Class of 2018 Newsletter
October 2017


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: 

  • Match your Common App and Naviance accounts; instructions are provided here
  • 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
  • Add colleges to your "Colleges I'm Applying To" list in Naviance; be sure to accurately indicate your "Application Type" for each school (i.e. ED, EA, Priority, Regular) 
  • Request transcripts in Naviance; instructions are provided here
  • 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
  • Continue to meet with admission reps during their visits to Gilman at 11:30am and 2:30pm daily 

Monthly Focus


HBCU Panel

On Tuesday, October 19, from 7:00-9:00 p.m., Garrison Forest School is hosting a panel on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. This event is open to all AIMS Upper School parents and students and will feature alums of various HBCU (including Gilman teacher Mr. Mike Molina), moderated by White House Correspondent Ms. April Ryan. The program will be held in the G. Peter O'Neill Middle School Auditorium at GFS, located at 300 Garrison Forest Road Owings Mills, MD 21117. Registration is not required.


By now you should have begun sharing essay drafts with 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. For help writing and drafting your essays, please see Gilman's College Essay Guidebook

University of Maryland's Priority Deadline

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 that Maryland uses the Coalition Application; they do not accept the Common App. 

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 are now available. All colleges require the FAFSA for consideration of need-based aid; some colleges - usually private institutions - require the CSS PROFILE. For detailed information on financial aid, please visit the Department of Education's website on Federal Student Aid


Merit Scholarships

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 at schools to which you will apply.

Wednesday 10/11

October 11 is PSAT Day for sophomores and juniors. Seniors have the option of visiting a college that day or spending time working on essays and filling out the Common App. Please take advantage of this day to attend to pressing college admission responsibilities.


A Note on Application Material Submission


Please log into Naviance and make sure your list of "Colleges I'm Applying To" is accurate, both for the correct application type (EA, ED, etc.) and the actual list of schools. Likewise, in Naviance please be sure to request a transcript for each to school to which plan to apply; instructions for requesting a transcript are provided here. If you have any questions about these important steps, please see your college counselor.


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.


Standardized Testing Dates

ACT 10/28

SAT 11/4


Counselor Spotlight

Mr. Ross and Ms. Follensbee recently returned from the 73rd National Association for College Admission Counseling conference in Boston. At the conference, Ms. Ross and Ms. Follensbee attended sessions pertaining to trends in college admission and connected with college admission officers from a wide range of colleges and universities. Ms. Follensbee also had the opportunity to visit Tufts University and Boston College.


On October 5th, Ms. Follensbee and Mr. Baker will attend the Johns Hopkins University Counselor Conference. During this program, they will join a group of local high school counselors to learn more about students' experiences living and learning at Hopkins. Information sessions include topics from financial aid to a workshop on recommendation letters.


Mark Your Calendars


FAFSA and CSS PROFILE available 

OCT 11

College Visit Day and App Work


Popular ED, EA, and Priority Deadline

NOV 15

Popular ED and EA Deadline


For Your Consideration


In his consistently poignant and informative blog, Georgia Tech admission officer Rick Clark notes that "It's Not About the Application"; instead it's about the application process which allows you time to reflect on "your passions, interests, and the influence you will ultimately live out." Read his reflections above.  

Critiquing the now century old model of declaring a major in college, Time contributor Cathy Davidson argues for focusing less on picking a specific academic major and more on developing "the synthetic skills that can help one succeed in everything else." Read more of her insights here: "Why Picking a College Major Is a Bad Idea for College Kids."

Struggling to come up with that profound story to write for your college essay? Stop fretting! As Emily Smith notes in her New York Times Op-Ed, "You'll Never Be Famous -- And That's Okay," "The most meaningful lives, I've learned, are often not the extraordinary ones. They're the ordinary ones lived with dignity." Read more about the value of "connecting and contributing to something beyond the self" in her article above.


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

Unsubscribe from this eNotice.