Incline High School Counseling Center
COUNSELOR TO PARENT NEWSLETTER
BULLYING AWARENESS FOR PARENTS: What you need to know
Monday, January 23, 2012
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
D.W. Reynolds Center
948 Incline Way
Incline Village, NV 89451
Please join us for an evening of information and discussion related to bullying and ways parents can
be leaders in prevention. This free event will be a community forum for understanding the effects of bullying and keeping children safe. Presenter: Tahoe SAFE Alliance. Babysitting will be provided, if you have questions, contact Mary Blount at
• How to recognize the signs of bullying as a parent
• Ways to intervene to prevent bullying
• Social networking and how to navigate online safely
• The influence of language and its impact on children
ATTENTION FRESHMEN PARENTS
All freshmen have met with their counselor to create their initial Four Year Plan. This plan helps students understand what is required to earn the diploma of their choice and graduate high school in four years. It can be very instructional in setting goals and keeping students on task to fulfill those goals. A four year plan is also helpful in class selection during pre-registration. If you have any questions, please email Faith Nicole at
JUNIORS AND COLLEGE TESTING
College bound students are advised to take their college entrance exams (ACT, SAT I, SAT IIs) during the spring semester of their junior year. The idea is that if students are not satisfied with their scores, there is a window of time at the beginning of their senior year to retake the tests. It is also wise to schedule SAT II Subject tests close to the administration of AP exams (in the same subject). Take a moment to look over the Senior/Junior Test Data sheet for 2011-2012 (available at www.inclinehs.org, under Counseling) and sign up NOW.
FREE SAT, PSAT, AND ACT ONLINE STUDY GUIDE
Triumph College Admissions has partnered up with Washoe County Schools in an effort to help students be more prepared for the ACT, SAT and PSAT tests. The program provides step by step guidelines and practice test material. Students can use Triumph to address test anxiety and to help them get test taking tips and strategies. Triumph is a great tool to improve student scores. Students can help themselves do their best by signing on today. Go to the Washoe County School District web site at www.washoe.k12.nv.us/students/sat-psat-act-online-study-guide. Then scroll down and click on the `Incline High School’ link to log in. Students use their WCSD student ID number as the login and password.
NEW COLLEGE ADMISSIONS BLOG
Triumph College Admissions is introducing a new blog that brings students the most valuable content and resources in academia, test prep, and college admissions. Collaborating with the top colleges across the country, this free resource offers:
• Access to leading colleges and universities across the country
• Blog posts written by Deans of Admissions and College/University Staff
• College Admissions articles, expert academic advise, helpful tips
• Ongoing test preparation and academic tutoring resources
Access this new blog, by going to http://www.triumphcollegeadmissions.com. Visit the blog daily for the latest college admissions articles, expert advice, and free resources.
FAFSA ON THE WEB
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as FAFSA, is best submitted ON LINE. The address is: www.fafsa.gov/ Advantages of filing on the Web include a rejected rate of less than 1%, a faster and shorter process, and access from any personal computer. By submitting the FAFSA, students put themselves into the applicant pool for all financial aid programs (not including scholarships). File as soon as possible after January 1, 2012. A toll-free number is available: 1-800-433-3243. Bottom-line advice from the experts: “ALL SENIORS PLANNING ON ATTENDING COLLEGE SHOULD SUBMIT A FAFSA.”
This is a financial aid estimator that can be used before officially applying for financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Aid. This aid will provide you with an estimate of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is an index that colleges use to determine what types of student aid may be received. Students can assess the FAFSA4caster by going to www.fafsa4caster.ed.gov.
After using FAFSA4caster, students should continue to research additional options for financial aid.
Another option is to use the EFC website from College Board at http://apps.collegeboard.com/fincalc/efc_welcome.jsp. At this site you do not need to sign in.
• Before you begin, visit www.FederalStudentAid.ed.gov and read all the information available
• Even if you think you do not qualify, apply for federal aid by filling out the FAFSA. Many colleges use the FAFSA to determine school-based aid.
• Learn all you can about the financial aid process; visit www.finaid.org
• Keep an eye on deadlines and fill out your FAFSA as soon as possible after January 1, 2012.
• Before beginning the FAFSA, apply for a U.S. Department of Education personal identification number (PIN) at www.pin.ed.gov.
• If you must submit your application via mail, call 1-800-4-FED-AID and request a paper application.
• If friends or relatives want to give you money for college, have them pay the school directly in your name to avoid gift tax liability.
