This has been a busy month for the Hopkins Insider blog, and yes I know that is an understatement. With all the new posts I thought it would be helpful to end the month with a re-cap post sharing the links to the entries dedicated to the Class of 2016 applicants.
I have proof of how busy the past week has been as I reviewed some of the stats in our Google analytics. I am still amazed by these numbers:
- Number of visitors to the Hopkins Insider blog for the past five days (Monday, March 26 through Friday, March 30) = 10,307 unique visitors – 26,798 page views (almost 10,000 more page views than for this same time period last year).
- For just decision release day, March 29, 2012: 7,339 visits from 5,309 unique visitors for 12,927 page views
Simply amazing. THANK YOU!
Shannon and I will be back in April with new blog posts. We brainstormed last week on some topics and have some really interesting posts coming up. Stay tuned.
How to begin an entry dedicated to the 3,071 students who this past Thursday received the “YES” news from Johns Hopkins University. To be honest, I am at a loss for words. You have heard, read, and seen the word “Congratulations” so many times that the word may be losing its impact by now. But what other word works? You look up the word in a thesaurus and you can weaker phrases like compliments, best wishes, felicitations (?), and good going. Even though I can’t find that perfect word right now, I hope that those of you who received the good news on Thursday evening and will receive a big packet in the mail feel an overwhelming sense of pride and accomplishment, and have taken some time over the last couple of days to celebrate and jump for joy.
I think my failure at finding a more significant word to say congratulations has a bit more to do with me sheer exhaustion. I hope to be able to catch my breath this weekend following the whirlwind of activity that takes place just before the release of decisions. There were times during the hectic months and weeks of Admissions committee review and deliberations that I never thought decision release day would come. But then you get to drop the letters off at the post office and click send on the e-mail notifications and the exhaustion transforms into a state of reflection.
So despite my exhaustion, despite the calm reflection after the storm that seems to be settling in this overcast Saturday morning in Baltimore, I am confident of one thing … starting next week my mood will be sheer excitement. There are a ton of April events on the horizon and the chance to meet admitted students over the next few weeks does make me smile from ear-to-ear.
You have been admitted to the strongest class in Johns Hopkins history. Each and every one of you should feel a great sense of honor. You need to know that, by offering you a spot in the Johns Hopkins community, we are saying loud and clear that we think you fit. We think you will make a difference at Johns Hopkins and we can provide you with the challenge and excitement you are looking for. After months of getting to know you all through your applications, we eagerly wait until the time when you and the Early Decision admitted students arrive on campus this coming fall. Great things are going to be expected from the JHU Class of 2016.
There will be much time to celebrate over the coming weeks, but for many of you a tough decision lies ahead. Let me give you the best advice I can … CHOOSE JOHNS HOPKINS. Make it simple. You can’t go wrong. For some of you it will be that simple; but I also know that many of you will need to weigh your options and determine which of your admitted schools will make the best fit for you.
For those of you who are undecided, the question is how you will make this big decision. What is the right choice? These questions are justified, but in the end it is you and you alone who has to make the choice. Choosing which college or university to attend is one of those life-altering decisions where you must weigh all the factors, big and small. This choice not only impacts the next four years—it will leave an eternal mark on you as the school becomes your alma mater and an important line on your resume.
If I can provide any early advice it would be to first do your own self-analysis and decide what it is you want and need in the college you attend. Then you need to do your own research on each school you have been admitted to and consider the big questions of fit. I am a big fan of creating pro / con lists and using a weighted system to help determine what it is you are searching for and where you will be most comfortable. I strongly encourage you to avoid focusing on statistics and rankings, as these are quite superficial and do not help get down to the personal decision level. I also warn you of weighting other opinions more than your own. And finally, in my experience, the gut decision is typically the right one.
