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Senior Class Newsletter December 2018

Testing Schedule for First Semester Finals                                                               

Testing will occur during the normally scheduled day during December 17-20th, with the 21st (a 2PM schedule) for test review and test make-up.

Reminder for Cap and Gown/Diploma Order                                  

Mrs. Hoesche

Seniors who have not yet paid for their cap/gown/diploma need to do so. Stop by the West office and ask for Mrs. Hoesche. The cost for cap/gown/tassel/diploma is $40. Seniors not participating in the graduation ceremony will still need to pay $20 for your diploma. FYI – if you pay for your diploma and don’t graduate you will have to pay for another one when you do graduate. If you have questions, please see Mrs. Hoesche in the West office.

CLASS OF 2019                                                                                            

Mr. Woods

Class Flower:            Sunflower
Class Colors:             Silver and Maroon
Class Song:              "I'll Always Remember You" by Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana
Class Motto:              "Every ending is the beginning of something new"
Prom Theme:            Masquerade

Midterm Graduation

Mr. Uhing 

A midterm graduation ceremony will be held on Thursday, December 20th at 2:00 PM in the Auditorium. Midterm graduates will rehearse at 8:30 AM on Wednesday, December 19th in the Auditorium. Following rehearsal, students will turn in their checkout sheets and pick up their caps and gowns for Thursday’s graduation. All fines must be paid at that time. Graduates should report to the auditorium foyer on Thursday, December 20th by 1:15 PM. 


To be eligible for loans and grants for college, male students who are 18 must register with the selective service. The fastest way to register and comply with the law is to access the Selective Service System’s web site at

Seniors…have you submitted your college applications?

If you haven’t submitted your admission applications yet, it’s time to get serious! Contact your top college choices to determine application deadlines and procedures. Ask if the admission application is also the application for college-based scholarships. If not, ask about the scholarship application process.

Common Application

The common application – used for admission to many colleges (only 4 use this – optionally - in Nebraska; Creighton University, Hastings College, Nebraska Wesleyan University and the University of Nebraska -Lincoln) - is much different than how most Nebraska colleges will receive the student’s transcripts and recommendations. Because of this, if you are planning on using the common application you need to not only inform your counselor, but plan on meeting with him or her and your alpha assigned registrar at least 2 days prior to a deadline to assure your records are successfully sent.

Testing Dates

ACT Test                    Dec 8th           @ GISH 8:00 AM
SAT Test                    Dec 2nd           @ GISH 8:00 AM

ACT Deadline for February 9th test is January 11th; however the December test has normally been the last one that can be used for scholarship consideration. Some colleges/universities are now considering the February test. Be sure to check with your prospective colleges/universities to know for sure.

Make sure colleges/NCAA have your highest ACT score. If you plan to attend UNK and your ACT score improved, contact UNK admissions office so they can re-figure your scholarship index. NCAA and NAIA athletes must submit their ACT scores directly from ACT.


The cost of a college education differs vastly from institution to institution. This year, UNL’s tuition is $245 per credit hour. According to EducationQuest, tuition and fees at UNL averaged $9,242 this year. However, that cost is significantly higher if you are an Engineering major or a Business major. The average student pays $7,512 for tuition and fees at UNK and $8,398 at UNO. However, any student who is Pell-eligible will qualify for the college bound program, which will allow the student to attend tuition free! STUDENTS MUST COMPLETE THE FAFSA TO BE ELIGIBLE.

If a student chooses one of the three Nebraska State Colleges - Chadron, Peru or Wayne - tuition is a little less, running $7,384, $7,452 and $7,172 respectively. Tuition at private colleges such as Nebraska Wesleyan, Hastings, Doane, Midland or Creighton can range anywhere from $30,050 at Hastings to $39,916 at Creighton.

