Fall SENIOR Newsletter

October 2015

Scheduled Events for October

24th - Meet MSU Night at the EXPO from 6:00-8:00 PM; attend to meet people from various departments & programs, talk to current students, apply to the college and more; application fees will be waived if you attend and apply while at the event

6th - Cory Gannon, UPike Admissions Counselor will be here to speak individually with students interested in attending UPike
8th - Jostens will be here in the morning (time not set) to deliver senior order packets and talk to seniors about how to order items
12th - FSA Workshop conducted with seniors by KHEAA Outreach Counselor, Amanda Keller
12th - Cory Gannon will be visiting students during lunch and will have a table in set up in the cafeteria
14th - Jostens will be here to pick up senior order packets (time to be announced)
17th - MSU Open House @ 9:00 on MSU campus
20th - Southern WV Community & Technical College will be here during 5th pd to meet with seniors interested in information about their college
21st - NFL speaker presentation to students in gym @ 1:00 (via FRYSC)
22nd - College Fair at the EXPO (Mrs. Hunt & Mr. Lester)
27th - Big Sandy Idol Sign Ups during lunch
29th - Big Sandy Idol Auditions

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Should You Test Again?

There are no limitations on how many times you can take the ACT, but only once per national test date.

You should definitely consider retesting if:

• you had any problems during the test, such as misunderstanding the directions or not feeling well

• you aren’t satisfied that your scores accurately represent your abilities

• you see a discrepancy between your ACT scores and your high school grades

• you have completed coursework or an intensive review in subject areas included in the ACT since you were tested

How will you do on a retest? ACT research shows that of the students who took the ACT more than once:

• 55 percent increased their composite score

• 23 percent decreased their composite score

• 22 percent had no change in their composite score

5 tips for getting through the ACT

1. Go prepared

Everyone agrees: Preparation is the best way to move steadily and carefully through the test. And it’s imperative that those two words—steadily and carefully—go hand in hand.

By preparing for the test students will know how much time they have to work on each problem or question. This is particularly true of the ACT, which is a predictable test with the sections always tested in the same order.

Most students want to jump right in and start a problem but the easiest way to increase your score is to take the extra few seconds to make sure you set up the problem correctly and then answer the question being asked.

2. Take three passes

Students are advised to take three passes through each math and writing section. The first time through, answer the easy questions. The second time, answer everything but the really hard ones. The third and last time, try working on those tough ones.

It is not recommended to work through the questions strictly in the order presented. That could get you stuck, make you run out of time, or mean you forfeit easier points.

3. Focus on what you know

You shouldn’t belabor a question. Focus on what you know rather than what you don’t know. If students don’t know exactly how to solve a question, but they get started with what they do know, they will find that they can actually figure out the problem right there.

If a student can’t even get started, then it is best to eliminate one or more wrong answer choices, make an educated guess and move on to the next question. It is important not to obsess over any one question; that single question will not have a huge impact on your score. But if you let it become a distraction, you will get the next few questions wrong as well, and that will obviously have a much larger negative impact.

4. Be a smart guesser

Answer every question on the ACT as best you can, because points aren’t taken away for wrong answers on that exam.

After making an educated guess, move on. Don’t ruminate over the same problem; let it go.

5. Use active reading

You have two to four minutes to read a long passage. You should use active reading when dealing with a difficult passage. Active reading occurs when you ask questions about the passage or paraphrase particular sentences as you read. Because some passages are so dense and difficult to understand, it is important to stop and summarize the main idea of each paragraph. Some students also find it helpful to quickly notate a three- or four-word summary in the margin of the test booklet.

Phelps High School Facebook Page

Mrs. Bowling shares scholarships on the PHS Facebook page almost daily - be sure to check those out and LIKE the page to get those posts on your news feed!

PHS Counselilng Center Facebook Page

Along with scholarship postings, Mrs. Bowling shares other college and career related items on the PHS Counseling Center FB page - and lots more! Make sure you LIKE the page and check it regularly!

No More School For You?

No More School for You?

Four years of college? You’ve got to be kidding. Is that how you feel? You’re not the first to think that, and you won’t be the last.

Maybe you know people with decent jobs who didn’t go to college. You can do the same thing, right? Well, not necessarily. The world is changing quickly, and the work world is changing just as rapidly. Many of those people you know may need to get additional training to keep their jobs.

If you’re planning on earning a high school degree and being “done with school,” you won’t be prepared for the workforce. In today’s . . . and tomorrow’s . . . world, learning is a lifetime necessity.

“Employers need workers who can work with information and technology, who can communicate, listen and work as part of a team,” explains Don Carstensen, vice president at ACT. “Workers need to be able to continually learn and apply knowledge and new skills in their jobs.”