I am going to sign off now and let you celebrate some more. Don’t forget to utilize the ample resources we have put together for our admitted students, all referenced in your admit notification e-mails and admit packets. The Admitted Student Web site has tons of information and we strongly encourage you to visit for one of our SOHOP programs. (Maybe you can even ride the SOHOP express) Also, the Hopkins Interactive students are using all the social media tools they can to connect with you—check out the Facebook group, the #whyhopkins tweets, the YouTube videos, and obviously all the blogs. Don’t let your questions go unanswered.
The theme of April will be WHY HOPKINS and we hope we can help you all answer that question and you will join the JHU Class of 2016.
College admissions wait lists have been compared by many as a state of purgatory—not yet admitted and not denied. I often feel that a wait list decision is harder to deal with than a deny decision because there is no closure yet, no definitive answer. The college admissions process is defined by waiting, and now some students must wait for another month or two for their final decision. I have written previously that this wait list process is one of the most discussed topics in my field. Just do a quick Google search and you will find countless articles about the subject and also “supposed” services or advice columns on how a wait list works. Go to YouTube and you can find an endless collection of wait list “plea” videos. Personally, I can tell you that video pleas do not work and that vast majority of articles by the media are way off-base when they report on college admissions. Since at this time of year I have an overwhelming fear of students buying into these “how to get off college wait list” schemes, I sit down and compose this post for those on the Johns Hopkins wait list.
Wait list decisions exist because of the sheer competition to get into college these days, and they work as a form of protection for schools to make sure they yield their class each year. It would be wonderful to exist in a world with definitive decisions and no wait lists, but unfortunately that ideal just doesn’t exist.
So what to do? Well first it is important to know that being placed on the Johns Hopkins wait list is NOT a rejection of you and your abilities. It is a statement about the exceptional quality of our applicant pool and the limited number of spots we can offer to make our class. We respect the frustration and apprehension that exists with being placed in a state of limbo, so to assist we try to provide as much information as we can along the way.
Over the years, I have composed an extensive list of frequently asked questions and answers about how the Johns Hopkins wait list works. I have posted the complete list to the Hopkins Forums in an attempt to assist you along the way:
A selection of the questions posted on the discussion thread:
How does the wait list work?
Our enrollment target is 1,275 new freshmen. Based on our estimates we have admitted a percentage of our applicant pool that we expect will yield a class that size. However, it is quite hard to exactly predict the number of students who will accept our offer of admission, hence the existence of the wait list. If we miss our target, then we will admit students off of our wait list to assure that we enroll a complete class.
I still really want to go to Hopkins. What should I do if I want to remain on the wait list?
Instructions on how to remain on the wait list are included in the decision notification e-mail you received. Follow the personalized link in your e-mail to make the decision to remain (or be removed from) the Johns Hopkins wait list. You need to respond by May 1 at the latest.
Should I do anything else besides selecting to remain on the wait list? I heard we can update our applications. Is that true, and what kind of updates can we submit?
You may certainly send updates that you would like added to your application. Such information can assist the Admissions committee if we do review wait list candidates for admission. We suggest the following if updating your application:
– A Letter of Interest:A one or two page letter to the Admissions Committee that states why you are interested in Hopkins, why you feel it is the right school for you, and why you should be admitted from the wait list.
– Updated resume:Let us know what you have gotten involved with during your senior year. This should include updated information not in your original application.
– Recommendations:One or two additional or updated letters.
– Updated transcript:Your most recent grades, even beyond the mid-year report, can be helpful. Ask your guidance counselor to submit them if possible. In addition, a final transcript when it becomes available is requested. (If you are admitted from the wait list, a final transcript will be required.)
Please DO NOT send the following:
(1) additional writing samples
(2) supplemental materials such as CDs, slides, portfolios, etc.
(3) research or term papers.
Just stick to the list above.
