It’s a new year and a new decade and to be honest not much seems different. Maybe that is because I have pretty much been doing the same thing as I was during the last week of the previous year and previous decade. As I discussed in my last two blog posts of 2009 one of the chief tasks of my job is to be responsible for our main Admissions e-mail account: firstname.lastname@example.org. And as you can imagine during the weeks surrounding the Regular Decision application deadline we receive A LOT of e-mails.
As my colleagues return to the office after the holidays and dive into reading Regular Decision files, my role is split between reading files and answering e-mails. From December 26th through this past Monday (January 11th), 1632 e-mails were responded to. Add to that the countless responses on our Hopkins Forums, College Confidential, Facebook, and my personal e-mail account, and well let’s just say I have earned my Admissions_Daniel name these past two weeks. I am happy – no, ecstatic – to say that as of Monday the in-box was completely cleared out, well aside from the 30-50 e-mails we receive daily. But to be honest, that many e-mails a day now is a drip in a sink compared to the Niagara Falls of the last month.
Staying on this topic, I thought it would be beneficial to provide all of you Regular Decision applicants out there with another FAQ post, touching on those post-deadline questions that flood our in-boxes. Hopefully these answers answer some of your questions, and reduce the number of daily e-mails … yeah, that is probably not going to happen.
(The pictures throughout this post is what our Operations space looks like as we process the thousands of pieces of mail we have received in the last few months — the process might be “paper-less” but that doesn’t mean there is no paper.)
Is my application complete? Do you have all my stuff?
With the volume of application materials we need to process right now, we are not able to confirm whether application files are complete or to identity which individual items have been received. It takes time so we ask patience of all of our applicants. Once your application is download and processed, you will be sent an e-mail acknowledgment. This indicates your application file has been started (not necessarily that it is complete). Please remember, with thousands of applications to process this e-mail acknowledgment is not automatic and may take a few weeks to be sent.
In mid-February, once we have processed all received application materials, we will contact students whose applications remain incomplete via e-mail. Those students will be given an opportunity to provide us with any missing items before we complete the evaluation of their applications. Rest assured that application files are checked carefully for completeness multiple times.
Most importantly, please do not call right now to check on the status of your application or see if we have received a specific part of your application. We will not be able to answer such questions until the beginning of February at the earliest. Please be patient and know that we will confirm the receipt of your application once it is processed and we do not review incomplete applications.
Can I check my status online? Why haven’t I gotten a user name and password to check my status through the application portal?
Unlike many schools, Johns Hopkins does not have an online system for checking application status. We do things the old-fashion way. You will not receive a log-in and password where you can track your application materials. Additionally, be aware that our system does not directly connect with the Common Application system to update the status of processed materials. Because the Common Application site says something has not been received / processed, that does not mean that is the status of those materials in our office. This is especially true of any mailed materials. (Do note, those who apply for financial aid will get access to the ISIS system that tracks financial aid application materials. This system has nothing to do with applications for admission.)
When is the Financial Aid deadline and where can I learn more about applying for Financial Aid?
The Financial aid deadline for the submission of the FAFSA and CSS Profile is March 1, 2009. Please review this web site for full details: http://www.jhu.edu/finaid/prosp_stud.html. Also, stay tuned for a special Financial Aid blog post in the coming weeks.
Can I add items to my application even though the deadline has passed? Uh oh, I made a mistake in my application, how can I correct it?
Yes, we will still accept application updates and we do have a process for error corrections. It is simple. To provide an update or error correction, you must compose a cover letter and submit these materials by fax (410-516-6025) or mail to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Please note that we do request in the cover letter you include your full name, birth date, and school name (SS# is optional but can help), so that we can merge this new information with your application folder. Also note, that all updates should be sent in by February 1st. Finally, DO NOT SEND UPDATES VIA E-MAIL, as we do not process application materials received through e-mail.
My e-mail address / mailing address / contact information has changed … what do I do?
All changes to personal contact information including updates to email, phone numbers, and mailing addresses need to be sent to email@example.com. Please include in the e-mail, your full name, birth date, high school name as well as the general time frame when you submitted your application.
May I submit January standardized test scores (SAT Reasoning, SAT Subject exams, or TOEFL) with my regular decision application?
Though regular decision candidates should have completed required tests no later than December of their senior year, students may take the January examinations if they are re-taking the SAT Reasoning exam, are taking SAT II subject exams, or are submitting TOEFL exams. Although we cannot guarantee that January scores will arrive before the Admissions Committee evaluation, past experience suggests that scores taken on these dates usually arrive in time. If the scores arrive before the evaluation then they will be considered with one’s application. Do note there is no need to rush scores from the testing agencies, as our office will not process them any quicker. It is important though to note we cannot guarantee that scores sent after our application deadline will be processed in time to be reviewed with one’s application and we do not delay the review of an application to wait for scores sent after the application deadline.
Do I have to submit a mid-year report and updated transcript?
Yes, that is a clearly stated application requirement. All applicants must submit a mid-year report and updated transcript by the deadline of February 15th. The mid-year report must be submitted directly by one’s school and must include an updated senior year transcript. We do not accept any of these materials submitted directly by the applicant.
When will decisions be released?
This tends to be the second most popular question asked this time of your and the only answer we can provide is … Last week in March. No official date has been set and we tend not to select an official release date until the middle of March at the earliest. All we guarantee is that decisions will be released by April 1st.
How many applications have been received?
I am unable to officially reveal an application total for Fall 2010 freshman admission until Dean Latting officially determines the count and officially releases that information. (Yes I did mean to use the word “officially” three times in that last sentence.) Typically we don’t have a complete application count until the end of January when we are sure that all mailed applications are received. There are not many mailed applications anymore, but so do come from abroad and take a few weeks to arrive after the January 1 postmark deadline.
I can provide a sneak preview – this will be the largest applicant pool in Johns Hopkins history and we have seen a significant increase from last year. Make sure to vote in the poll on the right of this blog, and I will reveal the total some time in February.
As always, if you have other questions the best place to get them answered is the “Ask Admissions” thread of the Hopkins Forums. First search to see if your question has been answered (probably), but if not feel free to post a question and I will respond within 48 hours. Also, check out the rest of the Hopkins Forums as there is a ton of information, and always the chance to connect with current JHU students.