High School Families
The Tuscaloosa City Schools serves high school students in three locations: Paul W. Bryant High School, Central High School and Northridge High School. Students in grades 9-12 are provided with an assortment of opportunities to prepare them for college and or career. The Tuscaloosa City Schools offers more Advanced Placement (AP) courses than any school system in West Alabama. With the expansion of the International Baccalaureate Programme, ninth and tenth grade students are able to have a full complement of IB education throughout their high school career.
Coursework is offered through a block schedule featuring a five-period day where students can earn up to eight Carnegie units per academic year. In the state of Alabama, 24 Carnegie units are required for graduation.
Students attend school Monday-Friday from 8:25 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.
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Getting a Jump on College
For students wanting to get a jump into the collegiate experience, TCS has multiple partnerships with our local post-secondary institutions. Students are able to participate in dual enrollment opportunities with Shelton State Community College, The University of Alabama and Stillman College. TCS also offers an early graduation for students. Candidates for early graduation are not eligible for valedictorian or salutatorian. However, there is an application process. Please contact your school counselor for more information.
In 2013, the Tuscaloosa City Schools opened Tuscaloosa Career & Technology Academy, a state-of-the-art facility offering 13 academies designed to launch students into a college/university experience or directly into the workforce.
We recognize that not all students are able to excel in a traditional learning environment, the Tuscaloosa Virtual School Program allows for a personalized learning experience for students who have other life obligations or commitments.
Talk to your child's counselor or teacher for more information to see if one of these programs will help your child meet their academic goals.
Tuscaloosa City Schools initiated HALT, Harassment Awareness Learning Together, district-wide to combat bullying in the entire school system in August 2012. During the fall of 2014, TCS partnered with a team of University of Alabama public relations students and the City of Tuscaloosa for Phase 3 of the campaign.
The goals of the HALT Initiative:
- Create a TCS bullying document with policies, contact, and forms
- Bully training for HALT coordinators who will use train-the-trainer model to train entire faculty and staff at each school
- Implement parent/community awareness training on the topic of bullying
- Create avenues for reporting bullying at the local school-level and central office
- Work with HALT coordinators to implement comprehensive curriculum to address both the bully, victim, and empowering bystanders
- Create HALT posters, bracelets, pledge cards to support awareness in schools
- Create a HALT web presence under Student Services
- Professional development for all faculty and staff including the transportation department on the topic of bullying
- Increase awareness of the topic of bullying in order to decrease cases of bullying
The Tuscaloosa City Schools’ Department of Special Education Support Services promotes opportunities for students to participate in educational and extracurricular activities designed to facilitate maximum student achievement. A full range of services, meeting the needs of all identified students' grade Prek-12, special education and gifted, is offered in all schools in the Tuscaloosa City School System.
Special Education Services includes qualified Special Education Teachers and Paraprofessionals, Speech/Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Orientation & Mobility Specialist, Board Certified Behavior Analysts, School Psychologists and other related service providers. Together we plan and provide educational programs for students with disabilities in partnership with general education staff, administrators and parents.
We nurture individuals, who value themselves and others and provide an educational foundation that enables students to have the ability to think, communicate, create and apply their unique learning experiences throughout their lifetime.
We believe that parents are a valuable and essential part of the educational process and that their aspirations for and insights about their child’s program are an integral component as we plan together for their child’s educational success.
Tuscaloosa City Schools has a commitment to educating all learners. Offering diverse environments to challenge learners in various ways, the school system provides several options for students. Learn more about these offerings and how to apply to the following schools: The Alberta School of Performing Arts, Tuscaloosa Magnet Schools -- Elementary and Middle, and Oak Hill School.
Applications for these schools are available to any students residing in the Tuscaloosa City School attendance zones. An online application is available on www.tuscaloosacityschools.com starting in January and must be completed and submitted by 3 p.m. on the last day of school in January. Hard copies of the application will be available at any of the Tuscaloosa City Schools.
