Class of 2017 Newsletter
October 2016

Within the next week, a vast majority of you will have applied to at least one college. Your essays have been revised and revised again. You've devised creative and unique ways of responding to each school's supplemental questions. You were thoughtful in the way you explained the many activities you've taken part in over the years, and you likely took one last standardized test. Ohh, and you made it to the end of the first quarter of your senior year, too. Please take some time to reflect on appreciate all the hard work you've put into these applications and endeavors. Also, be prepared to tap back into that well of energy and focus. Those January application deadlines are closer than they appear.

October Checklist

By now you should have already:

  • Submitted Yellow Slips for 11/1 and 11/15 deadlines
  • Verified accuracy of "Colleges I'm Applying To" list in Naviance
  • Sent SAT and or ACT scores to all early colleges
  • Submitted all essays to your college counselor for review
  • Completed visits and interviews, if applicable, to every college you will apply to

Monthly Focus

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 became 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, loans, and a work-study job on campus. If you have any questions about financial aid at any one institution, it is best to contact that school's financial aid office directly.

Merit Scholarships

In addition to need-based aid, many colleges also offer merit-based scholarships. Most merit-based scholarships are based on academic performance and do not require a separate application. Some schools, however, offer merit-based scholarship that do require a separate application and essay. Please make sure to keep track of merit scholarship deadlines and requirements. See your college counselor for more information about merit-based aid and any given school.

Outside Scholarship Resources

For those seeking scholarship funds from outside sources and organizations, we encourage you to make use of the National Scholarship Search tool in Naviance. To access this tool, log into your Naviance account, click on "Colleges," then scroll down to "Scholarships and Money." This will allow you to search for outside scholarships that might match with your academic interests, background, or activities. Fastweb is another free scholarship resource that is user-friendly. Finally, Scholly -- an app and web-based scholarship search engine -- is a scholarship search engine developed by a recent college grad for college students; it's well worth the $2.99 fee. Check out creator Christopher Grey pitching his product on Shark Tank.


Thanks You Notes

Please take a moment to thank the teachers who wrote recommendations on your behalf. This is a significant investment on their part that they take on in addition to all of their other work because they are invested in your success. A hand-written note, email, or word of thanks is appropriate and welcomed.

Regular Round/EDII Applications

Many of you will be submitting further applications for Regular Decision or Early Decision II, with the most common deadlines being January 1 and January 15. We strongly encourage you not to postpone work on those RD/EDII supplemental essays as you wait to hear back from ED and/or EA schools. The window between most ED/EA notification dates and RD deadlines is very short, and not starting RD/EDII supplements until mid-December will both take considerable time away from your winter break and may impact the quality of your essays, if you are rushing through them. Essentially: hope for the best, but be prepared just in case.

A Note on Application Material Submission


When you submit Yellow Slips, Ms. Sawyer places schools in your "Colleges I'm Applying To" list. Please log into Naviance and make sure the list is accurate, both for the correct deadline type (EA, ED, etc.) and the actual list of schools. If anything is amiss, please let your college counselor know.

The CCO is responsible for sending your transcript, college counselor recommendation, teacher recommendations, secondary school report, and the Gilman School profile. Once you submit your application(s), you will probably receive information to log in to an online portal to track your status. Please remember that it takes colleges some time -- sometimes weeks -- to process materials. We double and triple check that all materials are sent by the deadline, so please be patient if something is not shown as "received" right on or near the deadline; it almost certainly means the college is still processing documents. If you receive notification that something is missing and are concerned, feel free to reach out to Ms. Sawyer or your college counselor.


On that note, colleges will communicate with you via the email address you listed on your application. Please make sure to check that email account regularly so that you don't miss important notifications.

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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