Class of 2020 Newsletter

November 2018

On January 8, 2019, in the Alumni Auditorium, Gilman's College Counseling Office will host an evening for parents of the junior class. We are especially pleased to welcome three seasoned admission professionals to join us for our program. They are Kate Jacobson, Associate Dean of Admission at Franklin & Marshall College, Raul Fonts, Associate Vice President/Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Providence College, and Jeremiah Quinlan, Dean of Admission at Yale University.

During the school day on January 22, 2019, the College Counseling Office will hold an "Exploring College Admission" program for juniors. We will welcome Costas Solomou, Dean of Admission at The George Washington University, Matt Hyde, Dean of Admissions at Lafayette College, and Lyndsay Malcomb, Associate Director of Admissions at St. Lawrence University.


Fall and Winter of Junior Year


In order to help you prepare for the year ahead, please review the full timeline published in September's Newsletter with important dates regarding programs, college counseling meetings, standardized testing, and potential college visit dates.

Juniors and parents may formally request a college counselor if they so choose. Requests can be made simply by emailing Ms. Sawyer. Juniors who have no preference will be assigned a counselor. The college counseling process will officially kick off after winter break. In January, juniors will receive an email from their college counselor inviting them to schedule the first meeting. The counselors will ask that parents schedule an initial meeting after the first student meeting has taken place.

The college counselors will make extensive use of form meetings throughout the year in order to convey information about college admission, testing, and course selection. Detailed information can also be found on our college counseling website.


In the meantime, here are a few things to consider:  

  1. Use the fall and winter months to prepare for standardized testing. 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 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 similar free, online test prep through ACT Academy. 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.   
  2. Plan ahead for college visiting in the spring. We encourage families who can to make use of spring break -- March 16 through March 25 -- as an opportunity to begin visiting colleges. If you can't see colleges during spring break, consider visiting colleges on other days in the spring when Gilman is closed. Juniors are also allocated excused absences to visit colleges at times that are most convenient to them and their families. College visiting forms can be found outside Ms. Hammer's office.   

Monthly Focus


Late Registration for the December SAT and/or ACT

In past newsletters, we advised that juniors choose December for their first SAT and/or ACT. There is still time to register late for those tests. Late registration is available until 11/19 for the ACT and 11/20 for the SAT. If students don't take their first standardized test in December, they should register for the February 9 ACT and/or March 9 SAT. A reminder, juniors should take at least two standardized tests - the SAT and/or the ACT - by the end of the 11th grade. Thus, juniors should likewise register for a second spring SAT and/or ACT. A full list of SAT and ACT test dates can be found by clicking on the links provided.

PSAT Scores

PSAT scores will be available online in mid-December. Scores will be available through your College Board account, and we will also mail home hard copies of score sheets.


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, Dr. Stephanie Dennis.


Standardized Testing Dates

SAT 12/1

ACT 12/8

ACT 2/9

SAT 3/9


For Your Consideration


Eric Hoover, senior writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education, offers an inside look into the admission process in this New York Times article: What Colleges Want in an Applicant (Everything)


Beth Kobliner of NPR's Marketplace offers this advice on having the "talk" with your kids about the cost of college. 


In "A Coach's Guide to College Admission", Rick Clark, Director of Undergraduate Admission, claims that good coaches "build trust, believe in [their players], and encourage them relentlessly." He describes how those same lessons apply nicely to a parents' role in the college admission process.  


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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