Do note that you are not required to submit any additional materials, only to respond online using the personalized link in your e-mail. Also, if you choose to submit updates to your file, it is important that you make sure that they will contribute in a substantive way or provide new information. All updates should be sent to the Admissions Office either via postal mail or fax (410-516-6025). We cannot process application updates submitted through e-mail. When mailing or faxing, include your full name, birth date, school name, and a note that the materials are to be used as a wait list update.
Why was I wait-listed? Was this just a way to break the bad news more gently?
Admissions decisions are comprehensive decisions that take into account many factors included in each individual application within the context of the overall applicant pool. In every application we are searching for the ideal fit with the university based on the information in the applicant files. The Admissions Committee is unable to discuss with applicants why we were not able to offer admission, but it is important to know that offering a student a spot on our wait list is not done out of a courtesy or to lessen the impact of our decision. Any student on the wait list who chooses to remain on the wait list will have a chance for admission if spaces in the class become available.
When will I hear if I’ve been accepted off the wait list? The other schools I was admitted to require a deposit by May 1—should I wait until I hear from Hopkins?
Once again, this all depends on the response from our admitted students. Our decision of whether we will admit students off the wait list will not be made prior to May 1 and it is more likely we will make that determination closer to June 1. We strongly recommend that you submit your deposit to a school where you have been accepted. If you are later admitted to Hopkins from the wait list and choose to attend, you will withdraw your enrollment from the other school and forfeit the previous deposit.
Do you have any historical data of how many students were admitted from the wait list in previous years?
Though every year is different and the numbers vary, here is what happened the past few years:
2011 – Approximately 20 students were admitted from the wait list.
2010 – Approximately 30 students were admitted from the wait list.
2009 – No offers of admission from the wait list.
2008 – Approximately 40 students were admitted from the wait list.
2007 – Approximately 80 offers.
2006 – No offers.
2005 – No offers.
2004 – Approximately 150 offers.
2003 – Approximately 100 offers.
2002 – No offers.
2001 – Approximately 50 offers.
2000 – No offers.
As I said, there is much more information over at the Hopkins Forums. Do make sure to visit the Wait List Discussion Thread (2012) for the complete list of questions and answers. As well, when updates become available they will be posted to that thread first. It may be a good idea for you to bookmark the page.
If you have any questions about the Johns Hopkins Wait List, post them to the discussion thread as I am sure others are wondering the same thing. I will be as prompt as I can be with responses and provide as much detail as possible. I hope this helps.
Now that the dust has settled after the release of Regular Decision notifications this past Thursday, I know that many of our applicants did not receive the news they were hoping for. Every year I hesitate whether I should post a specific entry for denied applicants. I assume that after a student receives a deny decision from Johns Hopkins that they would not choose to return to the blog. I also feel that my comments will not be welcomed by a student after receiving negative news from the University. Lastly, I fear that my words will fail me in expressing the compassion I and my colleagues feel for the students were are unable to admit.
However, I have been surprised to find out over the last few years that many who read my post for denied applicants actually appreciate it. Every year that I have been part of the Admissions Committee at Johns Hopkins University, rendering final decisions has become more difficult. You all know from the media this week that acceptance rates at the most selective colleges are dropping significantly as applicants pools continue to grow rapidly. And this is true at Hopkins this year too as we witnessed the largest applicant pool in our history (20,496) and our lowest acceptance rate (17.7%) ever. No matter what you may think at this time, admissions counselors loathe the process of denying applicants. We all universally agree this is the hardest part of our jobs.
Every year my colleagues and I are faced with the daunting task of selecting very few students from a truly outstanding pool of applicants. As I have written many times before, each applicant is considered thoroughly and holistically by a team of highly committed professionals. Unfortunately, the number of applicants far exceeds the number of positions we can offer (our freshman class will be just 1275 students this year). Selecting students is never an easy process and I know my colleagues join me in saying that we sincerely understand your frustration and anger and respect your disappointment when hearing the unfavorable news.
