Class of 2018 Newsletter
September 2017


Welcome back to school! Your senior year is sure to be filled with indelible moments, intellectual discoveries, personal growth, athletic triumphs, and - lest we forget - plenty of school work. Among that energy, emotion, and industry looms the college application and admission process. Inevitably, that means some anxiety and stress, but trust that we are here to help and cheer you on every step of the way. A bright future awaits you, but among the hustle and bustle try to enjoy your senior year and cherish every moment in this special place and time.


September Checklist


Please attend to the following:

  • Seniors and Parents: Set a September appointment with your college counselor. You can book that meeting in the "Contact the CCO" section below.
  • Share drafts and revisions of all college essays with your counselor; please share and review all essays with your counselor before submitting your application.
  • Review the schedule of college reps visiting Gilman. Mark your calendars, and plan to attend all information sessions for colleges on your list.
  • Follow up with and thank teachers who will be writing recommendations for you; please share with them your earliest application deadlines.
  • Match your Common App and Naviance accounts. Video instructions are provided here and below.

Monthly Focus


As you draft and revise your essays, please read and utilize Gilman's College Essay Guidebook. 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. We prefer that you share your essays with us via Google Docs. Likewise, every year we work with students who focus so much time on their main essay that they rush through their supplemental 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.

Visiting Admission Representatives

Each year, over 100 college admission representatives visit Gilman to discuss their institutions with interested students. These visits occur at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. daily throughout the fall, and seniors are encouraged and expected to attend visits from schools to which they may apply. An updated schedule for these meetings is posted on the CCO website, in the CCO, and on the US bulletin boards.


Matching your Common App and Naviance Accounts

In order to allow 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 two minute video that will walk you through those steps can be found here. Don't hesitate to stop in to see your college counselor if you need help. We will also cover this in Form Meetings.

Wednesday 10/11

October 11 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.

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. Remember, Maryland will be accepting applications exclusively through the Coalition Application. 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. While many EA deadlines fall in November, remember that public schools in the south such as UNC - Chapel Hill, NC State, University of South Carolina, University of Georgia, and Georgia Tech have 10/15 EA deadlines. Lastly, if you are applying to a university with a Rolling deadline, we encourage you to apply by November 1.


AIMS Financial Aid Night

Please mark your calendars: this year's AIMS Financial Aid Night will be held on Wednesday, September 27, at 6:30 pm at Maryvale Preparatory School. This comprehensive financial aid program is recommended for those planning on applying for college financial aid.

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 for need-based aid; some colleges - usually private institutions - require the CSS PROFILE as well. Submitting the required forms is the only way to qualify for need-based aid, which can include grants, loans, and work-study.

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. Looking for outside scholarship awards related to your academic interests, activities, and background? Start your search using these tools: Make use of the National Scholarship Search tool in Naviance. Fastweb is well-established, user-friendly, and free scholarship database while Going Merry is a newly launched, free "matchmaking" scholarship database and application tool. Finally, for a small fee Scholly - an app and web-based scholarship search engine - is a scholarship search engine developed by a recent college grad for college students.


Standardized Testing Dates

ACT 9/9

SAT 10/7

ACT 10/28

SAT 11/4


Counselor Spotlight

Gilman is excited to welcome Ms. Sarah Ross as Gilman's new Director of College Counseling. Ms. Ross came to Gilman from Kent School in Kent, Connecticut, where she most recently served as Assistant Head of School for Enrollment, a job that oversaw both admissions and college counseling. Ms Ross spent the summer getting settled in her new home in Baltimore, visiting colleges, and meeting with students and parents.

In June, Mr. Herman and Mr. Ledyard took a group of twenty-nine Gilman students on a tour of seven colleges and universities in New England:Yale, Quinnipiac, Boston College, Harvard, Tufts, Wesleyan, and Trinity College. While in Boston, the boys were joined for lunch at Cityside with Gilman alumni Bryce Donohue '04 (Boston College) and Vince Tuohey '97 (Harvard). Read more about Gilman's new College Tours initiative here.


Mark Your Calendars


US Parent Night

SEP 27

AIMS Financial Aid Night at Maryvale



OCT 11

College Visiting/App Work Day


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.


In this recent Chronicle of Higher Education op-ed, Charles Dorn, professor of education and associate dean for academic affairs at Bowdoin College, takes his crack at the age-old question: What is College Good For?


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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