Live Blogging on ED Notification Day (Class of 2015)

Posted by Admissions_Daniel 

Good day Early Decision applicants. So here we are again. Six straight years. Starting in 2005, I began a tradition of live blogging on decision notification days and will continue today with the release of our Early Decision notifications for the Class of 2015. I will be “micro-blogging” through the day to provide you all with a first-hand look into what takes place in Mason Hall (home to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions) on the day we release decisions. You can also follow me on Twitter for regular 140 character updates — @AdmissionDanielFor those looking for details on how the process will work today, please return to the blog entry I posted this past Monday. Check back throughout the day to follow the process and learn some inside details about this year’s Johns Hopkins Early Decision applicant pool and class.   


5:56 a.m. -- Four minutes before my alarm clock will go off and I am up already. Since college I have always woken up just before my alarm clock goes off. It is nice to have an internal alarm clock in my head since I can’t stand the noise my actual alarm makes. Time to start my day. First up, is bundling up so I can walk my dog Soze. (Well really that was the second thing I will do as updating the blog clearly is more important today.) 

6:06 a.m. -- Dog walking FAIL. Soze doesn’t want to get up. This has been his way the last couple of weeks since the weather in Baltimore has become more frigid. He prefers to sleep in and then walk once the sun comes up. I am not complaining. I guess as he nears 10 years in age he is becoming much wiser. So instead of the walk Mike and Mike in the Morning is on in the background and I am going to do a bit of morning work before getting ready to head into the office. I just hope Greeny and Golic don’t talk more about Cliff Lee signing with the Philliesl; as a die-hard Mets fan that decision just saddens me greatly.   

A lazy, yet wise, Soze preferring to sleep in rather then walking in the cold.
A lazy, yet wise, Soze preferring to sleep in rather then walking in the cold.

6:51 a.m. -- Done with e-mail responses. Done with Facebook posts. Tweet’ed. To Do list set for the day and I am happy to say that I just have seven items on the list. My morning is moving along quite smoothly. Soze is still not up, so I am going to shower, shave (ha ha … inside joke again), dress, and head in to work. Oh yeah, I need to find an item in my house I am willing to re-gift for our “White Elephant” gift exchange at our Holiday Party later today. Hmmmm, what should I bring? 


8:09 a.m. -- Just got in the office. Pretty quiet here which is a good thing. Uneventful commute except for the fact that it is so cold outside that I think my mind finally understands the true meanings of the words frigid and bitter. Going to start my morning routine.   

Despite frigid temp., Mason Hall always looks amazing as the sun rises.
Despite frigid temp., Mason Hall always looks amazing as the sun rises.

 8:21 a.m. -- Pretty easy morning routine. E-mail accounts are clear. Voicemails returned. Social media sites monitored. Heck I even was able to solve my brain teaser of the day. That makes it 245 of 349. 70%. See if you can solve the puzzle. 

Brain teaser of the day. Can you solve it?
Brain teaser of the day. Can you solve it?

 9:10 a.m. -- My day just got 100% more awesome for three reasons. (1) I created a great December 15 iTunes plalist -- a shuffle of all my Cure, The Killers, and Florence + the Machine songs. Strangely the mix works very well. (2) Reading the comments being posted put a huge smile on my face. Thanks for your kind words and I am glad you all appreciate the inside access I try to provide. AND (3) Admissions_Shannon just brought me holidays socks to wear. Check out how cool they are. 

Holiday socks. Thanks Admissions_Shannon.
Holiday socks. Thanks Admissions_Shannon.

 9:57 a.m. -- Took my first foray to the third floor (our Operations center) to see how everything is moving along. We are in excellent shape for mailing by early afternoon at the latest. The admit packets are being sealed and stamped as I type this update and the next step is our last set of checks. No official word from Dean Latting yet that the class is sealed, but that should come shortly. Here are a couple of pictures of the “action” going on upstairs. 

Sealing and stamping admit packets.
Sealing and stamping admit packets.
Letters awaiting one last check.
Letters awaiting one last check.

10:35 a.m. -- They are still working on things upstairs and we are still waiting for the final confirmation from Dean Latting. In the meantime, I put the finishing touches on our official Class of 2015 Facebook group and took one last look at our special Admitted Student Web site. All looks good. 

