Class of 2019 Newsletter
October 2017


On Tuesday, January 9, at 7:00 p.m. in the Alumni Auditorium, we will be hosting our annual Junior Class College Night. We are especially pleased to welcome three seasoned admission professionals to join us for our program. They are Julie Shimabukuro, Director of Admissions at Washington University in St. Louis, Gail Sweezey, Director of Admissions at Gettysburg College, and David Weber, Associate Director of Admission at Boston College. In the meantime, please don't hesitate to be in touch with any of us with questions; our contact information is located at the end of this newsletter.


The ACT 


We suggest that students try both the SAT and ACT at least once to see which they might do better on. All colleges will accept both the SAT and the ACT; they have no preference for which you send. Thus, we encourage students to try both tests to give themselves the best chance to post their highest possible score.

On November 10th from 9:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., Capital Educators will administer a mock ACT at Bryn Mawr for all interested 11th graders from Bryn Mawr and Gilman. The purpose of the exam is to help students compare the experience of taking a full ACT with the experience of taking the PSAT. To register, please email Anna Follensbee by Friday, November 3.

On December 13th from 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., Phil Pine, the founder of Capital Educators, will return to Bryn Mawr to return the ACT results and help families compare mock ACT scores with the most recent PSAT results. This session will be of benefit to those students who tested in November; but it will also be helpful to any 11th grade family because Mr. Pine will discuss the SAT and ACT, recent changes in standardized testing, and how to best plan for testing. All are welcome to attend this information session. No registration is required.  

If you have further questions about either of these events, feel free to contact college counseling or Capital Educators directly at


Monthly Focus


HBCU Panel

On Tuesday, October 17, 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.

Register for a Winter SAT and/or ACT

Juniors should take at least two standardized tests - the SAT and/or the ACT - by the end of the 11th grade. We recommend that juniors choose December for their first SAT and/or ACT. Students should likewise register for a spring SAT and/or ACT. A full list of SAT and ACT test dates can be found by clicking on the links provided.


Testing Accommodations

If you are a student who has a diagnosed learning disability and who has been approved to receive testing accommodations (such as extended time) at Gilman, please note that you do not automatically qualify for those same accommodations on the SAT or ACT. There are separate procedures you must follow if you are requesting accommodations from The College Board or the ACT. To learn more about the process of requesting extended time, please visit the the College Board's website on Services for Students with Disabilities and/or the ACT Accommodations page. If you have any questions regarding the process of applying for extended time, please contact directly our Upper School Learning Specialist, Ms. Stephanie Dennis.  


Each member of the class needs to establish a Naviance account. We have placed registration instructions in your mailboxes twice since last year. Naviance can be accessed online here. Once we embark upon the college counseling process in the winter, the college counselors will ask the juniors to make further use of the Naviance system. Students in need of login information should see Ms. Sawyer in the College Counseling Office on the first floor of Carey Hall.


Standardized Testing Dates

SAT 12/2

ACT 12/9

ACT 2/10

SAT 3/10


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. Herman attended the Johns Hopkins University Counselor Conference. During this program, they joined a group of local high school counselors to learn more about students' experiences living and learning at Hopkins. Information sessions included topics from financial aid to a workshop on recommendation letters.


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

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