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April 2018

State adopts digital literacy/computer science standards The Alabama State Board of Education has approved digital literacy and computer science standards, making Alabama one of the first states to do so. The new DLCS standards work with existing standards in all content areas from kindergarten through 12th grade. Exposure to digital learning and computer science familiarizes Alabama students with the digital culture that is fueling much of the current and future workforce.

to incorporate DLCS into their classrooms will be available. Computer science data for the state show that: • Alabama has nearly 4,400 open computing jobs (4.5 times the average demand rate in Alabama). • The average salary for a computing occupation in Alabama is $82,893, almost double the state’s average salary ($42,510). Those open jobs alone represent more than $364 million in annual salaries. • Alabama had 503 computer science graduates in 2015 of whom 21% were women. • Alabama high school students took 1,520 exams in AP Computer Science in 2017 • Eighty-six schools in Alabama (25% of Alabama schools with AP programs) offered an AP Computer Science course in 2016–2017, 58 more than the previous year.

For the DLCS standards, learning goals were established for each grade, teaching students to solve problems, understand safety and security concepts, use research skills to work together, understand various computing devices and present new solutions to problems. School systems across the state can begin using the new DLCS standards for the 2018–2019 school year. All schools must use the new standards beginning in the 2019–2020 school year. Professional development that shows teachers ways

KHEAA-Alabama publishes the Counselor Connection to share information about student financial aid, college preparation and college planning. Comments and suggestions are always welcome. Please send them to

Counselor Connection April 2018

Make college more affordable by saving on intangible costs When it comes to comparing the costs of various colleges, remember that on the broadest level, costs can be tangible or intangible. To save money, follow these tips. Tangible costs include tuition and fees and room and board. Intangible costs include everything else: textbooks and supplies; computers; and personal items, such as shampoo, clothes, entertainment, laundry and other expenses.

Program seeks applicants for student environmental leadership awards

Students can sometimes save a lot of money by controlling the costs of their lifestyle. That doesn’t mean skimping on shampoo, soap, food and clean clothes. But they can cut costs by finding sales or using coupons. They should always be looking for buy one, get one free deals.

The Brower Youth Awards is now seeking applicants for 2018. The awards recognize the work of six young leaders making strides in the environmental movement.

Students can also save quite a bit of money by cutting back on treats such as entertainment and dining out. Doing those things less often will make them even more special when students do treat themselves.

Six students will receive $3,000, a professionally produced short film about their work and a flight with accommodations for a week-long trip to the San Francisco Bay area. The trip will include coaching, leadership activities, access to mentors and media engagements.

Remember: The less students spend on the intangibles, the less they’ll have to take out in student loans. That means that after they graduate, they can afford more of the things they enjoy.

Students age 13–22 living in North America are eligible to apply before the May 20 deadline. For more details, please visit the contest website at


Counselor Connection April 2018

Save money by taking more classes each semester Taking more classes each semester may help students cut the cost of college. That’s important if they will need student loans to help pay for their education. A full-time load for undergraduate students is usually 12 credit hours per semester. Associate’s degrees usually require 60 credit hours to finish, bachelor’s degrees 120 hours. At 12 hours each semester, students need five semesters to finish an associate’s degree and 10 semesters to finish a bachelor’s degree. By taking 15 hours per semester, they can finish an associate’s degree in four semesters and a bachelor’s degree in eight semesters. Most colleges don’t charge any more for 15 hours than they do for 12 hours. That might save students thousands of dollars in tuition and fees.

Scholarship spotlight Southern Automotive Women’s Forum Scholarship Eligibility: Must: • be a female high school senior, GED graduate or college student. • be enrolled or be enrolling in an accredited college or university in Alabama or another southern state. • be pursuing a degree in a science, technology, engineering, math or automotive field. • be interested in or already be pursuing a career in an automotive-related field. • be enrolled at least half time in at least 2 consecutive academic terms. • maintain at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA and at least a 3.0 GPA in the major.

When planning their schedule, students should think about taking that extra class each semester. The sooner they earn their degree, the sooner they can start job hunting.

Award: Varies Number: Varies Deadline: June 1 Apply online at: http://southernautomotivewomen. org/scholarship-application/ -3-


Every school has a financial aid office, and you can turn to the staff there for help with paying for college. Not only do they put together your financial aid package, staff will explain the process to you and your parents, answer any questions you have and keep you posted on anything you need Reminder: to do. On some campuses, the financial aid office will You must refile your FAFSA as help you find a work-study job and handle your timesoon as possible after ctober sheets so you get paid. It pays to stay in touch with the 1 every year to be eligible for financial aid staff so you can avoid any surprises. federal, state and institutional aid.


To refile go to Each college that accepts you as a student will prepare a financial aid package that shows the total cost of attendance (COA), your expected family contribution (EFC) and how much financial aid the school is offering. You don’t have to accept everything in the package. You can take the awards that are best for you. Take advantage of all the free financial aid you can get first — the grants and scholarships. If you still need help, take the loans, but only borrow as much as you absolutely need. You don’t want to have to pay back more money than necessary. Because you have a legal obligation to repay student loans, start a file and keep all the mail you receive about your loans — after you read it. State and federal programs generally have limits on how much you can receive, but many schools have their own funds. If you really want to go to a particular school but the financial aid package isn’t quite what you want, talk with someone in the financial aid office to see if you can qualify for more aid.

Sample Award Letter Total Cost of Attendance: $32,641 Financial Aid Awards




Pell Grant




State Grant







Institutional Aid




Sub. Loan




Unsub. Loan




Total Award






Accept Reject


If all the aid was accepted, you or your family would need to pay $7,177 out-of-pocket for the year and you would have $5,500 in student loans that would have to be repaid plus interest.

April 2018 al cc  
April 2018 al cc