Check out the front page of the main Admissions site: So cool! The wait is almost over! And the story links directly to the blog. I love that. 

I am going to have some BIG AND EXCITING NEWS in my next update. No it has nothing to do with an early release of decisions or anything even related to Early Decision. Just something related to Hopkins Interactive and an internal tradition that will continue today. Just going to make sure that everything is ready. 


11:04. -- IT’S ALIVE!!! Go to If you are a frequent visitor to our Hopkins Interactive site you will probably notice a major re-design. This is the BIG AND EXCITING NEWS I just mentioned. Hopkins Interactive and the Hopkins Insider blog launched in December 2005 just about the same time as the release of Early Decision notifications for the JHU Class of 2010. Ever since we have considered December 15 a big anniversary and we try to launch a new version of the site. Simply put, we have traveled light years from where we were five years ago. 


Hopkins Interactive version 6.0 is LIVE!
Hopkins Interactive version 6.0 is LIVE!

 I asked the mastermind behind our Hopkins Interactive design and implementation, JHU_Joe, to discuss the upgrade. Here is what he wrote:   

The new Hopkins Interactive preserved many of the features of the first redesign I completed for Hopkins Interactive, mainly the thumbnails for each post that gets published, as well as the “news-ticker” featuring some of our most recent posts. This time we show posts outside of the “news-ticker” using their thumbnail as a form of identification which allowed us to free up the bottom half of the page for something we’ve been wanting to do for a while: advocating our blogs. Most students will make it to Hopkins Interactive or Hopkins Insider without discovering the rest of our blogs. Now we show the most recent post from each of our major blogs, AND we’ve added a Related Posts feature on all of our current blogs that obtains related posts from ALL of our blogs. Finally, the design itself is (at least in my opinion) 10x better than what it was a few days ago. The colors combine in a way we didn’t see on the old site, and this design is the final step in bringing HI into the modern world of web design. Not only did we completely redo the design from scratch, but we re-coded the entire backend of the site (which took about 20 hours). Enjoy everyone! And be sure to follow me on Twitter! 


11:11 a.m. -- The Early Decision Class of 2015 is set. Dean Latting just made the announcement. Time for one last check of all the decision letters and packets and then to the post office we go.  

11:44 a.m. -- EARLY DECISION NOTIFICATIONS FOR THE CLASS OF 2015 ARE IN THE MAIL. Photographic proof below.  


Stacked and ready to ship out.
Stacked and ready to ship out.
Waiting to be loaded.
Waiting to be loaded.
Putting the new socks to work.
Putting the new socks to work.
And off they go.
And off they go.


12:09 p.m. -- Every year the most popular question we are asked after the release of Early Decision notification is what were the results. This year our communications specialist, the amazing Shelly Placek, worked with Dean Latting to create  the following official press release: 

Press Release
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Johns Hopkins University
December 15, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010—The Office of Undergraduate Admissions officially admitted the first members of the Class of 2015 today, sending admit packets and e-mails to 518 accepted Early Decision applicants. These talented students were chosen from a record applicant pool of 1,330, a 15 percent increase in Early Decision applications from last year.

A snapshot of the accepted Early Decision class: 

  • Early Decision applications received: 1,330
  • Early Decision students admitted: 518
  • Early Decision acceptance rate: 39%
  • Males/females: 54/46
  • Preliminary areas of academic interest:
    • Whiting School of Engineering: 31%
    • Krieger School of Arts and Sciences: 69%
      • Humanities: 13%
      • Natural sciences: 32%
      • Social and behavioral sciences: 21%
      • Top five home states: New York, New Jersey, Maryland, California, Pennsylvania
      • 39 states represented, plus 48 international students from 20 different countries
      • Top five countries (other than US): South Korea, China, Canada, India, Turkey

“I’m excited about this class,” said Dean of Undergraduate Admissions John Latting of this year’s Early Decision admits. “You can measure them all you want in terms of their grades and test scores but, more importantly, I think they are just a great group of students in terms of what they will bring to our campus community. It’s a great beginning to the Class of 2015.” 

The Class of 2015 will be completed with students selected from the Regular Decision applicant pool. Applications are due January 1, 2011, with admissions decisions being released by April 1. Regular Decision students are given until May 1 to enroll; official numbers for the Class of 2015 will be available in May. 