View Enrollment Information
ACTThe ACT (American College Test) is the leading college entrance exam that measures what you have learned in high school to determine your readiness for college. The ACT is America’s most widely accepted college entrance exam. It assesses high school students’ general educational development and their ability to complete college-level work. The multiple-choice tests cover four skill areas: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science.2019-2020 National ACT Testing Dates
September 12, 2020
September 13, 2020
September 19, 2020
August 14, 2020
October 10, 2020
October 17, 2020
October 24, 2020
October 25, 2020
September 17, 2020
December 12, 2020
November 6, 2020
February 6, 2021
January 8, 2021
April 17, 2021
March 12, 2021
June 12, 2021
May 7, 2021
July 17, 2021
June 18, 2021Current ACT Fees and Services
The ACT (no writing)
Includes reports for you, your high school, and up to four colleges
The ACT with writing
Includes reports for you, your high school, and up to four colleges*All fees are nonrefundable unless otherwise noted*
Advanced Placement (AP) vs. Dual Enrollment Coursework
Advanced Placement (AP) vs. Dual Enrollment Coursework: Which Should You Take?
AP courses are college-level courses taken by high school students.
Dual enrollment courses are college courses taken by high school students. Students are enrolled in high school and a college/university simultaneously.
AP curriculum is standardized and governed by the College Board.
Curriculum can vary among institutions.
All AP course offerings are academic.
See the complete list of AP courses here.
Dual enrollment courses include academic and career technical offerings.
AP courses are taken during the school day during the school year.
Courses can be taken in-person or online via
Dual enrollment courses can be taken during the school day or during the evening.
Courses last one semester and can be taken during Fall, Spring, and/or Summer.
Courses can be taken in-person or online.
AP courses are taught by high school teachers who have been trained by the College Board.
Dual enrollment courses are taught by college/university instructors.
AP courses can be taken as early as 9th grade.
Dual enrollment courses can be taken as early as the summer following completion of 9th grade.
Each AP exam costs $97.
A reduced fee for eligible students is $62 per exam.
Tuition, fees, and course material/textbook costs vary depending on the institution.
Scholarships are available.
Earning College Credit
College credit is contingent upon earning a qualifying score on the AP Exam.
Some colleges/universities do not award college credit for AP exam scores at all.
College credit is contingent upon passing the course.
Always ensure that the college credit earned is transferable to a different institution.
High School GPA
AP courses are given an additional 1.0 quality point consideration in terms of high school GPA calculation.
Some dual enrollment courses, called dual credit courses, are given additional quality point considerations in terms of high school GPA calculation.
See TCS Dual Credit Crosswalk for additional information.
In life you can take a million different paths to get to your future. AP (Advanced Placement) courses can help you find and pursue your unique direction by giving you the opportunity to explore what interests you the most. AP courses can connect you directly to a wide variety of college majors and careers.
It can also help you transform the subjects you are enthusiastic about into a fulfilling future. Why not take courses in high school that you can benefit from in college. To learn about how an AP course subject could benefit you Click Here:
**See the Course Selection Chart in the Academic Guide to learn about the AP Courses that are offered at your school.**
Apprenticeship ProgramsApprenticeship ProgramsManufacturing/Automotive/LogisticsMercedes Technician Training Program Click HereMercedes Mechatronics Program Click HereNucor Steel Technical Academy Click HereBF Goodrich Technical Scholar Program Click HerePhifer Incorporated Apprenticeships Click HereConstructionPremier Service Company, Inc. Click HereLAVENDER, INC (Welding Apprenticeship) Click HereTJAC Local 372 Plumbers and Pipefitters Apprenticeship Click HereEnergy & UtilitiesHunt Refining Company Operations Co-Op Click HereWarrior Met Coal Click HereAlabama Power Click HereHealthcareDCH Health System Click HereHospitality & TourismDCH Health System Click HereBama Dining Apprenticeship Click HereHotel Indigo Click Here
CounselorsCentral High SchoolPhone: (205) 759-3720LaTonya Gaines, 9th Grade CounselorTalietha Wright, 10th/11th Grade CounselorWhitney Clark, 12th Grade CounselorNorthridge High SchoolPhone: (205) 759-3590Kenneth Smothers, 9th Grade CounselorMary Jo Cummings, 10th Grade CounselorEmilie Fuqua, 11th Grade CounselorDeven Steward, 12th Grade CounselorPaul W. Bryant High SchoolPhone: (205) 759-3538Leslie Smith-Boyd, 9th Grade CounselorGisela DeLoach, 10th Grade CounselorMcKiva Wilson, 11th Grade CounselorWanda Williams, 12th Grade Counselor
Dual Enrollment Program
Dual enrollment allows eligible high school students to enroll in college classes concurrently with high school classes. Tuscaloosa City Schools offers dual enrollment opportunities through Auburn First, Shelton State Community College, Stillman College, and The University of Alabama Early College. Some dual enrollment courses, known as dual credit courses, allow students to simultaneously earn college credit and high school credit. TCS’s recognized dual credit courses are found on the TCS Dual Credit Crosswalk.