• Investigate company-sponsored tuition plans. Many employers offer tuition reimbursement for employees as well as scholarships for their children.
• Take advantage of tuition prepayment discounts. Some colleges offer up to a 10% discount for early payment.
• If applying to college seems too costly, ask about fee waivers. A limited number are available for college application and testing fees.
• To lower the cost of your degree, complete some of your credits at a community college and then transfer to complete the degree.
• Make use of free money. Apply for scholarships using FastWeb:www.fastweb.com
• Students applying for the I.H.S. Scholarship Program and financial-need scholarship will need to attach a copy of their FAFSA confirmation sheet to their I.H.S. Scholarship application.
To receive a high school diploma, students must pass all four sections of the Nevada High School Proficiency Examination: math, reading, writing and science.
Juniors and Seniors needing to retake ANY portion of the Proficiency will have the opportunity to do so in March, when all sophomores take the Math Proficiency on Tuesday, March 6, and the Reading Proficiency on Thursday, March 8, and the Science Proficiency on Friday, March 9. Juniors and seniors needing to take the Writing exam will do so on Wednesday morning, March 7.
I.H.S. SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
Our I.H.S. SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM is highly successful due to the generosity of the community in which we live. Prior to the December-January Winter Break, seniors expecting to graduate in June 2012 received information during their enrichment period regarding the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and our I.H.S. Scholarship Program. All I.H.S. Scholarship Program information is available on the high school website at www.inclinehs.org beginning Tuesday, December 7, 2011. On the home screen, find the link on the left side under “The Latest” menu. Although students must submit their application online, they also must submit one hardcopy with parent signature to Mrs. McLochlin in the Career Center no later than 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 14, 2012. Late or incomplete applications will not be considered. Due to the unique nature of each scholarship, i.e., academic, athletic, art, vocational, financial need, we encourage all students to apply.
Parents of graduating seniors will receive a scholarship notice letter, along with a Senior Graduation Information Sheet, in the mail. This form is distributed to seniors at least twice during their spring semester. The object of the form is to gather information so we can acknowledge all awards, grants and scholarships during our Senior Scholarships and Awards presentation in June. Often our seniors are involved in so many activities that some neglect to submit this information in a timely manner or miss doing so all together. We ask parents to keep this form in a safe place and return it to Faith Nicole, no later than Monday, May 14, 2012 to ensure that their senior gets the acknowledgement and recognition he/she deserves.
In addition to our school scholarship program, students may take advantage of the career planning computer programs available in the Career Center. Mrs. McLochlin is available to help students with college and scholarship searches on “Choices” and the “Nevada Career Information System” software programs available in our Career Center. Contact Mrs. McLochlin at
to make an appointment.
THE SCHOLARSHIP ESSAY
The Essay is the most important part of your scholarship application. Here are some suggestions for the best way of putting your thoughts on paper:
Think before you write. Brainstorm to generate some good ideas and then create an outline to help you get going.
Give examples. Use stories, examples and anecdotes to individualize your essay. By using specifics, you’ll avoid vagueness and make a stronger impression.
Develop a theme. Don’t simply list all your achievements. Decide on a theme that sums up the impression you want to make. Write about experiences that develop the theme.
Make sure your essay is well written. Proofread carefully, check spelling and grammar and share your essay with friends, family members or teachers. Another pair of eyes can catch errors you might miss.
Items to include: Academic plans and possible major, current events and social issues, personal achievements, background and influences. Include a statement of why you hope to be awarded a scholarship.
HELP!!! IS AVAILABLE FOR THE FAFSA AND I.H.S. SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATIONS
Help will be available in the library after school on: Wednesdays, January 18 & 25 and February 1 & 8, 2012. Parents and students are encouraged to attend all or as many of these sessions as they can. For additional information, contact Karen Hunt:
ATTENTION JUNIORS – Consider signing up for the MARCH SAT. This is especially important if you are planning to apply to the University of California, private schools or Honors Programs. Spacing out your test dates means less stress for you this spring. Moreover, your March score will give you an indication of what schools might be suitable for you while allowing you to retake
the test at a later date.
Students will receive their score sheet, test booklet, and several handouts explaining their scores. Each student profile contains a pin number that allows them access to My College Quick Start, a personalized college and career planning kit, as well as access to tutorials on the SAT and a study plan. This pin can be used when signing up for the SAT in the spring of their junior year. Your student should obtain their booklet and the scores during the month of December. Visit the College Board website for parents to obtain more valuable information on the PSAT/NMSQT or the SAT, www.collegeboard.com/parents PSAT scores are not included on the student's transcript and are not reported to colleges. Information obtained from taking this test is for practice purposes on the SAT and for qualification for the National Merit Scholarship Program. Also don’t forget that students have the opportunity for free PSAT prep through Triumph College (see entry above).
