Class of 2017 Newsletter
May 2016

October will be a busy, fun-filled month. The cross country, football, soccer, volleyball, and water polo teams will be making their push for the playoffs, the student council will plan and host the fall dance, the first academic quarter will come to a close, and who could forget the Halloween pageant. At the end of all of that festivity and fun is that looming deadline: November 1st. By the end of this month, most seniors will have submitted at least one college application. Between then and now there will be a lot of work to do, but trust that the college counseling office is here to support, advise, encourage, and cheer you on along the way.

October Checklist

Please attend to the following: 

  • In Naviance, request recommendation letters from teachers who have agreed to write on your behalf; instructions are provided here. If you have a 10/15 EA deadline, be sure to inform your teachers
  • Match your Common App and Naviance accounts; instructions are provided here and below
  • Share drafts and revisions of your Common App and supplemental essays with your counselor; please share and review all essays with your counselor before submitting your application
  • Submit Yellow Slips to Ms. Sawyer in the College Counseling Office for any school with an 11/1 or 11/15; remember, all Yellow Slips are due to Ms. Sawyer one month prior to the application deadline
  • Continue to meet with admission reps during their visits to Gilman at 11:30am and 2:30pm daily  

Monthly Focus


Matching your Common App and Naviance Accounts

In order to allow for us to electronically submit your materials to colleges, you must complete the FERPA waiver in the Common App, and then match your Common App account to your Naviance account. A 2-minute video to walk you through those steps can be found here. Don't hesitate to stop in to see your college counselor if you need help.


If you have not done so yet, please get essay drafts to your college counselor. We want to see every piece of writing before it goes out to colleges - both your main essay and any supplemental essays. The earlier you get these to us, the more time we have to give you feedback and work through subsequent drafts. Please remember that Ms. Turner is also available for essay help. We prefer that you share your essays with us via Google Docs. Every year, students focus so much time on their main essay that they rush through their supplement essays. Please resist this temptation. As colleges become increasingly selective, the supplemental essays have taken on greater importance - sometimes even more so than the main essay.

University of Maryland Priority Deadline & Other EA Deadlines

The University of Maryland, College Park has a November 1 "Priority" deadline. If you are considering applying to Maryland, we strongly encourage you to make use of this deadline, as admission becomes markedly more competitive for Regular Decision. Please also consider Early Action and/or Priority deadlines at other schools that offer them; this often benefits your chances for both admission and scholarships. If you are applying to a university with a Rolling deadline, we encourage you to apply by November 1.

Need-Based Financial Aid

If you are applying for need-based financial aid, please make note of each college's aid deadline. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and CSS PROFILE both become available on October 1. All colleges require the FAFSA for consideration of need-based aid; some colleges - usually private institutions - require the CSS PROFILE. Submitting the required forms is the only way to qualify for need-based aid, which can include grants (never get paid back), loans (get paid back starting after graduation), and work-study (a job on campus). Many colleges also offer merit-based scholarships, which are typically based on academic performance. Please make sure to also keep track of merit scholarship deadlines and requirements.

Merit Scholarships and Resources
In addition to need-based aid, many colleges also offer merit-based scholarships, which are typically based on academic performance and do not require an application for need-based aid. Please make sure to keep track of merit scholarship deadlines and requirements. We also encourage you to make use of the National Scholarship Search tool in Naviance (click on "colleges," then scroll down to "scholarships and money" to find this). This will allow you to search for outside scholarships that might match with your academic interests, background, activities

Wednesday 10/19

October 19 is PSAT Day for sophomores and juniors. Seniors have the option of visiting a college that day or coming into school for help with essays and filling out the Common App. Please take advantage of this day to attend to pressing college admission priorities.


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Standardized Testing Dates

SAT 10/1

ACT 10/22

SAT 11/5

Counselor Spotlight

We are excited to welcome back Ms. Iva Turner. During her career in education, Ms. Turner has served as the Director of College Counseling at Gilman and at the Bryn Mawr School. Before her retirement in 2014, she was the beloved Head of the Upper School at Gilman and a teacher of junior English.


Ms. Follensbee recently returned from the 72nd National Association for College Admission Counseling conference in Columbus, Ohio. At the conference, Ms. Follensbee attended sessions pertaining to trends in college admission and connected with college admission officers from a wide range of colleges and universities. She also had the opportunity to visit Kenyon College and Denison University.

Mark Your Calendars


FAFSA and CSS Profile available 

OCT 19

College Visiting Day


Popular ED and EA Deadline

NOV 15

Popular ED and EA Deadline

For Your Consideration

Is your son refusing to share his college essay with you? Brennen Barnard, Director of College Counseling at the Derryfield School in NH, explains why that might be a good thing in this article from The Washington Post.  

An annual survey by the National Association of College Admission Counseling found that, once again, grades and courses are the most important factor in college admissions.

U.S. News and World Report released recently their college rankings for 2016; read New York Times journalist Frank Bruni's take on "Why College Rankings Are a Joke."  

Contact the CCO

Iva Turner

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

College Counseling Website

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