To be eligible for Academic and/or Career Technical Education Dual Enrollment, students must:
Meet entrance requirements of the college including high school GPA
3.0 unweighted cumulative GPA
Shelton State Community College
2.5 unweighted cumulative GPA for academic courses and HIT, NAS, RPT, MLT Career Technical Education courses
2.0 unweighted cumulative GPA for other Career Technical Education courses
2.0 unweighted cumulative GPA
The University of Alabama Early College
3.0 unweighted cumulative GPA
Be in grade 10, 11, or 12
An exception may be granted upon the recommendation of the student’s principal and superintendent and in accordance with the Alabama Administrative Code 290-8-9.17 regarding gifted and talented students.
All students who are interested in participating in a dual enrollment program should first register with TCS's dual enrollment portal called Pathways.
Submit the Auburn First Admission Application and pay the $50 application fee.
Submit an official high school transcript and Letter of Support.
Pay the $250 non-refundable deposit (applied to tuition).
Shelton State Community College
Choose “Dual Enrollment” as the student type.
Upload a copy of your primary identification before submitting the application.
Submit the Dual Enrollment Approval Form.
Upload a current high school transcript before submitting the approval form.
Upload a current high school transcript before submitting the application.
The University of Alabama Early College
Submit the UA Early College Online Application.
Pay the $40 nonrefundable application fee.
Submit the UA Early College Student Information Form.
Ask your counselor to send your current high school transcript.
Funding Opportunities and Scholarships
ELEVATE Dual Enrollment Scholarship
The ELEVATE Dual Enrollment Scholarship, made possible through the partnership between Tuscaloosa City Schools, the City of Tuscaloosa, and Mayor Walt Maddox, provides financial support for tuition, textbooks, and course materials/fees up to a total of twelve (12) college credit hours at The University of Alabama, Shelton State Community College, or Stillman College.
To qualify, a student must:
● Attend a TCS high school at least one year prior to taking courses as part of the ELEVATE Dual Enrollment Scholarship program; and
● Live in the Tuscaloosa City Schools’ residential attendance zones (or be the dependent of a TCS employee); and
● Be a member in good standing of grade 10, 11, or 12; and
● Meet institutions’ minimum grade point average requirements.
The ELEVATE Dual Enrollment Scholarship can also be used to fund CTE coursework not covered by Shelton State Community College’s Career Technical Education Scholarships (like Cosmetology and Barbering), non-credit bearing coursework, accelerated coursework at Shelton State Community College, and transportation for students who participate in registered apprenticeship programs.
Additionally, students who participate in the dual enrollment program at Shelton State Community College through the ELEVATE Dual Enrollment Scholarship can receive a matching scholarship (up to 12 credit hours) in the Summer and/or Fall semester following their high school graduation.
Shelton State Community College
Shelton State Community College offers Career Technical Education Scholarships, STEM Scholarships, and Foundation Scholarships. Please see https://www.sheltonstate.edu/instruction-workforce-development/high-school-programs/dual-enrollment/dual-enrollment-tuition-scholarships/ for details.
TCS Dual Enrollment Policies
Prior approval from the high school counselor or principal is required for dual enrollment participation.
All dual enrollment/dual credit courses must be approved by homeschool grade level counselors.
Students are allowed to take a maximum of two courses per semester during the high school academic year (Fall and Spring semesters).
Students must complete dual enrollment registration by the first day of the TCS semester (Fall and Spring semesters). The regular schedule change window does not apply to dual enrollment coursework.
Three college credit hours must be used to substitute for one Carnegie unit in high school.
A student cannot drop or withdraw from a course without the approval of their school counselor or post-secondary coordinator.
Students must earn a final grade of 70 C or better in all attempted college courses to remain eligible for continued participation in a dual enrollment program.
If a student drops, withdraws from, or fails to earn a final grade of 70 C or better in all attempted college courses, he/she will not be allowed to participate in dual enrollment the following semester. The one-semester suspension from the dual enrollment program cannot be served during the Summer semester.
