An update on Regular Decision notification release

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Greetings from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, where we’ve had a very busy few months selecting the remainder of the Class of 2018. For our Regular Decision applicants who have been eagerly awaiting decision release, it’s almost here!

  • Regular Decision notifications will be released tomorrow (Friday, March 28, 2014) at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. 
  • You will access your decision through a special website. In order to have the necessary log-in credentials, you’ll need to set up your account beforehand. Haven’t done that yet? Don’t panic—there’s still time. But, you should set up your account as soon as possible.
  • We sent out an e-mail to ALL applicants on February 10 that included detailed instructions for establishing your password. If you didn’t receive it, check your spam folder before you panic.

(Follow the instructions in the log in e-mail carefully. If you get stuck or run into problems, (or if you never received the e-mail and it’s not in your spam folder) call our office at (410) 516-8171 and we’ll talk you through it.)

  • At this point, we have already contacted those students who were missing any items from their applications. If you haven’t heard from us, your application is complete and you’re good to go!
  • Decisions will be ready at 3:00 p.m. on March 28, but we’ll send an e-mail to remind you. That e-mail will contain a link to the decision release site. Once you get there, use the e-mail address and password which you set up in the second bullet above to log in.
  • Our office will be open tomorrow until 5:00 p.m. Eastern to answer phone calls and e-mails from students who are having problems accessing their decisions.
  • If you didn’t receive the e-mail on February 10 with your log-in information, try these things before calling us:
  • Check all e-mail accounts, including your parents’ and any others you might’ve used throughout your college application process. We’ll send all official communications to the e-mail you supplied on your application.
  • Check your spam/junk folders. Sometimes (rarely, but sometimes) our e-mails get caught up in spam filters.
  • If you still don’t have the e-mail, call or e-mail us at gotojhu@jhu.edu and we’ll get it figured out.

Good luck to all our applicants!

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Why I transferred to Hopkins

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Here in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions we’ve been busy planning the upcoming Transfer Visit Day. With this in mind, we asked one of our current transfer students why he chose to transfer to Hopkins. He was VERY eager to tell us. This is Eric Lau’s story (and advice!):

 

Why Hopkins? Typing this question really reminds me of the Common App essays, and yes, this kind of memory is in the ‘don’t you dare talk about that’ category.

Before transferring, I was in a small liberal college in Reading, Pennsylvania. I did pretty well and had a lot of fun. Life was easy—too easy and I started hating it. I’m not saying that I am the kind of guy that needs to study 24 hours a day to avoid feeling guilty, but what I’ve realized is that your undergraduate years are the best, and it’s the only time you are given the greatest freedom and guidance to explore whatever you want. So you know there must be something wrong if you describe your undergraduate life as “boring.” At that time, my current curriculum, the learning atmosphere, my peers, and many other things made me realize that I needed a new start.

And so in the start of my sophomore year, I began thinking about transferring, took my SAT (Hopkins does not require it, though), and looked into different schools. To be very honest, like most, or at least some of you, Johns Hopkins University was one of the schools on my Common App list, and the main reasons were its reputation and its abundant research opportunities. I really didn’t know much about the institution when I was deciding between it and my other offers.

As an Economics major, what finally brought me to Hopkins were the school’s spirit, flexible curriculum, and the research opportunities. But it was not until I arrived here that I realized how amazing Johns Hopkins fitted me.

The first myth I would like to clarify is: Johns Hopkins is not only for science students.  In fact, Hopkins was best known for its strong humanities programs before the launch of the medical school. The writing seminars major, international studies, history, and basically all other departments are all regarded as one of the strongest in the nation. Here you will find the brightest people in which ever field you are interested in.

Therefore, not being biochemistry major or a pre-med is not the reason to block you from Hopkins. Instead, Hopkins really encourages students to explore their academic interest to the widest extent. And as Hopkins students, we are given an edge, being able to do just that thanks to the flexible distribution requirement. At Hopkins, graduating on time and taking the classes you actually enjoy are never in conflict.

I serve as the best example. In my first semester, I only took 2 major classes. I even took a neuroscience class just to get a taste of it, and it tasted real bad. But it was the possibility to explore that allowed me to discover my passion in international relations. Now, I am double majoring in economics and international studies, and this would never be achievable for a transfer student not under the Hopkins spirit.

