May Updates (Part One)

Welcome to a new year. Most of you are looking at the calendar and also seeing that this entry is posted on May 18, 2009 … and now you are all thinking I am crazy. But I am not. In my world, the one dominated by the college admissions calendar, this past weekend was the start of a new year. In my cyclical profession the traditional January through December calendar just doesn’t make sense.

For those who work in college admissions there are specific dates every year that mark the changing of cycles and responsibilities. Yes, the job is seasonal with generally the fall being recruitment time, the winter being reading time, the spring being conversion time, and the summer being relaxing time. But every year that seasonal breakdown gets muddled. For me there are always those crucial dates that act as sign-posts along the way. First came December 15 and the release of Early Decision notifications. That was followed by March 27 and the release of Regular Decision notifications. Ultimately, the “end of the year” came this past Friday, May 15, when final decisions were rendered about the wait list and transfer applicants. As I left the office on Friday I realized two things, the 2008-09 admissions cycle was complete AND I could finally relax. I actually enjoyed my first weekend free of work for the entire year (traditional Jan-Dec. calendar year), hence the lack of update on Saturday are I alluded to in my last entry. More on my relaxation to come.

Friday, May 15 was one of those sign-posts days. Since I didn’t provide details about the events of May 15 like I did on December 15 and March 27, I thought I would as promised provide additional information about our wait list and transfer decisions. If neither of these topics interest you, then skip to the end.

Simply put, we have enrolled the Class of 2013. More specifically, at this time we have over-enrolled the Class of 2013. This was not something we expected to do, but over the last two weeks since the May 1st response deadline, it was clear that we would have more than the enrollment target of 1235. How big the class will ultimately be will not be known until probably August, as we expect a “summer melt” do to wait list activity at other universities and other smaller reasons such as deferment and the possibility of academic / disciplinary issues. However, after discussions this past week it is pretty clear that we probably will not need to admit any students from the wait list this year.

Upon making that decision Friday, we sent emails (today we will send letters) to all students who sent back the blue postcard and decided to “remain on the wait list.” The vast majority of these messages states we currently do not intend on admitting any additional students from the wait list this year and that we have now met our enrollment target for the fall. This is our wait list release letter and though a disappointment, it does end the waiting process. We wish you the best in your college career and appreciate the interest you showed in Hopkins.

A small handful of “remain on wait list” students will receive a slightly different correspondence. This group of students was selected by the Admissions Committee to receive an offer to remain on an extended summer wait list. This message states that although we have met our enrollment targets, in the rare event that space might become available, we will consider the students on this extended wait list. For those selecting to remain on the extended summer wait list from this group, an official final decision will be rendered no later than July 31st. Two important things to note about the extended summer wait list: (1) the chances for admission remain slim and only will occur in the rare cases that more spaces become available. In recent years we have not had to use this extended summer wait list. And (2) the Admissions Committee selects the students to be offered a spot on the extended summer wait list, it is not something a wait listed student may request.

I hope all this makes sense. As always, if you have any questions please feel free to post them on the Wait List Discussion Forum. We understand that this process can be frustrating and at times the waiting seems as if we were “stringing you along.” We appreciate your patience. Every year these decisions are quite difficult to make, and I hope you understand how much we agonize over these decisions. Best of luck to each and every one of you.

As I mentioned in my short updates at the end of last week, transfer decision notifications were released via email and postal mail on May 15. The transfer admissions committee worked diligently over the last couple of weeks to hit this earlier than normal decision release date. Beyond the reading of the 799 transfer applications, the Committee also faced numerous conversations about how many transfer students to admit. Unlike with freshman admission, transfer admission is highly linked to questions of the overall size of the class, housing availability, course registration availability, and a number of other factors unrelated to the actual application for admissions. Ultimately, we offered admission to 70 strongly qualified and unique students, and students we feel will make excellent Hopkins students.

Congratulations to those admitted transfer students. I hope you will use the Transfer Exchange section of the Hopkins Forums as well as the Admitted Transfer Facebook group we set-up for you to ask questions and obtain useful information. The Admissions and Advising staff as well as Transfer Ambassadors / Buddies (current JHU students who were former transfer students) are a great source of information as you make the decision whether to attend.

To those not admitted, we understand your disappointment. Applying as a transfer student to Hopkins is quite competitive, especially since we have so little room in the class for transfer students. We wish you the best of luck with your continued college search.

This post has gotten a bit longer than I originally anticipated so I am going to stop here and get back to some other work. Check back on Thursday for a special Commencement entry, and then early next week a post on a random collection of updates. I’ll leave you with a random collection of pictures that will be related to those updates.

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3 thoughts on “May Updates (Part One)

  1. Thanks for your update!
    Though I’m actually sad for waitlist news, at the same time, I feel good that I don’t have to wait anymore. ^^
    Again, Thank you Admission Daniel.

  2. Yes, the offer to be included on the extended summer wait list was sent in our email notifications. There were two emails sent — the majority of students received the “release from the wait list” message. Those selected for the extended summer wait list received a separate email with further details.

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