Only courses completed for dual credit will be added to the students’ high school transcripts. TCS dual credit courses are found on the TCS Dual Credit Crosswalk. Duplicate credit cannot be received for any equivalent high school courses successfully completed.
Financial Aid (FAFSA)Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the most important document that you will complete when applying for Financial Aid for college. This application helps to determine what type of financial assistance you may qualify for such as: pell grants, student loans, and more. Certain documents are needed from parents/guardians and child when you are completing this application:
- Parents and child's social security numbers
- Date of Births
- W-2's and Tax Return from 2 years prior (For example, applying for 2019-2020 school year, you will use 2017 Tax Returns)
- Contact information such as home address and phone numbers
Throughout the school year, Tuscaloosa City Schools will host Financial Aid Workshops to assist parents/guardians and students with the application process. The FAFSA Application opens October 1st every year. To learn more about Financial Aid Workshops at your school, contact your School Counselor. To schedule a one-on-one appointment with the Career Coach, Ms. Andrea White, at your child's school email email@example.com.To learn more about FAFSA or to complete the FAFSA Application Click Here.Instructions on how to create a FSA ID (Username/Password) Click HereInstructions on how to complete the FAFSA Application Click Here
IB (International Baccalaureate)Central High School's International Baccalaureate Programme (IB Program) was established to challenge students to excel in their studies while also encouraging both personal and academic achievement. Although the IB Program is student centered, students strive on a daily basis to become more knowledgeable thinkers, communicators, open-minded, risk takers, and principled. Students who gain these attributes are prepared to go beyond intellectual and academic success. To learn more about the IB Program:Contact:Jennifer Hines, IB CoordinatororTammy Simmons, IB CounselorCentral High SchoolPhone: (205) 759-3720
Non-Traditional Diploma & GED
Non-Traditional Diploma & GED
Non-Traditional Diploma Options
Through a partnership between the Adult Education Department of the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) and the Alabama State Department of Education (ALSDE), the Alabama Non-Traditional High School Diploma Option (HSDO) Program has been designed.
The HSDO Program is designed for Alabama public school students who have previously dropped out of the traditional high school setting or for students who have completed all of the required credits needed for graduation but were unsuccessful in completing one or more sections of the Alabama High School Graduation Examination.
The program provides two options:
For a former student who attended an Alabama high school and completed all of the required credits needed for graduation; however, the student did not pass all sections of the Alabama High School Graduation Exam (AHSGE).
Eligibility for Option 1
- Participant must have completed the required number of credits to graduate from a high school in the Tuscaloosa City Schools. The graduation requirements established for when the participant was enrolled in high school will be those used to determine eligibility.
- Did not receive a passing score on one or more sections of the AHSGE
For a former student who earned a minimum of 10 or more credits from an Alabama high school and requires additional credits needed for graduation.
Eligibility for Option 2
- Participant must have completed a minimum of 10 credits required to graduate from a high school in the Tuscaloosa City Schools. The graduation requirements established for when the participant was enrolled in high school will be those used to determine eligibility.
- Student must be a minimum age of 19.
- Participant must be assessed on the Test for Adult Basic Education (TABE).
- Score must be in the High Intermediate Level (grade equivalency 6.0 or higher).
Former students who wish to pursue the Alabama High School Diploma through the Non-Traditional High School Diploma Option Program should do the following:
- Submit a completed Transcript Audit Request and an official Transcript to Mrs. Andrea Markham at the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education. Request your high school transcript and AHSGE scores (if applicable).
- Complete a Transcript Audit Request and deliver it to Mrs. Andrea Markham at the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education. Using the online Transcript Request Form, send an official transcript and Transcript Audit Request to:
ATTN: Mrs. Andrea Markham
Tuscaloosa City Schools
1210 21st Avenue Tuscaloosa, AL 35401
The Transcript Audit cannot be completed until Mrs. Markham has your completed Transcript Audit Request and your Transcript.
- A transcript audit will be performed and all records will be submitted to Mr. Phillip Johnson and Mrs. Kristen Bobo at the Office of Adult Education at Shelton State Community College.
- Contact Mr. Phillip Johnson and/or Mrs. Kristen Bobo with the Office of Adult Education at Shelton State Community College to schedule a time to meet. Mr. Johnson may be reached at 205-391-2665. Mrs. Bobo may be reached at 205-391-2638.
