So Your Heart Must Be Fonder By Now?

So the old saying goes, ABSENCE makes the heart grow fonder? If that is true, than my nearly one month absence from updating the Hopkins Insider blog must mean that my readers and I are now in a serious, committed relationship and true love is on the horizon. Actually, I suspect the opposite is true … and that my absence has bothered a number of you. Well I am hear to declare loudly, in the words of my favorite sports radio personality Mike Greenberg, that "I’m back and better than ever!"

Many of you are probably wondering what happened to me since April 23rd. As I write this I feel like I should have some grand reason to discuss. Maybe a story about how I was kidnapped by a rival university and tortured to share all the hidden Admissions secrets of JHU (been watching too much 24!). Or maybe a tale about how I got a call from the executives at some major television company who flew me to Hollywood to determine their coming fall line-up of new and returning shows (more shows like Heroes, LOST, House, and less CSI and reality TV). Or how about the guy I met in the deli who heard me order a ham sandwich and thought that I had a great voice for radio and made me the new play-by-play guy for the New York Mets (in another life I wish). All would have been great stories to tell, but all would have been based around my dreams.

In reality, a number of "forces" kept me from posting. First, there were the responsibilities of the job that kept me out of the office — a conference to attend and a week of spring travel throughout New England which I will write more about soon. Then, there were the in-office tasks of wrapping up the year both in relation to the 2006-07 admissions cycle but also the 2006-07 semester. This involved a lot of paper work, organizing, brainstorming, and oh yeah a number of parties and "thank you" dinners. Outside of the job there was also the reconnecting with my social life (no more working 7 days a week), enjoying everything I watch on my new TV, and celebrating a "special" web site that let’s me watch movies that are currently in theatres for free on my laptop (shhhhh!!!). And oh yeah, to be honest there was a lot of procrastinating involved…

See after the overwhelming pace of the last 6 months and the volume of work involved, there comes a time when I need to unwind. The first phase of that is to stop working at 200% my capacity, and rather drop down to about 75% for a few weeks. (I hope the boss is not reading this.) The second phase is always a long vacation – but I’ll get to that. So all in all, my apologies for keeping you all in the dark for the past month, and I set forth to update more regularly from now on.

So I guess you all are wondering what’s been up in the Admissions world. Well as I see it the majority of those who are reading this right now fall into one of these categories: (1) Transfer applicants; (2) Wait listed students; (3) Enrolling students of the Class of 2011; (4) Prospective students for the Classes of 2012 and beyond; and (5) Others. For each of these groups, I have an update.

Transfer Applicants
I know, I know, I know — I owe you all a special transfer post. This post has been a work in progress for about a month, and I promise I have not forgotten about you all. I am 80% done, and will make sure it is my next post. As far as an update though, the Transfer review committee (which sadly I am not part of) is at the tail-end of reviewing all the transfer applications and the plan is to release decisions by the end of the month. I would not be surprised if transfer decisions begin to be released by the end of next week, but do not quote me on that.

This year’s transfer applicant pool is about the same as last year’s total, just over 700 applications. Last year’s total was a noticeable jump from previous years, so we are happy to see that number continue this year. As the reviews are coming to an end, the main discussion is on-going about how many transfer applicants will be offered admission and will continue up until the point decisions are released. The number of transfer admits we can offer is directly tied to the number of spaces available in the class which is related to the number of enrolling freshmen and the retention rates of the current classes. So there are a lot of numbers that need to be figured out in the next week or so — but do know the Transfer team is hard at work.

Wait List Students
Earlier this week, the Hopkins Admissions committee did something we have not done in the past two years — we admitted a handful of students off the wait list. By handful I mean approximately 40 wait listed students were contacted by a member of the Admissions staff and offered a spot in the class of 2011. Congratulations to those students, but for the rest of you please understand that this is just step one in our process.

As always, we are quite deliberate in our process regarding wait listed students. Everything is tied to the number of students in the enrolling class and the number currently is quite close to our target of 1205. We have not in the past, and will not this year make any quick decisions. Over the next couple of weeks, the staff will continue to monitor the numbers and discuss wait list issues. We hope to have final decisions by mid-June for all of the students who remained on the wait list. Once we have reached a decision, all students who selected to remain on the wait list will be notified by mail or email.

There are a number of directions we can go in the coming weeks. We could continue to admit small amounts of students off the wait list if the Director determines there is still space in the class. We could decide the class is full and release all the students on the wait list. We could also choose to select some students for an extended summer wait list and release all the others. Clearly there are a number of paths we need to discuss, and all we ask from you all is patience.

The Incoming Class of 2011
This will actually be one of the last times I address you all as a blog audience. Now that you are future members of Hopkins, your connection with the Admissions Office and process our over. I do have a final sort of farewell post for you all that I will complete soon, but until now I just wanted to wish you the best of luck with the final days of your senior year. Good luck with finals, APs, IBs, and have fun with graduation and prom. Enjoy yourselves, and then have an amazing summer preparing for your arrival in Baltimore.

If not already, in the coming days you will be contacted by the Advising Offices and begin the process of registering for your first set of classes. The first step will be the receipt of your JHED ID and from there you can set-up your JHU e-mail address. I know what a big step that will be for many of you – getting the email address has become proof to many nowadays that you are actually enrolling at Hopkins.

I also recommend that you all join and participate in the special Incoming Class of 2011 Facebook group that we have set-up for you. This group will act as a forum for all incoming freshman. Use this forum as a way to meet your future classmates and also as a central place to ask questions about getting ready for Hopkins. Throughout the summer many updates will also be posted on the group so check back frequently. And as always, the Hopkins Interactive students are there to answer your pressing questions.

I personally look forward every year to reading the forum discussions, as it is amazing to see all the great qualities of our incoming class. Plus, I am on the look-out for freshmen bloggers – but more will follow on that later this summer.

Prospective Students – Classes of 2012 and beyond
The numbers show that the blog is getting more readers every day, and that can only mean one thing — a new batch of prospective students. As the summer officially commences, the blog topics and entries will shift from the Class of 2011 and move to addressing topics you all will find quite interesting. I have an ambitious agenda for the coming months, so keep checking back. And don’t forget to use the comments section.

The Others
When I type "Others" my mind goes directly to thoughts of Benjamin Linus / Henry Gale — who gets that reference??? But in fact I know there are some of you who read my blog who don’t fall into one of the categories above. Sorry I don’t have a special update for you all, but I do have one last things to let you all know before I complete this post.

I AM ON VACATION! Yes, I actually wrote this entry a day ago but set it to post today … May 18 … the first official day of my two week vacation. As you all enjoy the return of the Hopkins Insider Blog, I will be enjoying days of relaxation in the Bahamas – Paradise Island – the Atlantis Hotel to be exact. JEALOUS???


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