Class of 2018 Newsletter
December 2017


It is apropos during this holiday season to offer thanks for those in our lives who have made a meaningful impact. As Willard Dix writes in this recent blog post, "Why is a thank-you note so important? It's not only a good way to acknowledge the help you've received over the years, it's also a way to reflect on the path you've taken to where you are now as you ponder your future. It's a moment to pause and genuinely give thanks for what you've received. In most cases, your help and support have come freely and been generously given. You need to say thank you for them." In that spirit, we would like to thank all those seniors who have worked so diligently during the fall both on your applications and within the Gilman community. We would also encourage seniors to do the same; now is a good time to write a thank you note to teachers who so willingly wrote letters of recommendation on your behalf. 


December Checklist

Before the end of the month, please attend to the following: 

  • If you have not done so already, send SAT and/or ACT scores to all schools with January deadlines.
  • The deadline to request transcripts through Naviance for all schools with a January deadline was Friday, 12/1; please attend to this important step. Instructions are provided here.
  • Verify that your "Colleges I'm Applying to List" in Naviance is accurate and up to date.
  • Send all January deadline essays to your college counselor for review before winter break.
  • Parents, please complete and submit all financial aid forms. All schools will require the FAFSA and many will also require the CSS Profile.

Managing Early Application Decisions


Decisions Timeline

Most colleges send ED decisions in mid-December; the timing of EA decisions will vary from mid-December through late January. Please see each college's websites for their specific notification timelines. Admission decisions are typically received electronically, so be on the lookout for emails with instructions about when and how to view your decision. Please remember to keep your college counselor updated on your admission decisions - we only know this news if we hear it from you.


Early Acceptances

If you are admitted ED, you need to notify the other schools where you have applications pending to cancel those apps - this can easily be accomplished by an email to the admission office with your name and date of birth, stating that you've been admitted elsewhere and need to withdraw your application. This is necessary as it is required and expected by the colleges, and it potentially frees up space at those schools for someone who truly wants to attend.


If you are admitted EA, you have until May 1 to notify colleges of your final decision, so you can wait to hear the news from other applications in the spring. If financial aid is a component of your decision, this is certainly wise. But, if an EA acceptance means that you know you will not pursue some of the other schools on your list, it is a gesture of good faith to withdraw those applications, as that may benefit peers who sincerely want to attend.


ED/EA Deferrals

If you are deferred early from a top choice school, your file will be reviewed again during the Regular round. There are two influential steps you might take:


First, finish the term strong, with your very best performance on papers and exams. First semester grades are sent to colleges as soon as they are ready, and the admission offices will eagerly review this grade report so that March decisions can be made.


Second, send an email to the school that includes three elements:

  1. Explain that this school is still your first choice and that you will enroll if admitted.
  2. Include an academic update that reflects your success and details your excitement about what you are currently studying.
  3. Describe your continued engagement in extracurricular, athletic, service, and community endeavors.

Perhaps most important, be sure to meet with your college counselor in January to discuss your overall list and the email you will draft for the deferring school.


Monthly Focus


Sending SAT/ACT Scores

A reminder: Gilman does not and cannot send SAT or ACT scores as a part of our school materials. Schools require that official score reports be sent through the College Board or ACT sites. Please be sure to research what scores each school requires and submit your scores accordingly by logging into your College Board or ACT account. Please see your counselor with any questions about score submission.

Winter Break and Essay Review

Though we hope those students who applied early get good news, students also need to plan ahead for the possibility of submitting Regular Decision and/or ED II applications. That means starting work on these supplemental essays now, especially for January 1 deadlines, as last minute applications are rarely strong and effective ones. If you wait to receive decisions and then start the essays, you will be right up against math/science exams and then the winter break. Ideally, each senior has been conscientious about advice offered and looming deadlines. If there is a need during break, seniors are encouraged to send their essays and application questions to your counselor. Please understand, though, that each of the college counselors has different plans over the winter break and that our access to email will be more limited.


Senior Year Grade Submission

As an office, we have reviewed all first quarter grades for seniors and have sent them to EA/ED schools when we believe they will help. We also send them if specifically requested by a college. Because first quarter grades are not automatically sent for all students, please let your counselor know as soon as possible if you receive a request for first quarter grades. First semester grades, however, are sent to all schools to which students have applied and/or been admitted. Finally, if for any reason you receive notification that a school requires any additional information, please let your counselor know.


Counselor Spotlight

The college counseling office has had the opportunity to dine with admission representatives from several colleges. In the past month, we've met with representatives from the following colleges: Bellarmine University, Dickinson College, Furman University, Rhodes College, Rollins College, Sewanee University, and Trinity University. These counselor breakfasts offer us a nice opportunity to connect with our friends in admission and to learn more about the opportunities that each school offers. 


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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