West High Counseling News

April 2017

AP Exam Information


Regularly scheduled Advanced Placement exams for 2017 begin Monday, May 1 and conclude Friday, May 12. With the exception of AP Chinese and Japanese exams that require the use of a computer lab, all other regularly scheduled AP exams take place at the Alliant Energy Center's Exhibition Hall at 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way in Madison. Parking is free. Transportation will not be provided.


To receive a $77 refund, cancellations must be made a minimum of 48 hours prior to the exam. Students who fail to cancel their exams on time or who no-show exams will not receive a refund. Refunds will be processed the first week of June 2017.


Waiting list requests will be reviewed daily beginning April 3, 2017. Students will be contacted via email if a seat becomes available, and must accept within 48 hours. Payment of $110 for each exam must be made to MMSD within 24 hours of accepting the seat.


MMSD students who register for AP exams must attend one 30-minute "pre-administration" session to complete identifying information that is required by the College Board. Having students complete this information on their answer sheets ahead of time can save up to 30 minutes or more on exam day. West will offer the following pre-administration sessions:

Tuesday, April 4th , Wednesday, April 5th and Thursday April 6th. On all three days there will be a session at Lunch in the back of the Auditorium and on Tuesday and Wednesday after school in the Counseling Office.



General Information

We would like to suggest you encourage your student to be checking their school email for important news items and updates.

We would also like to encourage you to sit down with your student so they can share their Career Cruising portfolio with you. You may login to Career Cruising at www.careercrusing.com/login/mmsd with the following:

User name: MMSD-Student ID # (Example: MMSD-717171)

Password: Six digit birthdate and first and last initial. (Example: 071398ja)

Looking for summer opportunities for your student, click here to see the listing on the Counseling Web Page: SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES

Freshmen Developmental Guidance

Counselors have been meeting Freshmen through an individual conference throughout this school year. If your freshman has not yet had a conference please encourage them to schedule one with their Counselor.

Junior Developmental Guidance

Eleventh grade students have had the opportunity to meet with their counselor for a junior conference to develop their personalized post high school plan. To further support this work, 11th grade students will come to the Counseling office the week of April 3rd - 4th to continue their planning for after high school. They will format their resumes, research, colleges and other post high school options and look at essay prompts with their counselor. Please see the timeline below to help your junior student keep focused on this process.


Most college reps schedule visits to West between October and January but some of these reps follow up with a spring visit. Check for college visit notices posted outside the Counseling Office, as well as on our Counseling website. Students should receive a pass from the counseling office if they are interested in attending a visit. Upcoming college rep visits are also posted in the announcements and emailed to students. Upcoming college visits:

Junior Timeline Checklist


· Junior year grades are important. Stay focused on the quality of your school work.

· Take an ACT and/or SAT test this spring. Some colleges/universities admit students based on test scores.

· Evaluate your list of post high school options. Create a file to organize everything.

· Continue researching your options using the Career Cruising’s website: www.careercruising.com

· Visit colleges, technical schools, apprenticeships, and specialty schools. Discover what suits you best.

· Start thinking about a summer job or volunteering. It’s not too soon to line one up.

If you are still undecided, contact your counselor.


  • May 1st -12th - Registered students will take Advanced Placement (AP) exams.
  • Apply for a social security number if you don’t already have one – it’s required for college and financial aid applications.

  • Ask teachers for college recommendations.


  • Write college essay.

June – August

  • Review your resume; most teachers and counselors request a resume when you ask them for a letter of recommendation.

Senior Information


The Senior Honors Convocation is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, June 1st at 7:00 p.m. Invitations will be mailed home in May to seniors who will graduate with Honors (3.5-3.84) or High Honors (3.85 and up), and also to West H.S. scholarship recipients. Please mark this date on your calendars and plan to attend!


A reminder that Scholarship Scoops are issued periodically; they are posted in the Counseling Office, posted on the website and emailed to seniors. These bulletins contain information about scholarship opportunities outside of West High School. Additional information and/or applications can be found in our Scholarship Files. Students are also reminded to check with individual colleges for scholarships offered directly by the college or university you plan to attend.

Financial Aid

TIP Grants for Students Attending Wisconsin Schools

The purpose of the TIP (Talent Incentive Program) is to provide grant awards to uniquely needy students who plan to attend school in Wisconsin. The grant is designed to help improve the opportunity for access, retention, and to lessen the burden of student debt. The minimum award a freshman can receive is $600 with the maximum award being $1,800. To be eligible for an initial TIP Grant award, a student must be a Wisconsin resident, a first-time freshman student, and meet certain financial need or disadvantaged criteria. Eligible students can receive up to 10 semesters of eligibility for most State of Wisconsin college grant and federal financial aid programs. More information as well as TIP applications are available in the Counseling Office. The sooner you complete the process, the greater opportunity you have of securing a TIP Grant. You can find more information regarding the TIP Grant/GEAR UP Scholarship here.


The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form is used to apply for federal and state student grants, work-study, and loans. You must go online to complete the FAFSA: www.fafsa.ed.gov.