The relatively flexible curriculum, however, does not imply a laid-back life here. Saying Hopkins is easy is like a girlfriend saying she is not mad. Lie. There is certainly a level of academic intensity. Before, I was the last person you will expect to see in the library. But at Hopkins, you just really have to work hard. At Hopkins, everyone is real passionate about what they are doing. Studying here is not solely about tests and exams; it’s about passion and exploration. The study atmosphere at Hopkins is thus the quality that I found myself best fitted into. At Hopkins, studying is no longer limited to the read text, but it intrigues and trains you to think. The method of thinking is what I regarded as my biggest gain—a gain is awarded to every Hopkins student.

This winter break, I enrolled in an Intersession course that explores the trend of globalization. We visited the headquarters of United Nation, Bloomberg (FYI Michael Bloomberg is an alumnus and the biggest donor of Johns Hopkins and many other BIG organizations). We also had a lot of great speakers, and the most interesting thing I have discovered is their current career seems completely unrelated to their bachelor degree. For example, three alumni who now work on Wall Street were in fact all history majors at Hopkins. When I asked about this phenomenon, I was answered with a quote that I think best represent Johns Hopkins University:

“Johns Hopkins does not simply make you a scholar in your field, she makes you the thinker of the world.”

It wasn’t until now that I knew I had made a great choice. The more I am at Hopkins, the more I realize what she can offer. I was panicked to death before I came here. I worried about everything. I worried about my future, my friends, and of course, like most of you, the city. There is one joke that I always tell my friend: One day, when I was still in Reading, PA I received a call from my mum. She somehow, and finally, realized Reading is the most dangerous and the poorest city in the United States and told me to get out of there. I did…and I am now in Baltimore. But in the end, it is really just a joke. Baltimore is a wonderful city, diverse and energetic, and really has everything you need (and more). You are just 20 minutes away from Inner Harbor, the most beautiful and delicious place I have ever been to. I mean, who doesn’t love Phillip’s Seafood and The Cheesecake Factory!

The Hopkins student body is also greatly diversified. The background, interests, activities, and opportunities here are so diverse that you will find your jackpot for sure and make tons of friends. And the social life at Hopkins is actually fun—don’t believe the rumors!

I will let Google do the rest of the tour guiding since I know you can’t wait to see my tips (some of you might even just skip all the above). Finally, here is my advice to future transfer students:

1. Come visit the campus and ask for more information. The information online is never enough for you to decide if a school is a good fit. Visiting often confirms your interest.

2. The essays: You really want to show you’ve done your research on Johns Hopkins and why it will fit your interests. (Coming for a visit is definitely beneficial as it offers you information that other candidates don’t have, and thus makes your essays stand out.)

3. The essays, pt2: You also want to show why you are a good fit for Hopkins. Do not repeat all your experiences that are already on the application. Mention those that make you a good fit for Hopkins.

4. Pay full attention to the requirements and ask if you have any uncertainty.

5. If you get in, congratulations! Be as open-minded as possible and you will find unlimited opportunities here.

 

Good luck to you all!

Man Yik “Eric” Lau

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What is a Wilson Fellow?

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HINT: It involves being chosen to receive $10,000!

Every year, students enter Hopkins with a certain intellectual curiosity and the desire to chase it. They are encouraged to follow their passions, to dig deeper and discover more. The Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Fellowship helps them do just that. (Did you know?…The 28th president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson, began his graduate studies at Hopkins in 1883.)

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Wilson himself

The program provides eligible students in the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences with up to $10,000 to develop a research project of their own design. Wilson fellows receive a stipend over four years to spend on research costs, which may include travel, equipment, and use of archives or laboratories. Fellowship recipients work with a faculty mentor to help them select a topic, create an action plan, and pursue their research project.

The availability of professors as a resource and their genuine desire to help is truly invaluable, and unmatched anywhere else. This program is also unique in that not only does it award research grants to undergraduates, but students receive notice prior to even arriving on campus and can jump right in as soon as they enter as freshmen.

This is an amazing opportunity for hands-on, real-world experience that most undergraduates at other universities have to wait until their junior year internship for.

Perhaps the best part about a Wilson Fellowship is that the topic can be ANYTHING.

Want proof? One student studied the relationship between Baltimore City and their beloved football team, the Baltimore Ravens. Wanting to capture the special bond between sports teams and the people who love them, she interviewed Ravens top executives and coaches as well as local media members. She also went to every single game (including their winning Super Bowl game!) to strike up conversations with fans, documenting their experiences.

“I was lucky that the Ravens went all the way that year, but at the same time it makes sense that it happened. I studied what I’m passionate about and interested in and any research mentor at Hopkins will tell you ‘study what’s important to you, good things will come.’”

