Friday Favorites: The Big Number

I need to keep this entry short for reasons that will become clear as you read on.

Always at this AppFiles5 time of year the big question on the minds of applicants, parents of applicants, guidance counselors, the media, peer institutions, and anyone somewhat connected to higher education is … what is your applicant total? Throughout the month of January, newspapers and education blogs are constantly posting stories of which schools are up .. which schools are down … and why? Just do a search of the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, college newspapers, and the dreaded College Confidential and you will find ample reading about application numbers. I even had a poll up on the Hopkins Insider blog for the last month, since I know this is such a popular topic to discuss. So, what is Hopkins application total for the 2009-10 application cycle?

Earlier this week Dean of Undergraduate Admissions Dr. John Latting revealed the total to the whole Admissions team during our weekly staff meeting. And the total is:

18,349

For the staff this is a big announcement for two reasons: (1) It lets us know how much work we need to accomplish between now and the end of March. And with nearly 2,200 more applications (a 13% increase) over last year, we all are aware of the daunting task ahead of us. & (2) We find out which staff member wins the $50 gift certificate for coming the closest to the final total. This year it goes to Operations Staff member Wanda Roberts who had the highest guess of all staff members and was the only one to guess in the 18,000s. It shows that predicting application numbers is a difficult task — only 13.3% of you got it right (as of today).

So now I need to get back to reading those applications.

Just a final note about the pictures. I chose to post an old picture of stacks of files because it is such a better image than a picture of a computer monitor with a filled queue. And then I also had to include a picture of Soze, my puppy, who turns 9 years old this weekend. Snow is in the forecast for Baltimore, so I think Soze got his birthday wish.

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