Many deal with being denied by trying to determine where they fell short. They ask questions about what were they missing or what they did wrong. As I complete my 13th year in college admissions, I can attest to the fact that there is never just one reason that leads to our decisions. When reviewing a student’s application, we take into consideration a vast array of factors including academic achievement, extracurricular involvement, leadership, commitment to community, and promise of future contribution.
It is said often, and it is quite true, that the college admission review process is about fit. Our applicant pool is filled with extremely qualified applicants, but unfortunately being qualified is not the only consideration. Our freshman class is quite small and we are unable to admit everyone that is capable of doing the work. Please do not receive this news as a judgment of your value and your ability, but rather understand the competitive nature of applying to a highly selective institution like Johns Hopkins.
Others will deal with being denied by expressing anger, and levying accusations based on tons of speculation. The days after the release of decision are some of the hardest for me as I tend to take the brunt of many of the attacks, being that my online “Admissions_Daniel” presence is an easy and accessible target. I understand where these accusations of unfairness stem from, but I am also aware of how much time, effort, and passion my colleagues put in the admissions selection process. I could defend vigorously and respond back aggressively at every negative comment but there is no value in that. Venting is pretty much human nature when receiving unfavorable news, and though some will take it too far, I choose to remain above the fray and allow people to deal with the news as they deem appropriate.
I was rejected from my first and second choice schools when I applied to college. I was angry, I vented, and I felt that all my hard work was wasted. But then with the support of my friends and family, I realized I had wonderful other options to choose from. And once I made my selection from the schools that admitted me I forgot all about my “love” for the other schools. I committed myself completely to my new college and never looked back. Even today, after realizing I made the wrong choice in the college I attended (no I am not a JHU alum), I do not look back and wonder “what if.” I made the best of every day of my collegiate experience and still cherish all the memories, even though I did not attend my first choice school.
My advice for now is to forget about Johns Hopkins and any other schools that may not have admitted you for your undergraduate years. Know that there is a college that is going to be uniquely enriched by your presence on their campus and that you will have an amazing undergraduate experience. If there is one thing I have learned over the years, the right college for you is the one that you select to attend and the one you commit yourself to fully.
It is with the deepest sincerity that I wish you the best in your future endeavors.
Answers to a few frequently asked questions:
Can I appeal my decision? Johns Hopkins University does not accept appeals of our decisions nor will we re-evaluate applications with new information. Our decisions are final and are based on the information provided to the Admissions Committee at the time of decision.
Can I find out why I was denied? While we as a committee do not address specific components of a student’s admission decision, we always note that each year we have an outstanding pool of applicants and there are more qualified applicants than we can admit. It is our practice though not to discuss the factors that go into our final decisions nor provide students with a detailed analysis of their specific application evaluation.
Can I apply again and when? Yes you may apply again, but must wait for our next admissions cycle which will be the fall 2013 term. We would strongly encourage you to enroll at another university, and if after two semesters you still feel that Hopkins is the right place for you, you may apply for transfer admission. Transfer admissions information can be found here: http://apply.jhu.edu/faqs/transfer.html.
Six years ago on March 30, decision release day for the Johns Hopkins Class of 2010, I decided to post a new blog entry to our then just four month old Hopkins Insider Admissions Blog. That blog entry provided a run-down of how decision release day had gone and shared a few pictures. I remember posting the entry late in the evening when I got home from work and not thinking anyone would read it. A year later when we prepared to release regular decision notifications for the Johns Hopkins Class of 2011, readership of the Hopkins Insider blog was up so I decided to try something new … live blogging throughout the day. And a tradition was born.
Blue skies over Gilman - what a stunningly beautiful campus we have.