Some students are opting to complete two years of academic transfer classes at a Nebraska community college before going on to a four-year college. Tuition and fees at Central Community College is $100 per credit hour, just under 41% of the cost at UNL. Tuition for technical degrees at Southeast Community College in Lincoln, Beatrice or Milford is $68 per credit hour. The private career schools such as beauty, massage therapy, health related, technical or art schools charge per quarter and the majority of their programs cost anywhere from $9,000 - $25,000 or more.

Total costs also include books and supplies which normally vary from $900 to $1,700 and can extend over $2,000 (or more) in technical, health related, or beauty programs. Room and board can range from $6,594 -$7,800 at state colleges to $11,036 at Creighton. Figure $2,500 for personal expenses and transportation. Also, keep in mind that only 30% of college graduates complete their education in four years or less. At UNL, for example, the total estimated cost for one year is around $22,000 without personal expenses. Budget cuts at the state level have hit public colleges and universities hard; those expenses, in turn, have been passed on to students. UNL College of Engineering, Architecture and Business Administration are charging an extra fee per credit hour for their classes. The private colleges have also seen an increase in tuition. Students who plan to go out-of-state to college will face out-of-state tuition costs, which in many cases will double or triple the cost of tuition.

Ultimately, you and your parents/guardians face a large financial investment, which must be considered carefully according to your family’s income level, your own academic goals, and your long term earning power.

What to expect after you submit your FAFSA


Omaha – 888.357.6300  Lincoln – 800.303.3745  Kearney – 800.666.3721

The FAFSA opened October 1, so many of you have already completed and submitted your form. Here’s what happens next:

  • Expect a Student Aid Report (SAR). You’ll receive it via an email link if you provided an email address on your FAFSA. The SAR acknowledges that your FAFSA was received and lets you know if you need to take further action to process your FAFSA.
  • Make sure you applied for admission to colleges you listed on your FAFSA.
  • Colleges who receive your FAFSA results typically won’t send you a financial aid package until you’ve applied and have been accepted to the school.
  • Watch for verification requests. The college(s) you listed on your FAFSA might request verification of your FAFSA information. If so, send the required documents to the colleges’ financial aid office.
  • Watch for financial aid award notifications. The colleges you were accepted to – and listed on your FAFSA – will send you financial aid award notifications detailing the types and amounts of aid they’re offering based on your financial need.
  • This EducationQuest Blog article has more details about what happens after you submit your FAFSA.

Haven’t completed your FAFSA yet?


Omaha – 888.357.6300  Lincoln – 800.303.3745  Kearney – 800.666.3721

No problem! You and a parent can complete the form at Before you start, create an FSA ID for you and one for a parent at You’ll need them to access and sign the form. For free help with the FAFSA, watch these FAFSA Demo videos, use our free FAFSA Tools, or call EducationQuest to make an appointment.

Winning the scholarship game


Omaha – 888.357.6300  Lincoln – 800.303.3745  Kearney – 800.666.3721

Follow these tips to increase your chances of earning scholarships:

  • Don’t ever pay for scholarship searches! Use free resources such as ScholarshipQuest at with over 2,000 Nebraska-based scholarships, or free national sites like Cappex, GoodCall, and Chegg.
  • Visit your school counselor often for information about local scholarships.
  • Focus on local and college-specific scholarships because you're more likely to earn them.
  • Update your activities, honors, community service or paid jobs using the Activities Resume at
  • Earn the best possible ACT/SAT scores by taking the exam in the spring of your junior year and again in the fall of your senior year.
  • Use quality references such as a teacher, coach or counselor. Encourage them to write specific examples of your leadership skills. Give them a specific deadline, and a copy of your Activities Resume.
  • Tailor your essay to the scholarship.  Ask an English teacher to read your essay and offer advice on making a big impact.  Your essay will need to stand out from other applications.
  • Want more tips? Click here!

Collegebound Nebraska


If you are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, Collegebound Nebraska will cover all your remaining tuition costs, up to 30 credit hours per academic year, after Pell funds and any other grants and/or scholarships are taken into account.  You must take at least 12 credit hours per semester, but may take more.

