Today is Thursday, August 17, 2017

Leaders urging seniors to sign up for free ACT retake

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Wilson County Schools, with a little help from the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce, are encouraging high school seniors to take advantage of a free opportunity that could save them thousands of dollars before heading to college.

For the first time, the state is offering all high school seniors who have already taken the ACT test the opportunity to retake the test at no charge on Oct. 22.

"Even though a student may have taken it already, every additional point matters," said Jennifer Cothron, supervisor of testing and accountability for Wilson County Schools.

"Statistics show that most students raise their composite ACT score every time they take the test," she added. "That could be the difference between a 20 and a 21, which would make them HOPE Scholarship-eligible. Almost every point above a 25 is worth an additional thousand dollars at a school like MTSU."

She also pointed out that students who earn more than their tuition in scholarship dollars get to keep that money for books, housing, food or anything else, and it allows them to forego taking out student loans they have to repay after college.

In addition to saving money, a college or job-training program after high school will soon be required to find a job.

"By 2020, 55 percent of all jobs will require post-secondary training," said Penny Tittle, supervisor of instruction for high schools. "It sounds like a long way off, but it's right around the corner."

Because of the timing of the retest date, it allows most students to receive their scores before college application deadlines, which often are in December.

The school system, state department of education and chamber hope all students who are eligible retake the test and improve their scores, which looks good on the county, state and school system. Wilson County has improved its composite ACT scores for the past two years, and a free retake option could help assure they continue to climb.

Students at any county high school can pick up a voucher from their counselors. Only high school seniors who have already taken the test are eligible.

Deadline to register for the free test is Sept. 16. Deadline to ergister with a late fee is Sept. 30. After that date, registration will be closed.

"This is important to the Chamber because these students will be our future leaders," Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce President Melanie Minter said. "We hope they succeed then come back to live, work and play in Wilson County. We have seen what Wilson County Schools have done for our students, and we want to help promote them."

For more information, students or parents are encouraged to get in contact with their school's guidance office.

Managing Editor Zack Owensby may be contacted at

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