As I write this I embark on my 6th RD notification day live blogging experiment (#12 if you count ED releases as well) and I am excited to announce that I am going to have some help this year. Not only will you be able to follow along my thoughts and views on how the day rolls out, but my colleague and co-author of the Hopkins Insider, Admissions_Shannon, has also agreed to write periodic updates throughout the day. We will provide you a first-hand look at what takes place in Mason Hall (home to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions) on the day we release 19,000+ notifications to our Regular Decision applicants. Through frequent updates we will detail how this long admissions review season comes to a fulfilling end, and we hope we will provide context and helpful information as you prepare to learn of your decision. I will also attempt to keep up with my Twitter account – @AdmissionDaniel – throughout the day, for those who prefer updates in 140 characters or less.
My alarm clock goes off, which today is not a buzzing sound, but the rough tongue of my dog Soze on my forehead telling me he needs an early morning walk. Out we go into a chilly and dark morning and as Soze does his business I checked the weather report and see that it is going to be a lovely, mostly sunny spring day in Baltimore today. Back inside I turn on some music - I’ve been on a serious streak of listening way too much to a playlist of just three songs – “We Are Young” by Fun., “Somebody That I Used to Know” by Gotye and “Charlie Brown” by Coldplay. This will hold me over until I turn on ESPN’s Mike and Mike in the Morning and get my “back and better than ever” fix from Greenie and Golic. Though the last week has been exhausting – scratch that, the last month has been exhausting – scratch that too, the last FOUR MONTHS have been exhausting, I feel I sense of energy and exhilaration that at the end of the day the hard work of all in Mason Hall will come to fruition and the Johns Hopkins Class of 2016 will continue to form. Decision release days have truly become one of the special days every year like my birthday or a big holiday.
He may be sleeping in this picture, but in just a few minutes Soze will be waking me up and getting Decision Release Day underway.
6:30am – Admissions_Shannon
Is it Christmas? No. Are we going to Disneyworld? No. Is it Decision Release Day? YES! They all feel the same when you wake up in the morning – you’re super excited to start your day, but exhausted because you couldn’t sleep the night before. After months of reading applications and holding committee, decision release day has finally arrived! While tonight seems so far away, the day will be a busy one … there are still plenty of packets that need to be sealed and lists to be double checked. For now though, it’s time to get ready for work …
Admissions_Shannon wake-up call delivered by Jack the Cat.
7:30 a.m. – Admissions_Daniel
What an amazingly beautiful spring day it is in Baltimore. I had my sunroof open on my short commute into work and as I arrived, I continued a tradition of snapping a photo of Mason Hall. Now to get my day started in the office.
Dawn over Mason Hall on Decision Release Day
8:15 a.m. – Admissions_Daniel
Just finished composing my To Do list for the day. Seven important items to complete before the release of e-mail decisions tonight. Decided to go witha Foo Fighters playlist for the morning. Going to tackle some e-mail, post a message on College Confidential (ugh!), and check out all of our social media sites. My colleagues are beginning to trickle in.
Yesterday's To Do List on the left (Accomplished!); Today's To Do List on the right (Get to Work!)
8:33 a.m. – Admissions_Shannon
Just got in the office and I am going to start my day now. I might not be as organized as Daniel is with competing To Do lists, but I have a lot on my desk too. First is to share some pictures with you all. Last night, much of the Admissions staff and some great student volunteers stayed late to get as much work done as possible so we could get decisions out today. We worked until about 8:00pm and Daniel and I snapped the following pictures.
Our award-winning admit packets. YES!
Decision bins waiting to be checked again and packets stuffed into envelopes.
The stuffing begins. DON'T SEAL YET.
Some important minds discussing next steps.
The long line of letters waiting to be checked one last time.
All Boxed Up
Admit Packets cost a lot to mail priority. $5.30 each!
10:03 a.m. – Admissions_Daniel
Nothing new to report. We are in a holding pattern as Financial Aid finishes stuffing some award letters and we do some database reviews. I have been getting through a variety of my to do list items and also had a compelling conversation with a colleague about Hopkins Lacrosse and how excited we are that they are ranked #1 in the nation. I wish I could head up to NYC this weekend to watch the team take on UNC in the Konica Minolta Big City Classic. It does though conflict with Wrestlemania 28 … Rock v. Cena in the “Once in a Lifetime Match” and Tripe H v. Undertaker in the “End of an Era” Hell-in-the-Cell match. Yeah, I may be 37 but I still watch wrestling. Got a problem with that?