In a recent national survey, a majority of employers said they don’t believe high school graduates are qualified to enter the workplace. Only 21 percent of employers thought high school graduates were ready to enter jobs.

Most jobs in today’s workplace require some education past high school. Community college or technical courses may be in order for many graduating seniors to make it in the workplace.

It’s natural to worry about enrolling in college. It’s natural to question your abilities. And, for some students, working after high school may be a good choice.

It’s important to keep an open mind because what you think about your career options at 17 and 18 years of age becomes vastly different as time goes on. Even if you say you’re never going to college, realize it may be a temporary decision. You may change your decision later.

The bottom line is if a student takes no education beyond high school, he will have low-paying, dead-end jobs. And even those jobs are disappearing as more work is being sent off-shore. Students need to get technical skills.

Most importantly, explore careers and the education needed to enter a number of careers. You may not choose college because you have no clear direction of what to take and what career to pursue. Career research and exploration can lead you to new possibilities.

Plans do change. The workplace and careers change. By having a solid background of coursework and skills, you’re better prepared to adapt to change.


NextStepU.com is your all-in-one resource to planning your life after high school. Whether you’re looking to go to college, get a career, join the military or pursue whatever you can imagine, we’re here to give you expert advice and planning to get you there.

NextStepU has been helping students find the right path since 1995. The Association of Educational Publishers has recognized us for our excellent content and we continue to produce nationally recognized content that is current and timely for our users to benefit from.

Mapping Your Future

Our goal at Mapping Your Future is to help students plan for higher education by offering reliable and unbiased money management advice and counseling. Online and offline resources include college preparation, school selection, career exploration, and counseling aimed at helping students and families better understand student loan obligations and learn about practical money management solutions to ensure healthy finances while in school and beyond.

Search Engines for College-Related Information

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College Search at www.fastweb.com/college-search

Educational Opportunity at www.opportunity.gov

College at www.college.gov

FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at www.fafsa.ed.gov

FAFSA Pin Registration at www.pin.ed.gov

FAFSA 4Caster at www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov

Job Corps at www.jobcorps.gov

Resources by State at www.finaid.org/state

Student Tax Info at www.irs.gov/individuals/students

Choosing a Career

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Monster College at www.monstercollege.com

Bureau of Labor Statistics at www.stats.bls.gov

Occupational Outlook Handbook at www.bls.gov/oco

Paying for College - Financial Aid Information

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FinAid at www.finaid.org

FTC Project Scholarship Scam at www.ftc.gov/scholarships.scam

College Goal Sunday at www.collegegoalsundayusa.org

Guide to Federal Student Aid at www.studentaid.ed.gov/guide

Federal Student Aid at www.studentaid.ed.gov

Financial Aid Calculators at www.finaid.org/calculators

Guide to Federal Student Aid at www.studentaid.ed.gov/guide

About Education Loans . . . .

Always borrow federal first. Federal student loans are cheaper, more available and have better repayment terms than private student loans. Subsidized loans are ones where the government pays the interest while the student is attending school. Unsubsidized loans are those where the interest builds while you are in school and that cost is added to the total cost of the loan that you will have to repay.

FEDERAL PERKINS LOANS are awarded based on exceptional need. Interest is subsidized and fixed at 5%. No fees. Favorable benefits may be lost upon consolidation with other loans. Repayment begins 9 months after graduation or dropping below half-time enrollment status.

FEDERAL STAFFORD LOANS are made as either subsidized or unsubsidized loans. For Federal Stafford Subsidized Loans the interest starts to build upon graduation for loans made in 2012-13 and 2013-14. Repayment begins 6 months after graduation. Fixed interest rate is 3.4% with an additional charge of 1% in fees. For Federal Stafford Unsubsidized Loans the interest begins during school. Repayment begins 6 months after graduation or after dropping below half-time enrollment status. Fixed interest rate is 6.8% with an additional charge of 1% in fees. On loans first disbursed on or after July 1, 2009, annual limits have increased by $2000 for independent and dependent undergraduate students.

FEDERAL PARENT PLUS LOANS have a 7.9% fixed interest rate with 4% in fees. Repayment begins 60 days after full disbursement or 6 months after student graduates or drops below half-time. Interest continues to accrue during deferment of payment periods.

FEDERAL CONSOLIDATION LOANS combine loans to one lender. Fixed interest rate is the weighted average of the loans rounded up to the nearest 1/8 of a percent and capped at 8.25%.

PRIVATE/ALTERNATIVE LOANS are dependent upon eligibility. Interest rates and fees are based on borrower and cosigner credit scores. More expensive than Federal student loans. For more information on private/alternative loans, visit www.fin.aid.org/privateloans.