12:15 p.m. -- Time for some “radio silence.” Now that we are done the Admissions staff is going to celebrate and enjoy our Holiday Party. I’ll be back later (close to 6 p.m.) with an update. Enjoy your collective afternoons. My socks and I are going to have an amazing time duck-pin bowling with my colleagues.  


4:13 p.m. -- Just returned home after an awesome Holiday Party with my colleagues. We all enjoyed our second annual Duck Pin Bowling tournament and it was a blast. It was nice to let loose after a few weeks of stressful work. My team did awesome and though we did not win in the end, my teammate and co-blogger Admissions_Shannon had the highest score of anybody. I also did much better in year two nearly doubling my score to an 81, from a pitiful 42 last year. I am going to walk Soze and then take some Extra Stength Tylenol as my voice and throat are killing me. Be back soon with some important updates on how things will work after 6:00 p.m.  

4:36 p.m. -- I was going through my e-mail and came across a message from my colleague Sarah Godwin with an attached MOV.file. Sarah created a short little video re-cap of the mailing of ED notifications. I thought I would share it with you all. (By the way, this is a big deal because I personally can be seen in a couple of shots of this video. I usually refrain from every putting any photographic of video evidence of my existence on the blog, but Sarah is pretty proud of the video so I had to share it.) Enjoy. 



5:00 p.m. -- As my colleagues on the IT Team prepare to release the e-mail notifications there are a few important things I want you all to listen to and heed.  

FIRST, we will start sending e-mails after 6:00 p.m. EST. Please note the bold, italic, underlined emphasis on the key words start  and after.  This means that not everyone will get an e-mail in their in-box immediately at 6:00 p.m. It will take a while for all the e-mails to go out and there is a good chance we don’t start sending exactly at 6:00 p.m. If you keep refreshing your e-mail in-box at 6:00, 6:01, 6:04, 6:10, 6:11, and there is no message -- DO NOT PANIC and do not assume anything. Be patient and allow the process to work properly. 

SECOND, for the next hour (if not two hours) step away from the computer. Stop reading this blog. Stop refreshing your e-mail. Stop checking College Confidential (in fact you should stop that altogether for the future). Relax. Take a nap. Go do something that will calm you and distract you. Take your mind off of the clock.  

THIRD, and most importantly, after you receive your e-mail decision my strong suggestion is that you log-off of your computer and go spend some time with your family. No matter what decision you receive, get off the computer after you receive your e-mail. This is a major milestone in your young life, and you should share your initial reactions and emotions with your family and those closest to you. These people have been there since the first moment of your life, and they will be there FOREVER. Your family is not some online community. Your family is not Facebook. Your family is not some annonymous screenname. Your family is not this blog. Please heed this advice. Receive your decision and sign off. Don’t update your Facebook status. Don’t post a comment on this blog. Don’t go post your emotions on some Web site. Share your thoughts and emotions in the REAL WORLD first. The virtual world will be there later for you to provide a social media spin on your news.  

I say it every year … let the news sink in first. React in the real world before entering the cyber world.


6:47 p.m. -- All the e-mails have been sent. The process seems to have gone quite smooth this year (fingers remain crossed). Just two bounce-back e-mails so far and I was able to correct the e-mails and send them again. Will continue to monitor throughout the evening. Now that decisions have been received I wanted to share some quick thoughts to each group:

TO THE ADMITS: Congratulations! I hope you are all so excited and got some time tonight to jump around and celebrate. You will get your admit packets soon and there will be a ton of information you will go through. Also, remember to use the Admitted Student Web Site, Hopkins Interactive, and the Class of 2015 Facebook group. But also pace yourself — August is still 9 months away. I will have more to say to you all in the coming weeks. Time to put that bumper sticker on the car!!!

TO THE DEFERS: The main message is that this was not a “no.” Instead it was a delay of your decision for another three month. I strongly suggest that you all read the discussion thread that I have set-up for deferred applicants: Early Decision Defers – Read This

TO THE DENIES: Please know that I understand how difficult receiving such news can be. My colleagues and I do not take pleasure in not offering admission to students, especially those where Hopkins is their first choice. A couple of years ago I wrote a post to denied applicants, and I recommend you all read it: A Posted for the Denied Applicant. I do wish you all the best of luck.


