A Look Back

Posted by Admissions_Daniel

Now that the proverbial dust has settled from the release of Early Decision notifications on Wednesday, I thought I would provide some interesting and hopefully helpful follow-up information. First though, some interesting stats from the day. No, not statistics about the ED class as I already posted our press release during my live-blogging. These stats are actually analytics of Hopkins Insider blog activity on December 15.

  • Traffic to the Hopkins Insider blog was +198.39%
  • 3,591 unique visits
  • 1,970 unique visitors
  • 7,597 page views (you all like to push refresh)
  • One week before, there were only 338 visits to the blog; 747 on Monday; and 1,188 on Tuesday.

The live-blogging of ED notification day 2010 equaled 2,645 words, 11 pictures, over 20 comments, 1 video, and one infamous pair of holiday socks. The only word that comes to mind is … whew!

As I briefly mentioned near the end of the blog on Wednesday evening there are three different groups to address follow-up thoughts to: denied students, deferred students, and admitted students. Over the last couple of days as reactions to our decisions were expressed I jotted some notes on things I would like to collectively say to each group.

First snowfall of the season descends on Homewood
First snowfall of the season descends on Homewood

To the Denied Students: As I wrote during the live-blogging, please know that I and all of my colleagues understand how difficult receiving such a decision from your first-choice school can be. We respect the frustration and anger you feel, but hope that you can understand the daunting task we are faced with selecting very few students from a truly outstanding pool of applicants. Many will deal with rejection by trying to determine where they fell short or focusing on statistics. That is understandable but it is short-sighted.

Our decisions are decisions of preference and fit, and not a rejection of an individual. I can attest to the fact that we extensively deliberate about the candidates for admission, especially during the ED review process. When reviewing a student’s application, we take into consideration a vast array of factors including academic achievement, extracurricular involvement, leadership, commitment to community, promise of future contribution, and fit. This may seem to be just rhetoric, and I can probably not persuade you that it’s not true, but honestly there is never one reason that leads to our decisions and the words holistic and comprehensive have true value to us. Our applicant pool is filled with qualified applicants, but unfortunately being qualified is not the only consideration. Our freshman class is small and we are unable to admit everyone who is capable of doing the work. Please do not receive this news as a judgment of your value and your ability, but rather understand the competitive nature of applying to a highly selective institution like Johns Hopkins.

My advice now is to forget about Johns Hopkins. Know that there is a college that is going to be uniquely enriched by your presence on their campus and that you will have an amazing undergraduate experience. If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it’s that the right college for you is the one that you select to attend and the one you commit yourself to fully from freshman to senior year.

Homewood at Winter
Homewood at Winter

To the Deferred Students: Most say that this is the hardest of the decisions one can receive during the ED round of review because it feels like a state of limbo. And that is true. There is confusion about how to react. The news is not good, but it is also not a final decision. We understand that being asked to wait three more months is not the decision you were hoping for, but unfortunately defer decisions are part of the ED process.

The best message I can share with you all is that there is still hope. Every year ED defers are admitted during RD, and defers are provided the same chance of admissions as applicants who apply Regular Decision. Yes the competition remains tough, and yes we are going to focus on your progress in your senior year, but a defer decision is the admissions committee stating that there are still factors that are of interest once the context of the entire applicant pool is known.

It is important to note that we do not just politely defer ED applicants into our RD applicant pool to delay bad news, and the amount of denied applicants significantly outweighs those deferred.  Those who are deferred still have a chance for admission; otherwise we would not have deferred the decision. However, your hopes need to be tempered. Being deferred does mean there were weaknesses in your application that raised concerns with the admissions committee.

So the question is what can you do? Well read this: Early Decision Defers – Read This! We have compiled an extensive list of advice and answers to frequently asked questions for the deferred applicant which we know will be helpful.

To the Admits: Congratulations! You are the first members of the Johns Hopkins Class of 2015 and we look forward to welcoming you to campus in about nine months. There will be a lot of things you will need to do between now and move-in dates at the end of August, but there is time to get to those items. Now is a time to celebrate, start wearing your JHU clothing, put the bumper sticker on the car, and get to know you future classmates via the special Facebook group. For right now the only date of importance is January 15 – you need to submit your candidate reply form (CRF) and enrollment and housing deposit before that date.

In late March you will be contacted and the next steps will begin. You will get your JHED-ID, set-up your @jhu.edu e-mail account, and gain access to the New Student Portal and your enrolling freshman to-do list. In the meantime, enjoy the holidays, continue to enjoy your senior year, and let January 1 pass without any stress.

One favor though … do not become infected with senioritis. Do not allow your admission to become in jeopardy by letting your focus in school lapse. Yes we admitted you now, but we will review your final transcript and please do not make our jobs difficult.

Regular Decision application components are flooding in.
Regular Decision application components are flooding in.

Best wishes to everyone. Next week I will have a post for Regular Decision applicants and Admissions_Shannon is working on a special holiday post.

Our document scanner is looking forward to a mini-holiday break.
Our document scanner is looking forward to a mini-holiday break.