Junior Newsletter
Summer 2016

Though Carey Hall will soon be largely empty and quiet, the college counselors encourage rising seniors and their families to be in touch with us during the summer. Our collective goal is for every senior to have completed his research and campus visits before the start of senior year. This will put you in the very best position to complete strong applications and have a smooth admission process. Our goal is to help and encourage you to make the very best use of the summer months, so please stay in touch.

Summer Student Checklist

By the end of August, please attend to the following: 

  • Complete all campus visits and interviews for colleges that will receive an application

  • Have a draft of your Common App essay submitted to your college counselor

  • Set an appointment with your college counselor for early September

  • Plan on attending the Senior-Parent Breakfast on August 30; formal invitations will go out over the summer

  • Register for the September ACT and/or the October SAT  

Summer Parent Checklist

  • Remain supportive and encouraging as your son navigates the expectations listed above
  • In August, book an appointment with your son's college counselor for September or October; you can use the "Book Me" links below 
  • Have honest conversations about cost and value with your son
  • For those seeking financial aid: make ample use of each prospective college's Net Price Calculator, and ask thorough questions about a college's financial aid policies 

Monthly Focus

Final Exams and Finishing Strong

When admission offices evaluate an application, the most significant and meaningful part of the file is that student's transcript. Studying hard and doing well on your final exams will have a meaningful impact on your final grades. Remain diligent and focused during the exam period, and we wish you luck on your finals.  


The Common Application has announced the essay prompts for 2016-2017: find them here. The college counselors will work with each student individually on his essays, and we expect to review each piece of writing before it's submitted to colleges. An early start on essays allows counselors and students more time to work together on essay drafts and also helps alleviate some of the stress of the busy senior fall.

Summer Application Essay Workshop

This summer Dr. Harris and Mr. Ahlgren will offer a week-long essay workshop. The program will have two sessions: August 15-19 and August 22-26. Both weeks run from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Register now; enrollment is capped at 30 students per session.


College Visiting and Interviewing Tips

An astonishing amount can be learned about a school by actually walking around its campus. Attending an information session and tour is a valuable experience that will offer you information that viewbooks and websites simply cannot. Thus, you should visit any college or university that will receive your application. Moreover, some admission offices will offer you the chance to interview while you're visiting campus. We recommend that you interview at any school that offers that option as a part of your visit. Visit the CCO website for tips on visiting and interviewing.


College Affordability and Value

We are increasingly mindful of the rising cost of a college education and are watching carefully the news coverage regarding student debt. We hope that families will turn to us to have honest conversations about financing college costs. All of us want to ensure that students and families can not only afford college but that the experience provides our graduates with meaningful value and a strong return-on-investment.  As part of your search, we very strongly encourage the use of College Reality Check (CRC) and College Results Online (CRO). CRC provides comparisons of colleges' average net price, graduation rates, and some very important data on debt and default rates. CRO will let you compare colleges according to graduation and retention rates, financial aid distribution, faculty, and student/teaching expenditures. These tools are critical in evaluating the quality of colleges and universities, and we strongly encourage families to make frequent use of them.

New in College Admission

Upcoming Changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

There are two important changes being made to the 2017-2018 FAFSA. This form is required at all U.S. colleges and universities in order to be considered for need-based financial aid. Please contact your college counselor with any questions about these changes: 

  1. Students will be able to submit a FAFSA earlier. Students can file a 2017-18 FAFSA as early as October 1, 2016, rather than January 1 (the previous availability date for the FAFSA).
  2. Students will use earlier income and tax information. Beginning with the 2017-18 FAFSA, students will be required to report income and tax information from an earlier tax year. For example, on the 2017-18 FAFSA, students and parents will report their 2015 income and tax information, rather than their 2016 information (as they would on the current FAFSA).

The Coalition Application

Beginning in the '16-'17 academic year, the Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success (more commonly referred to as "the Coalition") will host a new application that will be in use at approximately 90 colleges. Virtually all of these colleges will still accept the Common Application in addition to the Coalition App. An important exception to this is the University of Maryland, College Park, which will ONLY accept the Coalition App (in the past, they exclusively used their own institution-specific application). 


The New SAT and Concordance Tables

The College Board recently released tools, concordance tables, and additional resources to help you compare and understand your March scores in relation to the old SAT. You can find this information on the College Board site. Please let your college counselor know if you have any questions.

Standardized Testing Dates

SAT 6/4

ACT 6/11

ACT 9/10

SAT 10/1

Counselor Spotlight

Mr. Herman, Ms. Follensbee, and Mr. Baker had the opportunity to meet with admission representatives from the following selective public universities: Miami (OH), Oregon, Minnesota, and Vermont. Did you know? The culminating experience for senior engineering students at UVM is conducting a team-based design project. Check out some of the creative and innovative projects completed by the class of 2016.


Mark Your Calendars


Gilman Graduation 


The Common App goes live

AUG 30

Senior Parent Breakfast

For Your Consideration

Looking for some beach reading? The New York Times's college admission blog "The Choice" offers these 28 Summer Reading Suggestions from College Experts.

This summer, the Gilman faculty will be reading Julie Lythcott-Haims's How to Raise an Adult. We invite you to read along with us. Learn more about the book here.

ACCIS, a national association of college counselors, offers these "Ten Tips for a Successful College Search:" Tips 1-5; Tips 6-10.

Let's Chat

Carl Ahlgren

410-323-3800 ext. 226

Matt Herman

410-323-3800 ext. 748

Anna Follensbee

410-323-3800 ext. 307

Justin Baker

410-323-3800 ext. 741

5407 Roland Avenue / Baltimore, Maryland 21210 / 410.323.3800 ext.396

College Counseling Website

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