Breaking News: RD Notification Release Explained

For the past few months, the Admissions staff has been hard at work processing, reviewing, and discussing the over 18,000 Regular Decision applications for freshman admission. We spent the end of December, January, February, and the first week in March doing what we call “first reads”—where each admissions counselor thoroughly reads through each application in his or her region and provides in-depth decision write-ups. Since March 7, each and every day (including weekends), the various admissions committees have been going back over all the first reads, discussing and debating, and ultimately shaping our class. To say this is an arduous process is an understatement, but we are excessively diligent in what we do and truly believe our process will create the best Johns Hopkins Class of 2015 possible. Thankfully, the light at the end of the long tunnel is shining a bit brighter each and every day.

Remnants of Committee: We print extensive rosters to assist in looking up applicant records. The rosters pile up over the weeks.
Remnants of Committee: We print extensive rosters to assist in looking up applicant records. The rosters pile up over the weeks.

As I posted late last night, Dean Latting announced yesterday that Regular Decision notifications will be released to all freshman applicants on Tuesday, March 29. The committees will continue to work throughout the week, the weekend, and even late through Monday evening but we will ensure that decisions are released next Tuesday. There are always a ton of questions about how the release of decision notifications will work, so let me attempt to explain how everything will operate next Tuesday. (As always, things change from year-to-year so if you have read how we have released decisions in the past I still suggest you read through the FAQs and answers below.)


How will decisions be released?
By mail:
On the afternoon of Tuesday, March 29, all decision letters (admits, wait lists, and denies) will be taken to the main Baltimore postal center or the Johns Hopkins postal center in Mt. Washington. All decisions will enter the postal system by the close of business on Tuesday. Admit packets are sent priority mail, whereas deny and wait list letters are sent first-class mail. We hope that admit packets sent within the U.S. will arrive within three days, and other decision letters can take 4-7 days to arrive. International mail is sent a variety of ways depending on the country and will take longer to arrive.

By e-mail: In the evening of March 29, we will also be releasing decision notifications via e-mail. E-mails will start going out AROUND 6:00 p.m. ET. lease see that I have emphasized the word AROUND. It can take up to two hours for all decision e-mails to be sent. E-mails are sent in batches and will take time to arrive. They are also sent in random order so there is no way to deduce the order that decisions will be released. I can guarantee that you all will not get your decision e-mail exactly at 6:00 p.m. Please have patience. In fact, I suggest you find something to distract you for an hour, then check your e-mail account.

Letter printing has begun, even while final committee meetings are being held. It takes a long time to generate 18,000+ letters.
Letter printing has begun, even while final committee meetings are being held. It takes a long time to generate 18,000+ letters.

Can I check my decision online?
No, Johns Hopkins University does not have an online system for the release of admissions decisions. We do not post our decisions online or through a portal.

Can I call the Admissions Office to receive my decision over the phone?
We prefer not to release decisions over the phone. Decisions will only be released over the phone starting Friday, April 1. At that time, if you have not received your admissions notification you may call the Admissions Office (410-516-8171). Please be aware, when we do begin to release decisions over the phone, we will only release the decision to the applicant or a parent or guardian of the applicant. Decisions will be released only if the identity of the caller can be reasonably assured. As well, please do not call asking why a certain decision was rendered as Admissions Committee decisions are confidential and we are unable to discuss the factors behind our decisions.

Regarding the e-mailed decisions, what will be the subject line?
We do not release the “subject lines” of our e-mail decisions in advance. The content of these e-mails change year-to-year.

Tons, and tons, and TONS of letterhead.
Tons, and tons, and TONS of letterhead.

Do not share your decision e-mail!
Each decision e-mail is personalized. Acceptance e-mails have a personalized URL in the message and therefore should not be shared, especially on any public forum or Web site. To protect your privacy and the accuracy of information, do not share or post your decision e-mail.

What happens if I do not receive an e-mail decision on Tuesday evening?
If an applicant does not receive an e-mail there a few things he or she can do: 

  1. Check SPAM folders.
  2. Check ANY and all e-mail accounts you have ever used during the college search process. We send the e-mail to the account you listed on your application. However, our database system does track all e-mail accounts that have ever been matched to your record, so on occasion the notification e-mail may be sent to an old e-mail address. (So check e-mails that you may have used when registering for the SAT/ACT for example, such as your parents e-mail accounts.)

