It has been a whirlwind of activity over the last few weeks in Mason Hall, home to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Just as we completed the majority of our on-campus visit programs and the Admissions counselors returned from their fall recruitment travels, the November 1 Early Decision deadline came and went, but it did not pass without an adjustment. Following the Halloween weekend winter storm that hit the eastern seaboard, many in states from New Jersey all the way up to Maine experienced long term power outages. Like many other colleges and universities, Johns Hopkins University extended our Early Decision deadline through November 7 to accommodate students in the impacted areas. Now that extended deadline has passed, we can take a snapshot of the applicant pool and provide updates about where things stand with Early Decision.
Based on preliminary data, the Early Decision applicant pool is currently 1,432 applications. Due to a number of reasons (extended deadlines, delayed mail, cleaning up any processing errors), this number is likely to go up slightly over the next few weeks. Normally, the final official number is computed on December 1 so as to be accurate with totals from years past. Whatever the exact number is on that reporting date, what is clear is that for the fourth straight year and eighth time over the last ten years, our Early Decision applicant pool has grown. Currently, we are up 102 applications from last year, which calculates to an 8% increase. Again, we do expect this number to rise a bit in the coming weeks.
As we delve deeper into the early information some interesting data appears. The percent of women in the Early Decision applicant continues to rise, now at 47% when just a few years ago it was 44%. As well the number of under-represented minority applicants in the pool has grown for the third straight year. Unlike last year, where growth in the ED applicant pool came mostly from students interested in the social sciences, this year the growth appears to be with student interested in engineering. Finally, based solely on self-reported academic preparation data, not only have we received more applications but the “quality” of these applicants based on traditional metrics of GPA, test scores, and course rigor is also on the rise.
The Admissions staff is all excited about the continued increase in applicants stating that Johns Hopkins is their first choice school, and the counselors are already busy logging-on, reading, and evaluating applications. Along with an update to the numbers, I thought I would provide answers to the most frequently asked questions this time of year from ED applicants, parents, and their counselors:
When will Early Decision notifications be released?
The plan is to release ED notifications on Thursday, December 15. When decisions are released they are mailed out (postal mail) during the day and then an email is sent after 6:00 p.m. EST. If our plans change, the first place you can find the updated details will be on this blog. For more on the process of the release of ED notifications, check out this blog entry from last year that provided thorough details about how it all works: Update Time Again.
Is my Early Decision application complete?
As you can imagine, it gets busy in the Admissions Office as we process application materials. Because of the volume of records being handled, it is not possible for us to confirm with each individual applicant whether their application files are complete or to identity which individual items have been received. We do email applicants an acknowledgment message after their application is received and processed. Rest assured that application files are checked carefully for completeness. At the end of the month our operations team will contact students whose ED applications remain incomplete. Those students will be given an opportunity to provide us with any missing items before we complete the evaluation of their applications. Often applicants ask if there is a way they can track their application online. Unfortunately, Hopkins does not have such a system. For that reason, our operations team is quite proactive in contacting applicants and guidance counselors to make sure all required application materials are received and processed correctly.
Finally, if your application is in and you are now waiting for the news, here are some distractions for you:
1) Check out This Month @ Hopkins Interactive:
- This is the most recent Hopkins Interactive project and is a one page re-cap of the best content published on the site over the last month. The page contains a select number of blogs, popular tweets, a picture, a video, and some event reports. Don’t forget to check out the archives, and check back at the start of each month for the next edition.
2) Check out our updated Student Profiles:
- One of the great sections of the Undergraduate Admissions website is our “Meet the Students” page. Here you can access student profiles from 28 current students – seniors through freshmen, students from 13 different states and Italy, and students of a wide range of majors. Each profile provides links to read each student’s blog entries or tweets, as well as a link to their personal message board thread so you can ask them direct questions.
3) Learn More, See More, B’More Videos
- In Mid-October we premiered the 5th episode of the Learn More, See More, B’More video series. This video was part two of their tour of the Baltimore neighborhoods. Next up, a visit to the Baltimore Zoo.
4) Student Photos on Flickr
- Did you know that the Hopkins Interactive site contains a Flickr online photo gallery where current students can upload their pictures of life at Hopkins? The pictures are categorized for easier viewing, and earlier this week we posted our 700th picture.
For the Early Decision applicants, we hope you enjoy these distractions as we review your applications. For the Regular Decision applicants just know that the January 1 deadline is closer than you think. And for everyone, stay tuned as Admissions_Shannon and I have some enjoyable entries for the Hopkins Insider blog coming up.