Class of 2019 Newsletter

December 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.


Starting the Process


The college counseling process will officially kick off after winter break. If you would like to request a specific college counselor, please make that request by email to Ms. Sawyer, the CCO administrative assistant, by December 19. You may also make your request directly by speaking with your preferred counselor. In January, juniors will receive an email from their college counselor inviting them to schedule a first meeting. The counselors will ask that parents schedule an initial meeting after the first student meeting has taken place.


Plan Ahead: We encourage families to make use of spring break as an opportunity to begin visiting colleges. Please also mark your calendar for the AIMS College Fair on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at Stevenson University's Greenspring Campus. Over 100 colleges will be present to share information and answer questions.


Monthly Focus



On December 11, students who provided their email address on their PSAT/NMSQT answer sheet will receive an email reminder from the College Board explaining where and how to view their scores. Students can set up a free College Board account at any time. If a student doesn't see their scores when they login, they may need to enter an access code. Students can get their access codes from Ms. Sawyer in the college counseling office. Paper score reports will be mailed home when available.


PSAT/Mock ACT Results Review Evening

On Wednesday, December 13th from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in Centennial Hall, students and parents are invited to attend a test results review presentation hosted by Phil Pine from Capital Educators, the test prep company that administered the practice ACT for Bryn Mawr and Gilman students in November. Mr. Pine will review how to interpret and/or compare your PSAT results and the results of the optional practice ACT. Whether or not you opted to take the practice ACT, this will be an informative meeting discussing standardized testing in general, so please feel free to attend! 


Standardized Testing

Juniors should take at least two standardized tests - the SAT and/or the ACT - by the end of the school year. If students did not sit for the December SAT and/or ACT, they should register for the February ACT and/or March SAT as soon as possible. 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 here: SAT test dates; ACT test dates.


Standardized Test Prep

The College Board offers free SAT test prep through Khan Academy, a non-profit online education organization. Students can link their College Board and Khan Academy accounts to get automatic personalized recommendations based on their PSAT performance, watch video and text explanations regarding skills covered on the test, and take full-length practice exams. The ACT offers this free online test book including a practice test. Local test prep companies such as Capital Educators, OmniTest, and C2 Education offer fee-based test prep. Whether you choose to utilize free online test prep, a test prep book, or paid online, classroom, or one-on-one tutoring, practicing for standardized tests can improve your performance on those exams.  


SAT Subject Tests and AP Exams

We recommend that SAT Subject Tests be taken, if they are taken at all, on the May or June SAT dates. Students seeking admission to especially selective colleges should plan on taking three of these tests. As the spring approaches, we will advise students and families in counselor meetings regarding SAT Subject Tests. AP exams are given only in May, and while scores may be a minor factor in admission review, they are not a required component of the application process. Boys enrolled in an AP course will usually sit for the AP exam, and juniors may also opt to take the AP US History or the AP English Literature or Language tests.


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 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.


Standardized Testing Dates

ACT 2/10

SAT 3/10

ACT 4/14

SAT 5/5


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.


For Your Consideration


Senior writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education, Eric Hoover offers these "10 Things to Know About Getting Into Your Dream College". As you plan your service projects this summer, consider his suggestion to "do (real) good." He notes, "You don't have to fly to Belize to do good (admissions officers are often skeptical of these fleeting trips). Showing up to tutor someone at the library each week might be even more impressive, and rewarding." 


Think you get a lot of emails from colleges now? Wait until the texts start coming. In "Brb - Gotta Go Text Teens About College," Lee Gardner examines how enrollment marketers are utilizing text messaging to "engage teens who are hard to reach otherwise." 


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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