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Ray Lewis in the parade at the Inner Harbor after the Ravens won the Super Bowl

Other projects include travels to London to study the Olympic Games (keep reading to learn more), topics like the reception and interpretation of The Great Gatsby in America and abroad, and cultural impact on the Tour de France.

Tess Thomas – Senior (Class of 2014) – History major
“I think I would have ended up at Hopkins even if I hadn’t been offered the Woodrow Wilson Research Fellowship, but it certainly made my decision an easy one. Who could pass up the allure of $10,000 to be spent on any project of your choosing? Additionally, the fact that this fellowship is not limited to student studying the natural sciences confirmed for me the university’s commitment to the humanities.  I couldn’t believe that as an intended history major I had been offered this amazing opportunity. I am planning to use my funding to study the effects of the 2012 Olympics on British nationalism. My research is taking me to London—a trip that is completely covered by the Wilson Fellowship. The WWP has allowed me to combine two life-long dreams of mine: studying abroad and attending an Olympic Games.”

Below you’ll find other research topics; click on the titles to read more.

The 25th Street Station—I investigated the 25th Street Station Project, a multimillion-dollar development on 25th and Howard Street in Baltimore…

More Than Just A Game—Studies the power of the sport of football as beyond its universal scope as just an idle pastime; it highlights the role the sport plays in the social and economic development of whole communities around the world…

His Soul Is Marching On: 20th Century Appropriations of Abolitionist John—John Brown is one of the most divisive figures in American history. Historians simply cannot agree on his legacy. Was he a madman, martyr, or perhaps something different entirely? Using my Woodrow Wilson funding…

Indigenous Medicine and Health After Oil Development in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest: A case study of the Secoya—The purpose of my research was to characterize the cultural transition from traditional medicine to Western medicine in the context of…

If you are a current undergraduate applicant, you don’t want to let this opportunity pass you by.

The application deadline is approaching on February 17 for both Early Decision and Regular Decision applicants. Click here to learn more and apply—you could be the next Wilson Fellow!

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An Update on ED Decision Release

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Waiting for a decision this important can be hard—especially if you’re an Early Decision applicant who has been eagerly waiting since submitting your application back in November. That’s why we wanted to give a quick update on the upcoming decision release process.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Early Decision notifications will be released around 3:00 p.m. Eastern on Friday, December 13, 2013.
  • You will access your decision through a special website. In order to have the necessary log-in credentials, you’ll need to set up your account beforehand. Haven’t done that yet? Don’t panic—there’s still time. But, you should set up your account as soon as possible.
  • We sent out an e-mail to ALL applicants on December 2 that included detailed instructions for establishing your password. If you didn’t receive it, check your spam folder before you panic.

(Follow the instructions in the log in e-mail carefully. If you get stuck or run into problems, (or if you never received the e-mail and it’s not in your spam folder) call our office at (410) 516-8171 and we’ll talk you through it.)

  • At this point, we have already contacted those students who were missing any items from their applications. If you haven’t heard from us, your application is complete and you’re good to go!
  • Decisions will be ready at 3 p.m. on December 13, but we’ll send an e-mail to remind you. That e-mail will contain a link to the decision release site. Once you get there, use your e-mail address and password (which you set up in the second bullet above) to log in.
  • On December 13, our office will have extended hours until 7:00 p.m. Eastern to answer phone calls and e-mails from students who are having problems accessing their decisions. Any other questions will be addressed during normal business hours the following week.
  • If you didn’t receive the e-mail on December 2 with your log-in information, try these things before calling us:
  • Check all e-mail accounts, including your parents’ and any others you might’ve used throughout your college application process. We’ll send all official communications to the e-mail you supplied on your application.
  • Check your spam/junk folders. Sometimes (rarely, but sometimes) our e-mails get caught up in spam filters.
  • If you still don’t have the e-mail, call or e-mail us at gotojhu@jhu.edu and we’ll get it figured out.

Good luck to all of our applicants!

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Hopkins Insider addresses THE question, “How do I get in?”

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_JHU7219It’s time to answer a question we get A LOT in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions:

What can I do to  get in to Hopkins?

When we talk about applying to colleges, the first thing that comes to many peoples’ mind is usually the SAT. The truth of the matter is that there is no single most important factor and while test scores are important, it’s just one aspect that the admissions counselors consider when reading applications. We’re looking at the whole student. Here’s what matters to us:

  • Academic character: We’re looking for you to be someone who contributes inside the classroom. We want students who will take advantage of our curriculum, so when we look at your transcripts, we’re looking not just at your testing, but also the context of your class rigor, your grades, and your recommendations. We’re looking for students who are able to interact inside the classroom and take that learning and apply it to life.
  • Impact & Initiative: What are you doing outside of the classroom? We make a lot of entrepreneurial resources available to undergraduates, so we’re looking for students who will find innovative, entrepreneurial ways to make an impact.
  • Personal qualities & fit: What diversity do you bring to campus? Background, thoughts, training, passions? We’re looking for students who will make the most of all of the opportunities that the JHU experience provides.

