Early Decision: What’s it all about?

Here in the Admissions Office, the arrival of autumn turns our attention to application season; chances are, if you’re reading this blog, your attention is focused on the very same thing. Have you done the research and come to the decision that Hopkins is the right fit for you? Now’s the time to consider whether applying Early Decision (ED) is the way to go.

What is Early Decision?

The Early Decision plan is a binding option for students who know that Johns Hopkins is their first-choice college. Applying ED means that you are committed to coming to Hopkins if you’re admitted. You should only apply to one college under an ED plan, although you may still apply Early Action or Regular Decision to other schools. If you’re admitted to a school under a binding ED plan, you will need to withdraw your applications from any other schools to which you’ve applied.

For more details about applying ED and a list of FAQ, visit http://apply.jhu.edu/apply/faq_early.html.

Important things to note, and two of our most common questions about applying ED:

  • Is it easier to get in by applying ED? No. The application review process is the same and profiles of students admitted in ED and RD are nearly identical. We’re still looking for the students whose goals and accomplishments are the best match with our community. Students who decide to apply ED have usually done their homework and are ready to present strong applications that make a case for why Hopkins is the right place for them.
  • Does applying ED affect your financial aid package? No. Admitted students receive a financial aid offer along with their admission notification; the financial aid packages would look the same whether that student was admitted in December or April.

More about ED:

  • The deadline is sooner, so you will have your decision sooner. Since applications are due on November 2, we let students know of their decisions by December 15. The turn-around here is much quicker than the Regular Decision process because we have fewer applications to review. If you’re admitted in ED, you’ve found your home and can focus on the rest of your senior year (yes, we will do a final transcript check!). If you are deferred or denied, you still have time to apply to other institutions.
  • You’re making a statement. As we evaluate applicants, we’re looking for students who are going to embrace being a Blue Jay and take advantage of all aspects of both academic and campus life. By signing the Early Decision Agreement, you’re telling us that you are clearly interested in being a part of our community and hopefully have thoughts on how you can contribute at Hopkins specifically.
  • The agreement is a binding commitment. It’s important to do your research before applying ED to any school. If you aren’t sure if you definitely want to enroll here if admitted, you may want to consider applying RD instead.
  • It offers less time to show senior-year improvement. Maybe you struggled in a class last semester, or you’re just getting back on track after a slight academic decline. Because all application materials for ED need to be submitted by November 2, you have less of an opportunity to show any improvements that happen in between November and January, when Regular Decision applications are due. Some students will benefit from having the additional time to show an upward trend during their senior year through their mid-year grades.

How do you make the decision whether or not to apply ED to Johns Hopkins?

The strongest ED candidates at Johns Hopkins have thoroughly researched our academic programs. They know we offer majors, minors, and other ways to study the fields they are truly passionate about. At the same time, they understand, and are ready to take advantage of our unique liberal arts education and opportunities to become active participants in their education. They have experienced Baltimore and have fallen in love with the culturally-rich shops and restaurants in Hampden, the local hangouts in Fells Point, Little Italy, Canton, and Fed Hill. They’ve come to the conclusion that they are a good match for Hopkins, and Hopkins is a good match for them.

If you find that Hopkins is your number one choice, and you’re excited to contribute to our Homewood campus and surrounding community, Early Decision is the choice for you!