- The Office of Adult Education at Shelton State Community College with develop a plan of instruction.
Alabama Act 2009-564 stipulates that students between the ages of 7 and 17 are required to attend public school, private school, church school, or be taught at home by a private tutor.
Based on this law, there are specific requirements for students, 16 and 17 years of age, who wish to take the GED® Test.
For a 16-year-old student to take the GED Test, state approval must be granted based on the following:
1.) Student must present a notarized Certificate of Exemption from the student’s last school system attended and a notarized Parental Permission Form.
If the student attended and dropped out of a private school, church school, or private tutor program, the student must present a notarized letter from his/her parent or legal guardian naming the school, providing the drop-out date, and stating the student has dropped out of school, and has permission to be administered the GED® Test. (Parental Permission Form)
2.) Student must have TABE test scores (in all three sub-skill tests) at a minimum of ASE Low, with a grade equivalent of 9.0 or higher
Student must have official GED Ready test scores in Math and RLA of "Likely to Pass."
For a 17-year-old student to take the GED Test, state approval must be granted based on the following:
For individuals attending Public School:
1.) Student must have participated in an exit interview with their high school administration and provide a signed Exit Interview Form.
2.) Student must provide a notarized and signed letter from his/her parent or legal guardian, naming the school, providing the drop-out date, and providing parental permission for the student to be administered the GED® Test. (Parental Permission Form)
For individuals attending Private School, Church School, or Private Tutoring Program:
Student must present a notarized letter from his/her parent or legal guardian naming the school, providing the drop-out date, and stating the student has dropped out of school, and has permission to be administered the GED® Test. (Parental Permission Form)
*If a 17 year-old, Option 2 HSO student chooses the GED® Test option, the above does apply.
** Court mandated individuals, ages 16 or 17, must provide official documentation to test.
For more information, contact the Office of Adult Education at Shelton State Community College: (205) 391-2662.
Practice Tests for College Entrance Tests
Practice College Entrance Exams
The SAT is a college entrance exam. The test is three-hour-and-45-minutes long. It measures critical reading, mathematical reasoning, and writing skills that students have developed over time and that they need to be successful in college. The test is aligned with current curriculum and institutional practices in high school and college. By including a third measure of skills, writing, the SAT reinforces the importance of writing throughout a student’s education and will help colleges make better admissions and placement decisions.2020-2021 National SAT Testing Dates
August 29, 2020
July 31, 2020
September 26, 2020
August 26, 2020
October 3, 2020
September 4, 2020
November 7, 2020
October 7, 2020
December 5, 2020
November 5, 2020
March 13, 2021
February 12, 2021
May 8, 2021
April 8, 2021
June 5, 2021
May 6, 2021Current SAT Fees
The SAT (no Essay)
The SAT with Essay
Scholarship Search Engines
To search for scholarships, please click on the search engines below.
If you have any questions or need any assistance, please see your Counselor or the Career Coach.
ScholarshipsScholarships are financial aid awards designed to help students pay for a college degree. Sometimes a scholarship is a one-time check. Other school scholarships are renewable and provide money for students each semester or school year. These awards differ from student loans in that they do not have to be repaid.
Students may receive the money directly as a check-in their name. In other cases, the money is given to the student’s school. In these cases, the student would then pay the school for the difference on any money owed for tuition, fees, room, and board. If the scholarships and other forms of financial aid are enough to cover the direct college costs, the excess money is refunded to the student. Based on family income, students may also qualify for Pell Grants which also do not have to be repaid.Scholarship Information
Alabama College and University Merit-Based ScholarshipsChamber of Commerce Guide to college scholarshipsFor additional assistance, see your Senior Counselor or the Career Coach.
Summer Programs/CampsSummer Programs/CampsTuskegee University (Middle & High School Students)Academy Introduction Mission Program (US Coast Guard)Summer Seminar (US Naval Academy)Summer STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (US Naval Academy)Huntingdon College Summer Camps (High School Students)
TCS Virtual Program Application
Students who participate in travel sports, Olympic Development Programs or extensive competitive training no longer have to be counted absent or considered truant. The Tuscaloosa City Schools offers a no-cost, online school available to high school students living within the TCS attendance zones. By enrolling as a part-time online student, you now have the benefit of extending your learning with virtual courses that can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Full time students must be approved by the Deputy Superintendent prior to enrollment.