If none of those methods work, then unfortunately the student will need to wait to receive the decision in the postal mail, or can call on April 1. Every year some e-mail notifications just don’t work. The reasons for an applicant not receiving an e-mail notification include that there was no e-mail provided on the student’s application, the e-mail provided on the application is no longer active, there was a SPAM filter blocking the message, or some error occurred that caused a bounce-back. WE ARE UNABLE TO RE-SEND E-MAIL NOTIFICATIONS. Once again, in such situations the applicant must wait. We understand how frustrating that can be, but unfortunately mistakes can happen when processing over 18,000 applications.

The 100+ mail bins and sleeves have arrived.
The 100+ mail bins and sleeves have arrived.

I applied to the biomedical engineering (BME) program; will I receive that decision via e-mail as well?
BME decision e-mails will come as a second e-mail to all admitted students who selected BME as their first-choice major. Those e-mail notifications will also be sent Tuesday evening, following the release of all other decision notification e-mails. Further details about one’s BME decision will be included in the admit packet.

What about scholarship notifications and notifications about program such as the Woodrow Wilson research fellowship or Dean’s Innovation Group?
Those decisions will be included in acceptance packets only.  

I applied to Johns Hopkins and also the Peabody Double Degree program. How will I be notified of my decisions?
Homewood / Peabody Double Degree applicants will receive their admissions decision notification about their Hopkins (Homewood) application in the same fashion as been discussed above. Decisions about admission to Peabody and the Double Degree program will be released as a second e-mail on Tuesday evening, following the release of all other decision notification e-mails.

Stacks of admit packets awaiting decision letters.
Stacks of admit packets awaiting decision letters.


So I think that covers everything for right now. If you have further questions, please feel free to post a comment and I will try to respond when I have the chance.

It gets pretty crowded and messy quickly on the third floor of Mason Hall where all the letter generating operations take place.
It gets pretty crowded and messy quickly on the third floor of Mason Hall where all the letter generating operations take place.

16 thoughts on “Breaking News: RD Notification Release Explained

  1. Thank you so much for all the updates and information you have given us throughout the week. Although your jobs are clearly tedious in themselves, you still acknowledge the anxiety-and sometimes agony-that many applicants have during this process. I am one of the latter, and your blogs have truly made this process a little lighter and many times fun with all the pictures and the admission counselor Q&As. Thank you so much! Whatever Tuesday brings, it will be worth it:)

  2. Thank you, JHU Admissions, for distracting me from the immense amount of studying I have to do. Three tests, Three essays,and two quizes…all I can think about is the decision day! I’m nervous

  3. Thank you so much for keeping us posted throughout the wait! All of Hopkins’ blogs have been great reads and I love how much JHU values that communication. Hopefully I’ll get to hear good news on Tuesday! And if it is for me to hear bad news, maybe one day I will get to be a part of JHUs awesome community. one day. :) Thanks again for maintaining this amazing blog.

  4. Thanks much for informing us of the decision process and putting things in perspective. Whatever happens happens for the good and I await the final outcome with all the calmness I can muster :-)

  5. Thank you for posting the information about the decision process I remember the ED decisions and how nervous I was that day. I was deferred, and here I am once again, waiting for RD decisions! I’m so nervous! Do you know the percentage of deferred students that they admitted?

  6. Thank you, JHU, for keeping us updated on the decision process through this honestly refreshing blog! What a journey this has been for me, starting with Mark Butt’s informative off-campus presentation then touring and falling in love with the campus and people during my visits to JHU, followed by the entire application process and now….waiting for Tuesday. Looking forward to JHU’s decision, and hoping I can be part of the Class of 2015!

  7. Thanks for the update. I am so nervous and excited! The wait has passed faster than I anticipated after being deferred on December 15. Like MK, I am interested if you will released the percentage of deferred students admitted regular?

  8. It’s officially Tuesday 29th of March on this side of the world, I’ve been counting down the days for two months! SO nervous. Good luck everyone

  9. Good luck everyone. Be sure to follow the live blogging today. No matter what the news you receive later today, make sure you surround yourself with your friends and family.

    As for those asking questions about statistics, we only release certain statistics and I will do that later today.

  10. Thank you JHU for making every applicant feel special and for taking the time to go over the applications with such care and concern. No matter what the outcome today everyone who applied to JHU should feel proud that they were able to apply to such a wonderful school. Good luck with whatever path this day takes.

  11. just got the denied notice. ahhhhhhhhhh i hate u lmao na its awesome. thanks again for the updates man take care. damn cant believe this will be my last time on this site.

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