And, of course, one place to really shine is the supplemental essay. Get creative—show your personality, passions, and aspirations. We DO read every word of every single essay.

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What now? What to expect after applying ED

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overview

Bird’s eye view of campus. The leaves are so colorful this time of year!

Last Friday’s ED deadline has come and gone. Now that you’ve handed in your application and (hopefully!) taken a deep breath, what’s next?

Well, Thanksgiving is a few weeks away and the New Year is right around the corner. But for us (and probably most of you reading this post right now), the holidays happen to coincide with another wonderful time of the year: Early Decision season. Here are some other important dates to keep in mind if you applied to Hopkins through our Early Decision plan:

  • Be on the look-out for an e-mail from us in late-November with instructions for how to log-in to the Decision Release website.
  • Decisions will be released on December 13, 2013.

Here in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, our admissions counselors have already started reading through the many applications on file. We always enjoy learning more about our ED applicants and their unique experiences, passions, and voices.

Take it from admissions counselor Shannon Miller, who thinks that the best part of reading applications has got to be the essay. “This is the part of the application where I feel like I REALLY get to know the student who I have been reading about in all of the other pieces. It is where I get to hear his/her voice and imagine him/her on our campus. I know the student is a fit for us when after reading the essay I can see them in one of our classrooms, imagine them as a great roommate, or picture them giving back to our community,” says Shannon.

In the meantime, if you have any updated grades or test scores, send them to us by e-mailing gotojhu@jhu.edu. Don’t forget to include your name, high school, and Common Application or Universal Application ID number.

Keep checking back for more updates as the Decision Release date gets closer.

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Common App Issues Fade as ED Deadline Approaches

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Hopkins ShuttleApplying to college can be stressful enough, and this year, frustration was at an all-time high for some students who experienced the technical issues the Common Application website. Because of those problems, we have extended our Early Decision deadline to November 8—exactly a week away now. In other words, you still have time to submit your Early Decision application to Johns Hopkins!

While Common App claims most of the glitches have been fixed, don’t forget: You can also apply using the Universal College Application.

So how do you know if Early Decision is the right choice for you? Ultimately, you know Hopkins is the perfect fit because you know you will excel at Hopkins. You know are ready to commit to joining and contributing to the Hopkins community. So what does “knowing” look like? Take it from an ED student himself. Ian McLane (Engineering, class of 2015) shared his story with us:

“The summer before senior year of high school, I visited more than 20 different colleges on an extensive college tour up and down the two coasts. Johns Hopkins was right in the middle of this college tour. I forgot about the colleges before it, and didn’t pay attention to the colleges after it.  Prior to visiting campus, I knew that Hopkins had the programs that I was looking for. I would be able to double major across the schools and I would be able to do research as a freshman. But stepping on campus was the when I knew that ED would be right for me. The students were enthusiastic and friendly, the campus was gorgeous, and everything just felt right. I could see myself spending my undergraduate years at Hopkins, and now that I am here, I never want to leave.”

Aside from the application website malfunctioning, another stressful part of the application process often lies in constructing your college essay. Considering applying ED but stuck on the essay portion? If you’re unsure about how to tackle the college essay:

First—relax, take a deep breath, and take comfort in the fact that you still have an entire week!

Your essays should be something that you spend some time on, because it’s your chance to show a little bit of your personality to the counselors who are reading your application. Check out this post from last year for insider tips and strategies. You can also read examples of previous essays that we liked on our “Essays that Worked” page.

One week countdown starts now: ready, set, go!

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An update on applying Early Decision

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If you’re considering applying Early Decision (ED) to Johns Hopkins, you now have some extra time to get your application in.

We’ve heard about some recent issues happening within the Common Application site. Some of you may have even experienced the technical glitches  yourself. Well, rest assured—you’ve already done the hard part. You’ve kept your grades up, gathered your letters of reference, and have no doubt made many other preparations in order to begin the college application process.

Now, here’s where we come in. In an effort to offset any frustration experienced with the application process, we’ve extended our Early Decision (ED) application deadline to November 8. That’s an entire week later than the original November 1 deadline!  (We encourage you to get your application in as soon as it’s ready, but hopefully the extra week gives you a little more breathing room if you need it!).