Creating a Student Resume/Fact Sheet for Scholarship Applications

If you plan to be active in applying for scholarships this year, you need to create a Senior Resume’ (sometimes called a Senior Fact Sheet) that has three sections – School Clubs/Organizations, Community Service & Work Experience, Awards and Honors. List all the school activities you have been involved in during high school in the first one including number of years involved in each one and any leadership positions you have held. List all your service activities/projects (home and school) as well as your work experience in the second section including the years involved, the average number of hours worked in each one per year and a brief description of the work you did. In the final section, list all of your recognition and awards that you have received in high school along with a brief description and include if the award was at the school level, district level, regional level, st0ate level or national level. Save this on your computer, update as needed and tweak it for the different scholarships to which you apply. This information is basic and required by most scholarship applications. Create it once and use it often this year!

General Scholarship Search Engines

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Student Scholarship Search - www.studentscholarships.org

Outstanding Students of America - www.outstandingstudentsofamerica.com

Spokeo – www.spokeo.com/scholarships

Scholarships with October Deadlines

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Wendy’s High School Heisman – for scholar-athletes. Apply online at www.wendysheisman.com. DEADLINE: Oct. 2nd

WYMT Mountain Basketball Classic - we can send in FIVE applications for this scholarship which will be awarded at the 2016 Mtn Basketball Classic Scholarship. Last year WYMT awarded 107 scholarships. PHS has won multiple scholarships for the last several years. This is a NEED BASED scholarship (50% financial need; 50% academics) and proof of financial need is necessary for consideration (copy of 1st page of last year's 1040 tax form). You will also need TWO letters of recommendation from teachers (ASK FOR THOSE NOW). APPLICATIONS CAN BE FOUND ON THE BULLETIN BOARD BY THE OFFICE DOOR IN THE BACK HALLWAY. Let Mrs. Bowling know if it is empty so she can put more out.
DEADLINE: Oct. 6th (Tuesday) to Mrs. Bowling - by end of the day

Horatio Alger Association Scholarship – since 1984, the Horatio Alger Association has awarded nearly $100 million in college scholarships to deserving students. Scholarships are provided to students throughout the nation who have financial need and have exhibited integrity and perseverance in overcoming personal adversity. Full details about eligibility requirements and the application can be found at www.horationalger.org/scholarships. APPLY ONLINE DEADLINE: Oct. 25th

The Coca-Cola Scholars Program – is a highly competitive national program that awards 250 four-year, achievement-based scholarships. Apply online at www.coca-colascholarsfoundation.org. APPLY ONLINE DEADLINE: Oct. 31st

The KY Ready-Mixed Concrete Association – open to students between ages of 16-18, this is an essay contest with the winning essay receiving a $1000 scholarship to the winner’s school of choice. The winning essay will then be entered into the national scholarship competition which will award a $5000 scholarship if the winner enrolls in a concrete-related curriculum at specific universities or a $2000 for the freshman year at the winner’s college of his or her choice. For additional information contact aaubrey@krmca.org. DEADLINE: POSTMARKED BY Oct. 31st (Entry form and details were to Ms. McClanahan and Mrs. Bentley.)

Scholarships with November Deadlines

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards – is open for application for students who have made a difference through volunteering over the past year. You could win $1000 and a fabulous trip to Washington, DC, next May. Visit http://spirit.prudential.com, click on the “Apply Now” link and follow the on-screen instructions. You and your parent must complete the student/parent agreement page. You must select a ‘certifier’ to review your application – this must be your principal, head of a county 4-H organization, Girl Scout Council, American Red Cross Chapter or HandsOn Network affiliate. The top applicants in each state and the District of Columbia will receive an unrestricted award of $1000, an engraved silver medallion and an all-expense-paid trip with a parent to Washington, DC in May. DEADLINE: Nov. 3rd

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation – is the largest scholarship foundation in the country. Their mission is to advance the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. As part of the College Scholarship, recipients may receive up to $40,000 per year for up to four years. The scholarship foundation is looking for high achieving seniors with financial need who seek to attend the nation’s best four-year colleges and universities. Applicants must have a 3.5 gpa, an ACT score of 26 or higher and demonstrate considerable unmet financial need (will consider incomes of up to $95,000). Learn more about it at www.jkcf.org/scholarships. DEADLINE: NOV. 3rd

Use Search Engines to Find Scholarships!

There are thousands of scholarships out there waiting for your application! The listings here are just the ones received in the Counseling Office or that Mrs. Bowling discovers on her own. The scholarship money you receive is limited only by the amount of time you choose to devote to applying to them. And it can get quite wearisome making all those applications because most of them require students to write essays – but hey, they won’t give you money without some kind of effort on YOUR part!