Thursday, January 26, 2012

Memphis/Shelby County Update

Things are definitely rockin’ and rollin’ in Shelby County as we begin the first year of Memphis/Shelby Achieves! As of our December deadline, we received almost double the number of student applications than originally anticipated. We worked hard through the holidays with school counselors and mentors to make sure everyone was informed and ready for the first team meetings.
Last week, we held the last of 9 meetings at Southwest Tennessee Community College and Tennessee Technology Center. Students, parents, and mentors came together for a crash course in free college.  Amidst the chaos of 2 school districts, 52 high schools, 1900 applicants and 204 mentors, there was one message that was clear to all: Memphis/Shelby is ready to increase our number of college graduates.  
To the community organizations and businesses who are providing funding and mentors, to the guidance counselors and parents who encouraged their children to apply, to each person who has helped launch a successful beginning to Memphis/Shelby Achieves, there is only one thing to say: “Thank ya! Thank ya very much!”   
-Kaci Murley

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The FAFSA Blues

As a tnAchieves Scholar you know that our most important date while in high school is getting your FAFSA submitted by February 1. FAFSA can be scary, but all you have to do is jump in and it will be completed before you know it! Just go to

Are you struggling with the FAFSA? Do you need help? Don't know where to begin?
NO EXCUSES! tnAchieves has set up FAFSA Days at many of the community colleges for this very reason. The dates, locations and times are listed below:

January 21st at Walters State (Morristown campus): 9:00-11:00 a.m.
January 21st at Roane State (Oak Ridge campus): 9:00-11:00 a.m.
January 22nd at Pellissippi State (Magnolia campus): 12:30-2:30 p.m.
January 22nd at Southwest (Welcome Center Farris Building, 2nd Floor Computer Lab): 2:30-4:30 p.m.

January 28th at Roane State (Harriman campus): 9:00-11:00 a.m.
January 28th at Cleveland State (College Goal Sunday, Career Education Building, Rooms 108-109): 9:00-11:00 a.m.
January 29th at Pellissippi State (Hardin Valley campus): 12:30-2:30 p.m. 
January 29th at Southwest (Welcome Center Farris Building, 2nd Floor Computer Lab): 2:30-4:30 p.m.
Be sure to have the following information with you when you come:

·        Your parent/guardian(s)
·        Your social security number
·        Your driver’s license
·        Your W-2 forms (if you work)
·        Your parent/guardian(s)’s income tax return (if you have it)
·        Your alien registration card or permanent residence card (if you are not a U.S. Citizen)

Remember, FAFSA Days are not mandatory. They are just helpful for you and your family!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Focus on college NOW!

Senior year of high school is hard enough... why is it important to focus on college now? You may ask yourself, "Can't I just wait until I graduate and worry about it then?" The answer is NO. Although you might think you have alot of time, this last semester of high school is going to fly by, and there are many important things that you need to do before you will be ready for college. To get you started, I have listed three of the most important steps below:

1. Collect the information you will need to fill out your FAFSA by Feb. 1
Filling out FAFSA is crucial to receiving as much funding as possible for your education so you do not have to worry about college tuition. As a tnAchieves Scholar, you should know that FAFSA must be completed by February 1. To fill out FAFSA, you will need your parents/gaurdians, your social security number, your driver's license, your W-2 forms (if you are employed), your parents/guardians tax returns, and your alien registration card or permanent resident card (if you are not a US citizen). For more information on FAFSA, visit, look at your mentor handbook, and make sure you attend the January team meetings at your high school!

2. Decide which college you would like to attend and do some research on the programs they offer
tnAchieves offers scholarships to community college. Ask your guidance counselor for information on the community colleges around you or visit their websites online. Although you will have to take several general courses when you begin college, it is a good idea to have an idea of what careers you are interested. This will give you the chance to research that career and what classes must be taken to have that job!

3. Apply to school
It is not to early to apply to school! The sooner you apply to college, the sooner you can get in all the required information so you are not overwhelmed during the summer. It is also good to apply early because you can register for your fall classes and get the class times that work best for you!
Remember... with tnAchieves, you have NO Excuses!