10:45 a.m - We have begun the last round of checks of all decision letters. This will take some time. This is the third full check of letters against our applicant database and is proof of how meticulous our process is at every stage. Thorough doesn’t even begin to describe how much we put into each stage of our application processing, application review, decision making, and even production of decision letters. Best head upstairs to help my colleagues.
11:12 a.m. - OK, I need to clear something up. One of our admissions student volunteers questioned whether I am truly still a WWE fan (ugh, it was WWF back in my day) or whether I was just writing it to seem hip in this blog. Well, take a look at this photo. Yeah, that’s right … I have mini Rock and Cena figures on my desk at work. And even better, they were a birthday gift from Shannon. #YouCantSeeMe #TeamBringIt
Proof I am still in a fan of wrestling.
11:51 a.m. - Just got the call that the class is sealed, all checks are complete, and we can now seal and stack all of our decision letters and packets. Then off to the post office we will go. There will be a bit of silence for the next few hours as Shannon and I work with our colleagues to get all of this done. Stay tuned for more updates later in the afternoon.
11:45 am – Admissions_Shannon
Today has been a crazy one…a day full of double tasking! While we are preparing for the big mail, we are also getting ready for our Admitted Student events in April. In fact, just finished chatting with some of our current tour guides about our Lunch with a Student Program. Thank goodness for Bryan Nance … I missed out on breakfast so he brought me some potatoes to snack on. Yum. Now I am going to head upstairs and help everyone.
Yum, Potatoes. Thanks Admissions_Bryan.
3:00 p.m. – Admissions_Daniel
Apologies for the lack of updates. It has been a whirlwind of activity in the office for the last few hours. I need to take a breath and download some photos. I will have a re-cap of everything posted in the next half hour. But … YES … decisions have been mailed.
3:17 p.m. – As I know many of you are curious, I am going to reflect back over the last few hours. Here is how everything transpired in order:
1) Last check of letters is completed as the entire Admissions staff chipped in.
2) The sealing of admit packets commences.
3) The heavy lifters — Daniel and JB — move all sealed admit packets from their bins to U.S. mail bins.
4) In record time all packets are sealed, loaded into mail bins, and ready to move downstairs.
5) Three SUVs appear in the semi-circular driveway in front of Mason Hall just as all the mailed decisions arrive.
6) The loading of the cars commences with many, many hands.
7) The cars are loaded. Susan heads up to the main Johns Hopkins post office in Mount Washington with all deny, wait list, and international mailings. JB, Shannon, Calvin, Sarah, and Daniel head to the downtown Baltimore Post Office with two cars and close to 40 bins of admit packets.
8) The unloading of the cars takes place simultaneously in two different locations and just around 1:45 p.m. all regular decision notifications are out of the hands of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
9) Back to Homewood and Mason for some lunch and to reflect.
10) Time to blog.
Whew. A busy few hours indeed, but one of excitement and joy in our office. Slideshow to come very soon.
3:31 p.m. – Slideshow time. Enjoy.
3:35 p.m. – Admissions_Shannon
Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to the post office we went! With the final seal of approval from the president’s office, it was time to seal the mail. All hands on deck, the entire admissions staff – PR, operations, IT, communications, and counselors – got the priority mail envelopes ready for shipment. We then caravanned down to the Baltimore City post office where we unloaded two cars filled to the brim with acceptance packets.
When we returned to Mason Hall the first thing we noted was how empty the main room on the third floor felt. See!
Then it was time to play. Calvin decided that I needed to be pushed in one of the large mail bins. Thankfully no one was injured, but Daniel snapped some good pictures.