MAKING THE GRADE
Advance Placement (AP) courses and exams are available to our college-bound students as a means of demonstrating what they have learned in class and can possibly qualify for college credit. Each college/university determines its own acceptance policies. Students need to contact their chosen college(s) to determine what score will earn them credit. Some schools offer placement and/or waivers for certain AP exam scores. The workload in AP courses resembles the expectations one would have in a college course-heavy reading, significant writing, increased analytical tasks, and intensive class participation. This year Incline High has been approved to offer the following courses: AP Calculus AB, AP English Literature and Composition, AP English Language and Composition, AP Studio Art: 2-D Design, AP Studio Art: Drawing, AP French Language, AP French Literature, AP Chemistry, AP U.S. History, AP Spanish Language, AP Spanish Literature, AP U.S. Government and Politics, AP Physics C, and AP Human Geography. Exams developed by Educational Testing Service (ETS) for the College Board are offered in the first two weeks of May. Students interested in taking the AP tests must declare their intention and pay an $87 fee per exam to our Bookkeeper Barbara Loeschner, by Friday, February 10, 2012. Students taking AP courses who elect not to take the AP exam will receive honors credit for class work, but not AP credit.
HOMEWORK TIPS for students
• Memorize items using note cards and look over them in your spare time.
• Break down long term projects into smaller more manageable tasks.
• Engage in some sort of physical activity to burn off any stress from the day before you tackle your homework.
• Listen well in class, take concise notes, read about topics from other resources other than just the textbook.
• Don’t give up. Review your notes and figure it out on your own. Most knowledge will come by correcting yourself.
WCSD SUPPLEMENTAL CREDIT OFFICE ON LINE
Students must still contact their guidance counselor for course approval, BUT students register for supplemental credit courses (i.e., Work Experience, WOLF, Summer School, Credit-by-Exam (CBE), Travel Study, Community Service, PE Options, Supervised Curriculum PE (SCPE)) ON-LINE!!! Students will need a credit card or debit card to complete the transaction. Winter Sports Academy students must register for WOLF classes in person.
For more information, visit www.washoeschools.net/suppcredit. Summer School information is expected to be available sometime in February 2012.
MILLENNIUM SCHOLARSHIP REVIEW
Established in 1999, the Millennium Scholarship provides financial assistance for Nevada high school students to attend an eligible institution of higher education. To qualify, students must:
• Graduate with a diploma from a Nevada public or private high school;
• Earn a GPA, weighted or unweighted, of 3.25
• Pass all of the Nevada Proficiency exams.
• Be a Nevada resident for at least two years of high school (note: student does not have to be a US citizen to be eligible).
• Students must complete four years of math and three years of science (see more info below).
MOST IMPORTANT UPDATE/ MILLENNIUM SCHOLARSHIP CORE CURRICULUM: Students must complete the following list of high school courses to qualify for the Millennium Scholarship:
High School Courses Units (Years)
Math (including Algebra 3-4) 4
Natural Science 3
Social Science and History 3
Note that the courses required to qualify for the Millennium Scholarship exceed those necessary for UNR or UNLV admission.
For additional or the most current information outlining the eligibility criteria for the Millennium Scholarship, go to http://nevadatreasurer.gov/millennium. For more general information, contact the Millennium Scholarship Office in the Office of the State Treasurer at 1-888-477-2667 or www.treasurer.state.nv.us.
UNR ADMISSIONS REQUIREMENTS
To be admitted to a Nevada University, students must complete:
English: Emphasis on composition and literature, etc. 4 years
Math: Algebra or higher level math 3 years
Natural Science: At least two years of laboratory science 3 years
Social Science/Studies: History, geography, government, etc. 3 years
Have a 3.0(weighted) academic grade point average in the 13 courses listed above OR a combined SAT of 1040 in Critical Reading and Math or an ACT composite score of 22.
If you do not meet these requirements, visit the UNR website at www.unr.edu to review your other options.
For PRIORITY scholarship consideration, you must have your EFC from FAFSA,
and have submitted your UNR application by: FEBRUARY 1, 2012.
All scholarships awarded after this date will be on an available basis only.