 8:49 p.m. -- As it approaches 13 straight hours of live-blogging I am going to call it a day. Thanks to everyone who commented and I hope this trek through the day was helpful. I will return on Friday with a new blog entry with reflections on notification day and what’s next. Cheers!


25 thoughts on “Live Blogging on ED Notification Day (Class of 2015)

  1. It is really good to hear that you have been doing this since the past six years. This really shows your dedication. Thanks for all the blogs.
    PS : Your dog is so cute.

  2. Good luck to all applicants. No matter the outcome, you’ve all been fortunate to have Daniel on the inside personalizing the whole process!

  3. This is great! It is very nice to be able to get an inside look into the day in the life of an admissions counselor. Frequently, us students get so caught up in the “did I get in!?” mode- that we do not allow ourselves to fully appreciate these dedicated peoples and their tedious work. Instead of “ugh, I didn’t get in- what’s his problem?!” we must try to understand their position objectively. This being said, thank you Daniel!

  4. Wow, I can’t believe I’ve been reading ED notification day microblogging for the past four years. I couldn’t agree with everyone more, microblogging is a fantastic idea and definitely one of my favorite Insider blog entries of the year. :)

    3 things:
    1) Love the socks! Very festive.
    2) I hope Mike and Mike talked a lot about Cliff Lee this morning.
    3) My dog could learn a few things from Soze about sleeping in.

    Good luck with the rest of the day! Hope everything goes smoothly!

  5. I just want to weigh in from the parent’s perspective. Getting a glimpse into the process it takes admit a student is amazing! My student has eagerly/anxiously (cannot decide which at this point)been awaiting December 15. Its either over or just beginning again for us. Thank you for the insight into JHU’s process. the socks. Festive socks somehow make the holidays complete.

  6. Lisa, I agree with your perspective as a parent. The combination of stress and excitement is a little unusual. Exams are stressful, but not exciting; spectator sports can be exciting to watch, but are usually not stressful. The ED process is BOTH stressful and exciting for the students . . . as well as the parents (watching at a distance), who want the best for their kids. AdmissionDaniel is performing a worthwhile service for both constituencies. Thanks, AdmissionDaniel. You are helping us get through this extraordinary day. Not quite sure about the socks though . . . .

  7. Daniel, following the ED Notification Day blog has become my December 15th tradition. I suppose this is Year Four. Keep up the good work!

  8. It’s awesome. So you guys are stuffing the decision packets. It would be really cool if you do a slide show or something. Nice gift from admissions shanonn.

  9. I too read the insider blog regularly despite being a Hopkins parent x3. My appreciation for Johns Hopkins always is reinforced through the musings of Daniel, the admissions staff, and Soze, too. Good luck to everyone today! Hopkins is an amazing place…

  10. As a current Hopkins student (and a 2014 ED admit!) I wish all the best to the applicants! Hopkins is an wonderful place and I hope the best for all. Good luck!

  11. T minus 5 hours and 16 minutes…but who’s counting?

    Looks great and thank you for all the inside information Admissions_Daniel!

  12. @Vishmaj- I feel like my comment was verrry similar…
    @Manjob- The question still remains unanswered.
    @anyone who can answer this question- Do we receive an email regardless of whether we are accepted or not? i.e. both (either) a Congratulations!/ We are sorry to inform you…email?

  13. @ Deborah yes we will receive an email regardless of the decision .BME applicants will recieve 2 emails. One will tell them about their acceptance to JHU and the other will tell them about their acceptance to BME.

  14. This process definitely helps ease the stress as 6 p.m. draws near… Thanks so much Admissions_Daniel!

  15. As a parent going through the college process for the first time with my daughter.This has been the most informative website.I think any question that has ever come to mind has been answered.Thank you for this wonderful website and blog.Here’s hoping to becoming a JHU parent and a daughter who dreams of going to Johns Hopkins.Happy Holidays.

  16. I would have expected others to be hyperventilating on here as well…Good luck to everybody!

    Thanks Daniel Creasy for keeping us posted!

  17. yup, differed, guess saving another individual’s life is less impressive then somebody with a 2250, being that that’s just a number…but there’s no sense in being cynical, life goes on, i hope? lol

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