OK, I needed that.
Now that everything is in the mail, we have had a bit of fun, it is time to prepare the emails to be sent!
5:05 p.m. - After a LONG day at the office, things have really quieted down. People are once again busy, but this time, preparing for April. I had one last meeting with current students, and now I am out the door to head to Kickball – yes, I play adult kickball with some co-workers and friends! It will be great to relax and take a break after a super busy week.
Time for Kickball
5:15 p.m. – Admissions_Daniel
Here is our press release that discusses the release of Regular Decision notifications:
Press Release Office of Undergraduate Admissions Johns Hopkins University March 29, 2012
Thursday March 29, 2012—The Office of Undergraduate Admissions officially “sealed” the Class of 2016 today, sending admit packets and e-mails to 3,071 accepted Regular Decision applicants. These talented students will join 557 students who were admitted Early Decision in December.
A snapshot of the admitted members of the Class of 2016:
Total applications received: 20,496 – record applicant total for 11th straight year
Total students admitted: 3,628
Overall acceptance rate: 17.7% – an all-time low
Males/females: 50.4% / 49.6%
Preliminary areas of academic interest:
Whiting School of Engineering: 38%
Krieger School of Arts and Sciences: 62%
- Humanities: 27% (of admitted KSAS students)
- Natural sciences: 45%
- Social and behavioral sciences: 26%
All 50 states represented, plus D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands are represented. New York continues to lead state representation in both applications received and offers of admission.
293 international students have been admitted, residing in 65 nations. Of particular note, 18 European countries are represented with offers made to 83 students. 123 students represent 11 East Asian countries. There are also 34 Canadian students, 20 students from South America, 18 students from South Asia, and 12 students from Central America and the Caribbean.
Regular Decision admitted students have until May 1, 2012, to reply to the university’s offer of admissions.
Congratulations to the Class of 2016!
5:38 p.m. – Admissions_Daniel
As my colleagues on our IT team working diligently to prepare to begin the release of e-mail notifications starting after 6:00 p.m., there are a few important things I want to review, and I hope you heed this advice.
FIRST, we will start sending e-mails after 6:00 p.m. ET. Please note the bold, italic, underlined emphasis on the key words start and after. This means that you will not receive an e-mail in your in-box immediately at 6:00 p.m. It will take a while for all the e-mails to be sent out (probably over an hour) 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, … and there is no message — DO NOT PANIC and do not assume anything. Be patient and allow the process to work properly. (Also, there is no specific order to how we will send e-mails.)
SECOND, here is some sound advice that I hope you follow. For the next hour (if not two hours) step away from your e-mail. Stop reading this blog. Stop checking your in-box. Stop checking College Confidential (in fact I suggest stopping that altogether). Relax. Take a nap. Get a snack. Read a magazine. Eat an orange. Go do something that will calm you and distract you. Take your mind off the ticking clock.
THIRD, and most importantly, after you receive your e-mail decision my strong suggestion is that you log-off and go spend some time with your family. No matter what decision you receive, let the news sink in and do it off-line. This is a major milestone in your 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 an online community. Your family is not Facebook. Your family in not some anonymous screenname. Your family is not this blog. Please follow this advice. Receive your decision and sign off. Don’t update your Facebook status immediately. Don’t post a blog comment. Don’t go post your emotions on some Web forums. 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.
Best wishes to all of you. This is our last update until after we release the e-mail notifications. We will have a few final thoughts later on tonight.
8:15 a.m. – Admissions_Daniel
All our e-mails have now been sent. Please continue to have patience because e-mail servers all have different delivery times. The process seems to have gone quite smooth this year (fingers crossed). I will monitor things throughout the evening. Please remember a few things I posted in the decision release blog earlier in the week:
- DO NOT share your decision e-mail with other people nor post the message on any public form or Web site. The e-mails contain personalized information.
- If you did not receive an e-mail tonight, I suggest:
Check SPAM folders.
