Class of 2018 Newsletter
August 2017


The Class of 2018 will begin the new school year with breakfast on Tuesday, August 29, from 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. beginning in the Dining Room of the Lumen Center. Student attendance is required; parent attendance is encouraged. This comprehensive program will address the senior year and the college application process. The centerpiece of the program will be our college admission presentation featuring Calvin Wise, Director of Recruitment at Johns Hopkins University. In order to prepare for breakfast, we ask that you please RSVP to Ms. Sawyer at  


August Checklist


Seniors should already have completed the following:


If you haven't already, please:


Before the start of school, please:

  • Complete all campus visits and interviews (if applicable) at colleges that will receive an application
  • Seniors: Set a September appointment with your college counselor; you can book that meeting in the "Contact the CCO" section below
  • Parents: Set a September appointment with your son's college counselor; likewise, you can book that meeting in the "Contact the CCO" section below
  • Families applying for financial aid should be making use of each college's Net Price Calculator in order to determine the approximate amount of financial support these colleges can offer

Monthly Focus


Application Essays

Creative writing professor Rachel Tool offers this tip when brainstorming a topic for your college essay: "Choose a topic you really want to write about. If the subject doesn't matter to you, it won't matter to the reader." As you begin to work on your essays, read Tool's insightful and instructive New York Times article, "How to Conquer the Admission Essay." Most importantly, the CCO strongly encourages seniors to start and submit a draft of their Common App and/or Coalition App essay to their college counselor before September 1. We are looking forward to reviewing essays and providing feedback.


Summer Application Essay Workshop

A few spots still remain for the essay writing worksop taught by Dr. Harris, Ms. Follensbee, Mr. Herman, and Mr. Baker. There are two sessions available: August 14-18 and August 21-25. Both weeks run from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Register here.



By September 1, every student should have created a Common App account. Anyone applying to the University of Maryland, College Park, will also need to create a Coalition App account, as this is the only application they utilize. Here is a list of the 100+ institutions that will accept applications via the Coalition App, which is available now. Please note, however, when there is a choice presented to use either the Common App or the Coalition App, we prefer that you use the Common App.


Teacher Recommendations

Last spring, every member of the class should have approached two teachers and secured their agreement to write a letter of recommendation. During Form Meetings in September, we will explain to the seniors how they will help the teacher upload the recommendation into the Naviance system. Once that is done, teacher recs will automatically be sent to the colleges. The CCO will also provide a "School/Counselor Recommendation." Please do not arrange to have additional recommendations sent without consulting with your counselor. In many cases, not following the college's application instructions by sending unsolicited materials is unwelcome.


College Admission Rep Visits to Gilman

Throughout the fall, Gilman will host over 100 college admission representatives who come to campus to meet with interested students. These visits take place at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. daily. A schedule is available on Naviance, in the college counseling office, on the CCO website, and on the main US bulletin board. These meetings are a great way for you to gather more information, ask questions, and (usually) meet the admission representative for our region, who will likely be responsible for reading your application. Plan and schedule to attend rep visits from schools to which you will apply.  


Standardized Testing


In most cases, seniors should arrange to sit for another standardized test this fall. Often, a Gilman student's highest scores are posted in the fall of the senior year. If you need guidance on standardized testing, ​please email your counselor. An important reminder: the ACT is used and accepted at all colleges and universities.  The ACT has the added bonus of a September test date, so the score can be reviewed before most ED and EA deadlines.


Fall Testing Dates and Registration:


Please be aware that colleges will expect an official score report from the College Board and/or ACT. You will need to login to these sites to request that your scores be sent to the colleges you are applying to -- Gilman does not and cannot send official scores. Instructions for sending SAT scores to colleges can be found at the link provided. Instructions for sending ACT scores to colleges can be found at the link provided. Plan to order scores at least three to four weeks prior to application deadlines. We will likewise review this procedure during fall Form Meetings.


Mark Your Calendars

AUG 29

Senior & Parent Brekfast 

AUG 30

First Day of School


Upper School Parent Night


FAFSA and CSS PROFILE Available 


For Your Consideration


Georgia Tech admission officer Rick Clark encourages you to "view your senior year, and the admission process, as a helicopter tour rather than a plane ride." Read about how to make the application process "about what you learn about yourself along the way" in his most recent blog post: College Admission: Think Helicopters, Not Airplanes.

Read about how first-generation students are finding personal and professional fulfillment in the humanities and social sciences in this Atlantic article: The Unexpected Value of Liberal Arts.


Contact the CCO

Sarah Ross

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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