FAFSA even if the student thinks that he/she will not qualify for need-based aid. Many schools require FAFSA submission, and the FAFSA serves as a student’s application for the TN Hope Scholarship. The FAFSA application (available at must be completed by January 16, 2018, for TN Promise applicants. 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.

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

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.

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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

November 11

February 24

East Tennessee State University

October 21

November 4

King College

October 14

November 11

Middle Tennessee State University

October 25 - True Blue Tour in Johnson City

October 26 - True Blue Tour in Knoxville

November 4

Tennessee Tech University

October 7

Tusculum College

November 11

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

October 17 - Moc in a Minute @ Calhoun's on the River in Knoxville (for info about how to get admitted to UTC during this event and to register - click here)

October 21 (Open House)

University of Tennessee at Knoxville

October 21 (Big Orange Preview)

Nov. 4 (Rocky Top Tailgate)

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.

October 9 - Senior Parent Scholarship/Financial Aid Meeting & FAFSA Frenzy, 6:00-8:00 pm, West High cafeteria

October 11 - 1st TN Promise meeting at 1:30p.m. at West High (auditorium)

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
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Register on-line at
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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.

Credit Recovery

Credit recovery applications are now available in the Counseling Office. Credit recovery begins on Oct. 24th and will be held after school at West High.

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.

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.

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.

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!
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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
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