If you file the FAFSA and are told you are not eligible for a Pell Grant, the university will automatically review your FAFSA to determine whether you qualify for Collegebound Nebraska. If your expected family contribution is $5,000 or less, you will qualify.  (Note: students with expected family contributions above $5,300 may qualify for grant assistance, but for amounts less than full tuition).


The Collegebound Nebraska program is for tuition assistance only. It does not cover additional costs including fees, books, room and board, or transportation. However, the financial aid office at the campus you're attending will offer other financial aid resources to help you cover these additional costs.

Do I Qualify For Nebraska Collegebound AID?


You do if you meet these criteria:

  • Nebraska resident
  • Full-time (12 credit hours or more) undergraduate student at the University of Nebraska
  • Pell Grant recipient
  • Maintain a 2.5 grade point average
  • And the program is simple. There is no separate application. Eligible students are identified automatically through the annual Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) application.
  • There is no set income level to qualify, but a general guideline is that a typical family of four with one student in college and an annual family income of $53,000 or less may qualify for Collegebound Nebraska assistance.

College Funding Estimator


Omaha – 888.357.6300  Lincoln – 800.303.3745  Kearney – 800.666.3721

The College Funding Estimator estimates the results of your FAFSA – the application for federal, state, and college-based financial aid.  The information will help you plan financially for college and determine if you qualify to apply for “need-based” scholarships.

Gather these items to complete the College Funding Estimator. Include parent information unless you are an independent student:

  • Your federal tax return and W-2s
  • Birth dates
  • Dates parents were married, separated, divorced or widowed
  • Value of checking/savings accounts and investments
  • Value of business or investment farm
  • Child support paid or received
  • Workers compensation benefits
  • Other untaxed income such as housing/food/living allowance for clergy
  • Veteran’s noneducation benefits

The College Funding Estimator asks the same questions, and uses the same calculation, as the FAFSA. The results will help you plan financially for college, understand the financial aid process, and determine if you qualify to apply for "need-based" scholarships. This tool is helpful for parents with sophomores, juniors and seniors as they prepare for college expenses.

GIPS Foundation: On Your Mark, Get Set, Apply!

Mrs. Skalberg 

On December 1, the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation opened up the 2019 online scholarship application for the students of Grand Island Senior High. By completing this one online application, students will be applying for 170 local scholarships totaling about $460,000!

Scholarships range from $250 - $220,000 each. The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation sponsored the College & Scholarship Essay Workshop during the evening of November 12 and presented an overview of the online application to families. A narrated video of the slideshow is posted online at

Students will be formally introduced to the online application on December 5th during an assembly.

The application will close on February 6th with scholarship awards announced the last week of April. The application can be found at:

Local Scholarships Available

  • GIPS Foundation
  • College of your choice
  • Education-quest
  • GI Community Foundation

A listing of local scholarships will be presented to all seniors on December 5th during an assembly.

GISH’s Scholarship List

A good way to look at the scholarship offerings that students were shown is to think of them as buckets. Each of these “buckets” contain many scholarships however, they differ in how the students access them;

 GISH’s Scholarship List

  • Students should read through the list to see what they qualify for.
  • Fill out a separate application for each scholarship the student qualifies for.
  • Quite a few require the GISH general scholarship application form; others have applications that are downloadable (also printed out and available in the East/West offices) and others are strictly online applications.
  • Students will need to read through carefully to see if they need to submit applications through the mail, to the East office or email/online. Some have to be post-marked by the due date and some have to be to the recipient by the due date. Please watch this carefully!
  • Double-check your spelling.

Often scholarship selection committees need to know more than class rank and test scores to choose recipients. If you are applying for more than one scholarship, complete one GISH general scholarship application form and duplicate it, and then add the names of the scholarships. On the GISH general scholarship application form seniors are asked to write a personal statement. This is an opportunity for you to describe in detail experiences you have had and to indicate reasons why you should be selected for the scholarship.

