The month of April in the world of Undergraduate Admissions is by far the busiest month of the year. It is a time when we must wear two different professional hats. Following the release of Regular Decision notifications at the end of March, one hat that we wear is communicating with applicants, primarily high school seniors. I call this “Wearing the Yield Hat,” as the vast majority of communication is with admitted students helping them to determine whether Johns Hopkins is where they will spend their next four years.
At the same time, we have to be “Wearing the Recruitment Hat,” as the volume of visitors who are potential future applicants is enormous. These high school juniors, and sometimes even younger, flock to campus during their schools’ spring breaks to take their first look at campus. As they begin their college searches they also begin to ask general questions to the university e-mail account or social media outlets.
Though interacting with admitted seniors is quite different than speaking with prospective students just starting the college search process, the same general question is on everyone’s mind, “Why Hopkins?” For admitted students the question is the all-important one: why should I choose to enroll at Hopkins and commit my education to this institution? We know these students have a great many options, and for us it is about helping them to see if Johns Hopkins is the right fit. For the prospects, the question is a bit less crucial and is more about whether or not Johns Hopkins fits certain criteria the student has laid out to determine to which schools they will apply later in the fall. Whether it is helping a student choose to enroll at Hopkins or answering questions that help a student decide to apply to Hopkins, April is a great month to be in Admissions.
As I examine my schedule for the rest of the month, this grand dichotomy is even more evident. Tomorrow night I am attending a college fair in Timonium, Maryland, where close to 1,500 students and parents of the Baltimore County private schools will ask any and every question there is to know about Hopkins. Then, on Wednesday and Thursday of this week, my colleagues and I will welcome over 500 admitted students and more than 1,500 visitors to campus for our first SOHOP event. Next week will be spent helping with on-campus visit programs where every day we have concurrent information sessions happening in Mason Hall, one for admits and one for prospects. And in the final week of April, we will hold our second SOHOP event and I will make my way up to New England to attend a series of college fairs and hold a Spring Explore Hopkins event.
Once the calendar turns to May, and the May 1 response deadline passes for admitted students, things will finally begin to calm down. May is a time to reflect, take long vacations, and unwind a bit. There are still items on the to-do list, but the non-stop pace turns into a more normal 9-5 schedule and maybe even only four work days a week instead of seven.
If you are one of the many people my colleagues and I will interact with in the month of April, we hope we can help you determine “Why Hopkins” is right for you.