Decision Time Approaches

So it is Monday evening and I have just checked into my hotel in Portsmouth, N.H. after a very successful college fair. I’ve been on the road for the last few days and so far I have met some great prospective applicants for the Class of 2013. But before I can really switch me mental gears towards the classes of ’13, ’14, and beyond, I need to first close the door on the JHU Class of 2012.

As I sit waiting for a new episode of House to come on (about time!), I contemplate the long journey this admissions cycle has been, and how much is still left to do to close the book on the Class of 2012. (I know it has been a long journey because this is probably only the third time in the last month where I actually have had a considerable amount of time to just think, and by considerable amount of time I mean one free hour.) Based just on the number of emails in my in-box and the number of voicemails on my log … the journey is clearly not yet complete. Mainly the questions that I need to focus on this week relate to three specific audiences:

  • Admitted, yet not Decided
  • The Wait Listed
  • The Enrolled, and Over-Anxious

With May 1st (Decision Day) just a few days away, I will be addressing this group with this blog entry. Don’t fret, I will have updates for the wait listed students soon and will also have one last farewell entry to the Class of 2012 later in May. So for those of you who have been admitted (congrats again) but have yet to make your college decision (choose Hopkins), read on …

Just about a month ago my colleagues and I were finalizing the last group of admissions decisions. Now the tables have been turned and we in Admissions await the responses from the admitted. After a long (LONG) month of admitted students events, an abundance of communications with students, parents, and guidance counselors, and much discussion about why Hopkins is great … WE WAIT!

Actually, our waiting game is an interesting one … basically we stalk our mail services team twice a day during their deliveries and await to see how many candidate reply form envelopes have arrived and more importantly how many “Yes” responses have come in. This year has been more of a waiting game than before, as it appears more students are torn about their decisions and are waiting until the last possible days to decide. With those students still debating their choices, I though I would write this post providing as much advice as I can pass along.

In fact, I have actually written a number of times in the past about the approach one can take in making their final college choice. Two years ago I put pen to paper (actually fingers to keyboard) and came up with 4 key points of advice to help one decide what is the right college:

  1. Self-analysis time: What is important to YOU?
  2. PRO / CON Lists for each school can help
  3. Do not focus on superficial statistics and rankings
  4. Avoid hearsay, conjecture, myths, and rumors – the truth does not exist in them.

To read the full post, check it out here:
April 24, 2006 — May 1st is Almost Here

Last year I actually got even more ambitious with my pseudo-advice column. I wrote one of the longest Hopkins Insider entries as I compared choosing the right college to my purchasing of a new HDTV. The theme of the past was the search for the right fit while weighing all factors and doing as much research as possible.

To read the full entry, check it our here:
April 23, 2007 — The Big Decision (in HDTV)

This year I planned on writing a similar entry, this time relating the college decision process to my purchase of a new car in January, but then I realized I didn’t have anything new to say. So instead, as you admitted yet undecided students struggle with this final choice, I refer you to my previous ramblings, but also encourage you to use the Hopkins Forums. There are actually a number of wonderful discussion threads that can help as you make this final decision. Here are the ones I suggest:

Why I Chose to Attend Hopkins?: Top 5 reasons I am at JHU

A Letter to Yourself: Before Coming to Hopkins, Looking Back, What Advice Would You Give Yourself?

What Do You Wish You Knew Before Coming to Hopkins: Unique Aspects of Hopkins

What Would You Change About Hopkins?

FACT OR FICTION: Academics Section

FACT OR FICTION: Student Life Section

It’s Time to Make a Decision about College … How Can a Parent Help?

So take a look at these forums, ask questions of the current students, and best of luck as you make this wonderful decision. And as I have said many times before, in the end just go with your gut and choose Hopkins — you can’t go wrong.

Here are some photos taken during the three Admitted Student Open Houses. Hope you enjoy them, and thanks to everyone who came up to the Ask-a-Student table during these events and thanked me and the Hopkins Interactive students.