Class of 2020 Newsletter

December 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.


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 18. 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: If possible, 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 Thursday, April 11, 2019 at UMBC. Over 100 colleges will be present to share information and answer questions.


Monthly Focus



Student scores from the PSAT/NMSQT will be available online to students December 10-12. 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 his scores when he logs in, he may need to enter an access code. Students can get their access codes from Ms. Sawyer in the college counseling office.


PSAT/Mock ACT Results Review Evening

On Wednesday, December 12, from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m., Phil Pine, the founder of Capital Educators, will be at 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.


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 at the links above.


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 similar free, online test prep through ACT Academy. In the past, Gilman families have also utilized other local, fee-based test prep resources such as Capital Educators, Omnitest Prep, and C2 Education. 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 AP 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 and/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, Dr. Stephanie Dennis.


Standardized Testing Dates

ACT 2/9

SAT 3/9

ACT 4/13

SAT 5/4


Counselor Spotlight


Ms. Follensbee recently attended the Counselor Spotlight Series on Humanities at Hopkins. She had the opportunity to sit in on a philosophy class, eat lunch with students in the dining hall, and tour the campus, including a preview of the new Classics Research Lab, launching in Spring 2019. She even ran into Kevin Zhang, (Gilman '18, JHU '22) walking to class!

In November, Ms. Ross and Mr. Herman attended an AIMS College Counselor Meeting hosted by Johns Hopkins University, during which Calvin Wise, Gilman's JHU Admissions Representative, shared updates on Hopkins' academic program and admissions process. The presentation featured a student panel including Gilman's own Barrett Crawford, (Gilman '18, JHU '22).


For Your Consideration


In the 2018 edition of NACAC's annual State of College Admission report, you'll find up-to-date information about the admission process. Learn more about factors in the admission decision, acceptance rates for college applicants, common recruitment strategies, and the status of college counseling in secondary schools. Once again, the survey found that grades in rigorous courses are the most important factor in college admission.

It is not too early for families to begin discussing college financial aid and scholarships. You'll find helpful advice on "Finding, Earning And Debunking Myths Of The Coveted College Scholarship" in this Forbes piece.


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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