For more information on admissions, scholarships, financial aid, and more
visit the UNR Prospective Students web site at www.unr.edu/admissions or
call the Office for Prospective Students at 784-4700x1.
IS MY GPA GOOD ENOUGH?
To find out if your GPA will get you into UNR, visit www.unr.edu/admissions and click `Application Process’, then `GPA Calculator’ and enter in your grades to find out whether or not they meet the minimum grade point average.
2012-2013 TMCC SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE
The online application is available at scholarships.tmcc.edu beginning January 1, 2012. Although the application is open until May 1, 2012, students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. High school seniors are no longer required to submit their transcripts in order to be considered, as their high school records have no bearing on their eligibility. The scholarship application does not require an essay submission, but rather a listing of the student's volunteer experiences, extracurricular activities, job history, and academic awards/achievements. This one scholarship application makes students eligible for all of the scholarships available at TMCC. For further information, call 673-7072 or email
TMCC SUCCESS FIRST GRANT INITIATIVE: This program specializes in helping students who will be the first in their family to graduate with a bachelor’s degree and want to pursue higher education and achieve their goals. Students selected will receive support from counseling, tutoring, financial aid and other services to achieve graduation and/or transfer success. Students will also receive monthly check-in phone calls, and will have the opportunity to register for classes a week before the general TMCC population. Apply on line at www.tmcc.edu/aor/downloads/forms/submit/successfirst/ after the new year. If you have questions about this program please contact TMCC's Student Ambassadors at 775-673-8236.
TMCC SUCCESS FIRST GRANT INITIATIVE SUMMER BRIDGE PROGRAM
This program takes place during the 2012 Summer session, and is designed to give students a jump start on college by offering them the opportunity to take two college courses and strengthen their college readiness skills. All related school costs (including textbooks/lunches) are covered by the program. Every student that successfully completes the 5-week program is awarded an $800 state ACCESS grant. There are only 236 slots. Go to the above website to apply on line. The requirements to be selected for the summer program is as follows:
- First-time college student
- First-generation college student (birth mother or father did not graduate with a bachelor's degree...an associates or some college is still okay)
- Must be FAFSA-eligible and demonstrate some financial need
- Must possess ACCUPLACER class placements of Eng 98R and Math 95
For more information, contact Chris Dudash at
/ (775) 673-8215).
DUAL CREDIT AT SIERRA NEVADA COLLEGE
Sierra Nevada College offers dual credit classes (classes that earn both high school and college credit) for all WCSD high school students. If you have a 3.0 GPA or better and need ELECTIVE credit for graduation, see your counselor for details. Sierra Nevada College enrollment is open on Friday, January 13 and spring classes begin Tuesday, January 17. The cost is $135 per credit. There is a short application that applicants must complete before registering for classes on January 13. To view more information and the compete spring semester of SNC classes go to http://www.sierranevada.edu/index.php?id=1019
TOP 10 TIPS FOR COLLEGE ADMISSIONS
1. Take a rigorous academic course load. The variety and difficulty of your high school courses does matter; do not take courses that simply raise your GPA. Challenge yourself by taking advanced placement (AP) or honors courses. [University representatives encourage students to take four years of math and science, rather than the required three years to graduate high school.]
2. Do well on the entrance exams. Become familiar with the test by taking sample versions beforehand. Read the directions and test questions carefully and pace yourself so that you have time to review your work.
3. Develop your ideal college profile. Find matches with the help of search engines such as FastWeb’s college search at www.fastweb.com.
4. Submit applications as early as possible. If you are not applying early-decision, many colleges require applications to be in by early January (the UC deadline is Nov 1-30). Online applications are a great alternative for submitting your forms more quickly.
5. Craft excellent application essays. Brainstorm for an original topic. Be clear, concise and well-organized in your writing and check for grammar and spelling.
6. Do volunteer and community service work. Volunteer for activities that matter to you and reflect your personality. Volunteering looks great on an application and adds to your quality of life.
7. Fill out the admissions application accurately and well. Approach each application as if it were the only one you are filling out. Read the directions carefully and follow them precisely.
8. Finish high school academically strong. Because your junior and senior year courses are more comparable to college courses, some schools give more weight to the grades you earn in those years.
9. Follow up on your application. Do not be afraid to check on your application. With thousands of applications being processed, mistakes occasionally happen.
10. Dazzle them at your college interview. Practice with friends and formulate a few questions to ask. Dress for the occasion. After the interview, follow up with a thank-you note to the interviewer(s). You may want to ask for a business card at the end of the interview.