Media Specialist Carol Ford offers advice to students to avoid student loans
Student Affairs assistance Parker Tucker worked with students on entering paper work for enrollment
SCC Representative works with seniors
Numerous seniors will be attending SCC in the fall
Representatives from Kentucky Community and Technology College System in Somerset
have been visiting seniors at Wayne County High School who are planning to continue their
studies in the neighboring county after graduation. Advising counselors have been assisting
them in making plans for their postsecondary education.
During an orientation session, Parker Tucker, a student affairs assistant, acquainted local
seniors with a variety of information to help them through the process. He explained that if
their future courses meet on campus, the teacher will give them a syllabus, textbook
requirements, grading policy, and their office hours. Some classes however, do not require a
textbook, but may be electronic. He explained that they use Blackboard to teach on-line
“Do your financial aid application yesterday. It opened October 1 and you should have
already completed it,” noted Tucker. Students go to free FAFSA application online by going to
“Next, go home and apply for scholarships. It is free money. You can receive multiple
He advised the students to try to stay away from student loans because they have to be
paid back to the federal government. A student work-study program or job opportunity during
college is a better option for students. Grants based on financial need are a way to receive a
free education, providing the student qualifies. Students can also expect to receive some help
through the Kentucky Educational Excellence Scholarship (KEES) depending on their high school
GPA and ACT scores.
Another money saver that Wayne County students take advantage of are dual credit
college classes they enroll in during high school at a reduced price. Many students enter college
as a sophomore having taken numerous general education courses already.
Media Specialist Carol Ford told the students who were learning about their options that
she obtained two masters degrees without resorting to student loans. She worked while in
school and used her paycheck to rent an apartment and have a car. She explained that she cut
back on her expenses and got by on $20 a week spending money while in college. That saved
her from being in debt and having to pay off student loans in the years after she completed her
The advisor told the students about free tutors at Somerset once they are enrolled,
because it can make a big difference in their studies. “There is no shame in asking for help. We
also have student mentors at no cost.”
Many local students have joined gone on to Somerset Community College have served
in the student ambassador program. It offers a stipend to students who work at campus events,
tours, and serve as ushers. They serve as student representatives and role models at the
He told the students to bring their class schedules to the campus bookstore so they
could match up the textbooks they would need. “You can use your financial aid funds for
textbooks, but you might have to charge them until your financial aid comes in. The Student Aid
Report (SAR) shows students if they are eligible for financial aid. However, the verification
process takes time, so it is important to submit their information as soon as possible.
Parking is usually an issue at most campus facilities so it is important for students to
park in the proper areas or designated assigned spots. A safety officer is on duty until the last
student leaves from the Somerset parking lot, he explained.
Students that receive financial aid must maintain a 2.0 GPA per semester, complete
their degree within the maximum time frame, and complete 67 percent or more of all
attempted credit hours.
The cycle continues as juniors starting to formulate their post-graduation plans had an
opportunity to meet with KHEAA Outreach Counselor Audrey Price to hear a presentation on
Paying for College 101 on April 9 th , so it is never too early to begin making financial plans for
whatever degree or certification is being sought.
A variety of schools’ college admission counselors are visiting with local students at the
high school. For example, Western Kentucky University Admissions Counselor Adam Mayer
talked to seniors who had applied and been accepted at WKU when he was on campus April 9 th .
Scholarships and other applications are posted on the WCHS Guidance page. From the
Wayne County District website, click on “high school.” Then click on “counselor’s office” (it is
the third link on left). Scholarships are the first link on left. The counselor’s office organizes
scholarships and opportunities in folders by their due date. The website is updated regularly.
After all this preparation and deliberation about their future plans is determined, a
special event is held to celebrate the milestone. Seniors who are planning to attend college,
technical school, or enter the military after graduation will be recognized at the annual signing
event this spring during an assembly in the gymnasium. Classmates and families will be
cheering these students on to their next assignment after graduation.