The best personal statements do not plead for money; instead, they describe strengths and achievements in an intimate and unique way, capitalizing on life experiences, which have molded you into a worthy candidate. Remember also that the appearance of your typed application can be as powerful as your content. Make sure that your mechanics are correct.

GIPS Foundation & GI Community Foundation
Although these are separate “buckets” these two operate in a similar fashion

  • The student creates a user id and answers questions
  • By answering these questions the student is filtering out what scholarships they don’t qualify for AND is filling out the individual applications all at once!


  • EducationQuest has provided free college planning services since 1986.
  • ScholarshipQuest is their tool to find scholarships that students qualify for.
  • Each scholarship the student qualifies for would then have to be filled out separately

The college/university of your choice

  • Check with the colleges/universities you are considering as most have scholarship opportunities

Registration for CCC Dual Credit Classes

Mrs. Luthi-Placke

Dual Credit Classes include the following second semester courses:

  • CCC History 1710 World Civ After 1500
  • CCC Public Speaking 1110
  • CCC English Writing and Research
  • CCC Political Science 1000 (American Government)
  • CCC Math 1150 College Algebra
  • CCC Math 220 Applied Statistics
  • CCC Nurse Assistant Certification

 * if a class is in bold you MUST take for college credit in order to remain in the class.

Any student who is taking dual credit classes through CCC should note the enrollment process for second semester, which is as follows: 

TUESDAY, December 4, 2017 –

Registration Information Meeting will be held in the Auditorium. Mr. Dunn from CCC will be in the Auditorium to provide information and assist students with their CCC dual-credit course registration during L1 for ALL students taking dual credit courses second semester. You will receive your forms at that time.  The completed form is to be returned on Friday, December 7th.

CCC Tuition Cost

Tuition cost per credit hour at CCC is $100. Most CCC dual credit courses students take at GISH are considered 3 hour credit courses (total $300) with the exception of some CPI course--talk to your instructor for clarification of credit hours and course titles. 

Friday, December 7th, 2018—Payment and Registration Forms will be collected in the West Conference Room (near the Business Office) during your Open Lunch/Early Release Period(s) with your completed dual credit form and payment.

Students, if you DO NOT submit payment and a signed registration form to CCC on Friday, December 7th, 2018, YOU will need to take your payment and registration form out to CCC on or before Friday, January 19th, 2018.

Questions about registration may be directed to Jerry Dunn at 308-398-7447 and payment questions, or payment plan arrangements may be directed to Nancy Straatman CCC Student Accounts director at 308-398-7411.

Nebraska Now

Mr. Uhing 

Earn college credit at a lower rate than CCC classes and receive a $1,000 scholarship!  Nebraska NOW is a UNL online program that costs only $250 for an online college credit course and awards a $1,000 scholarship. Any student can take an online class like psychology or sociology and earn credit to UNL or transferability to other colleges. If you take ONE class and earn a B or higher you will probably earn at least a $1,000 scholarship to UNL. Contact Mr. Uhing or Mrs. Ulmer for this fantastic opportunity through Nebraska NOW. 

Susan Thompson Buffett Scholarship Help

Mrs. Luthi-Placke

Wednesday, December 5th, during L3 (or immediately following the scholarship assembly) seniors can receive assistance applying for the Susan Thompson Buffett scholarship in the media center. Jacquie Butler, from the Kearney EducationQuest office will be providing the workshop to help seniors apply for this amazing scholarship.  

If you have class during 4A, please request permission (negotiate with your teacher to attend the workshop) in advance to attend the workshop.

Come get your questions answered, get help with your essays, and learn about the support available through this renewable scholarship. It is awarded on a competitive basis to first-time, entering freshmen who are residents of Nebraska, graduates of a Nebraska high school with plans to attend a Nebraska public institution, and who have demonstrated financial need. See full details at

Any questions? Contact your counselor or Dave Woods, Director of Guidance and Counseling 308-385-5574


Media Inquiries
Jack Sheard, Marketing & Communications
308-385-5900 Ext. 1127