In addition to the Common App, we also accept online applications through the Universal College Application. Click here to access their website and submit your application via the Universal College Application.

Visit our website for more information about the application process, like:

If you’ve already submitted your application (using either the Common App or the Universal College Application), great job! We’ll be following up with applicants at a later date if any part of your application is missing.

As always, feel free to e-mail (gotojhu@jhu.edu) or give the office a call at (410) 516-8171 with any questions or concerns about the application process.

Happy applying!

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Is Early Decision Right for You?

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It’s one of the first questions on your college application, but it’s one that requires a good deal of thought: will you be applying Regular Decision (RD) or Early Decision (ED) (and some schools offer even more choices)?  Read on for more information about the ED option at Johns Hopkins.

A view from the upper quad.

A view from the upper quad.

What is Early Decision?
The Early Decision plan at Johns Hopkins is a binding option for students who know that Johns Hopkins is their first-choice college. Applying ED means that you are committed to coming to Johns Hopkins if you’re admitted, and we’ll ask admitted ED students to remove their applications from any other schools. You should only apply to one college under an ED plan, although you may still apply Early Action or RD to other schools. Important things to note, and two of our most common questions about applying ED:

  • Is it easier to get in by applying ED? Not necessarily. While the admit rate is higher during ED, that can be a bit misleading. Keep in mind that most students who apply early have been working very hard in high school, have prepared a strong application, and are ready to apply by November 1. The application review process is the same and profiles of students admitted in ED and RD are nearly identical. We’re still looking for the students who are the best fit for JHU.
  • Does applying ED affect your Financial Aid package? No. Admitted students receive a Financial Aid offer along with their admission notification; the Financial Aid packages would look the same whether that student was admitted in December or April.

What are the pros of applying ED?

  • The deadline is sooner, so you will have your decision sooner. Since applications are due on November 1, we let students know of their decisions by December 15. The turn-around here is much quicker than the Regular Decision process because we have fewer applications to review. If you are admitted in ED, you’ve found your home and can focus on the rest of your senior year (yes, we will do a final transcript check!) If you are deferred or denied, you still have time to apply to other institutions.
  • We are looking at a smaller applicant pool. While we are still looking for the same qualities in our prospective students, there are far fewer applicants in ED. Last year, we had 1,400+ applicants in the Early Decision pool versus 20,000+ applicants in the Regular Decision pool.
  • You are making a statement. As we evaluate applicants, we are looking for students who are going to embrace being a Blue Jay and take advantage of all aspects of both academic and campus life. By signing the Early Decision Agreement, you are telling us that you are that person and clearly interested in being a part of our community.

So what’s the catch?

  • The agreement is a binding commitment. Therefore, you cannot change your mind. Many students have visited campus, had contact with students and faculty members, knew someone that went to JHU, etc., and know that it is the school for them. If you haven’t done your research to know that you definitely want to enroll here if admitted, you may want to consider applying RD instead.
  • It offers less time to show senior-year improvement. Maybe you struggled in a class last semester, or you’re just getting back on track after a slight academic decline.  Because all of your transcripts and information for ED needs to be submitted by November 1, you have less of an opportunity to show any improvements that happen in between November and January, when Regular Decision applications would be due. Some students will benefit from having the additional time to show an upward trend during their senior year through their mid-year grades.

How do you make the decision whether or not to apply ED to Johns Hopkins?

The most important thing about applying ED here—or anywhere, really—is that you’ve done your homework and you know that this is the place for you. Good ED candidates at Johns Hopkins know about our academic programs and want to attend an institution where they can combine a liberal arts education with an emphasis on research. They know about student and campus life, and are excited about the prospect of going to school in the city of Baltimore. Perhaps most importantly, they know that Johns Hopkins is a FIT for them, and that it goes two ways—they’ve done the research to know that they’re a good fit for our campus community, and they know that they have a lot to offer us. So, if Johns Hopkins is your number one choice—if you feel strongly that we’re the school for you and you’re the kind of student who knows you can make an impact here, in and outside of the classroom—and you are willing to make the commitment, then Early Decision is the way to go.

For more details about applying ED and a list of FAQ, visit http://apply.jhu.edu/apply/faq_early.html.

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Application live!

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Hi all,

Just a quick update for all of our eager applicants: our application is now live! If you haven’t yet started yours, head over the Common Application website and check it out. And, here are some handy resources for you as you dive head-first into application mania:

Remember that we’re only a call (410-516-8171) or click (gotojhu@jhu.edu) away if you have questions.

 

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