If your e-mail address is associated with a private school, your school’s server may block our decision e-mails and you should check with your school’s network administrator to have the e-mail released.
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. (Check e-mails that you may have used when registering for the SAT/ACT for example, such as your parents e-mail accounts.)
In the rare occurrence you don’t receive your e-mail decision, you may call the Office of Undergraduate Admissions on Friday at 410-516-8171 to request your decision e-mail be re-sent to an alternate e-mail address. We ask that only the applicant or parent/guardian of the applicant calls. We will only be able to re-send a decision e-mail if the identity of the caller can be reasonably assured. Please also be prepared to share an alternate e-mail address. We will only process requests to re-send decision e-mails via phone, not e-mail.
I got a bunch of work to take care of, but I will have one final update a bit later on.
9:15 p.m. – Admissions_Shannon
By this point, decisions have been released. Now, I’ll be curling up with my book (currently reading the Hunger Games) and heading to bed. I am looking forward to meeting the admitted members of the Class of 2016 in the coming month, and, believe it or not, beginning to work with the potential members of the Class of 2017. This was fun sharing the live blogging duties with Daniel. I’ll let him finish it off later tonight.
10:10 a.m. – Admissions_Daniel
Wow, what a day. I’ve been going non-stop for nearly 17 straight hours, but it has been totally worth it. I started the day excited and exhausted and as we wrap-up another decision release day I must say I remain excited and exhausted. There will be time over the next few days to reflect on all the decisions, and I plan to post very soon new blog entries for the admits, the wait listed, and the denies. The work will continue tomorrow but I need to get some shut eye. I always wish I would have something more poignant to say at the end of this long day of blogging, but unfortunately the words are failing me. I will leave you with one of my favorite shots of the Homewood campus take by current Johns Hopkins junior Greco Song:
I have exciting news to share. Regular Decision notifications for applicants to the Johns Hopkins University Class of 2016 will be released this Thursday, March 29. After nearly four months of processing, reviewing, discussing, and deliberating, the Admissions staff has reached the final stage and is just a few days away from sharing the news with our over 19,000 Regular Decision applicants for freshman admission. Read on for all of the details on how the release of RD notifications will work on Thursday.
JHU CLASS OF 2016, REGULAR DECISION NOTIFICATION DAY = THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 2012
The printing of decision letters has begun.
How will decisions be released? By mail: On the afternoon of Thursday, 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 Thursday. 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 AFTER 6:00 p.m. ET. Please see that I have emphasized the word AFTER. 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 decision e-mail will not arrive exactly at 6:00 p.m. Please have patience. In fact, I suggest you find something to distract yourself for an hour, and then check your e-mail account.
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.
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.
Do not share your decision e-mail!
Each decision e-mail is personalized. Acceptance and wait list e-mails have a personalized URL in the message and therefore should not be shared, especially on any public forum or website. To protect your privacy and the accuracy of information, do not share or post your decision e-mail.
The mailing bins have arrived.
What happens if I do not receive an e-mail decision on Thursday evening? If you do not receive an e-mail, there are few things you can do:
Check SPAM folders.
If your e-mail address is associated with a private school, your school’s server may block our decision e-mails and you should check with your school’s network administrator to have the e-mail released.
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. (Check e-mails that you may have used when registering for the SAT/ACT for example, such as your parents e-mail accounts.)
What if none of those methods work, and I have still not received my e-mail decision by Friday? In such rare occurrences, you may call the Office of Undergraduate Admissions on Friday at 410-516-8171 to request your decision e-mail be re-sent to an alternate e-mail address. We ask that only the applicant or parent/guardian of the applicant calls. We will only be able to re-send a decision e-mail if the identity of the caller can be reasonably assured. Please also be prepared to share an alternate e-mail address. We will only process requests to re-send decision e-mails via phone, not e-mail.
Can I call the Admissions Office to discuss my decision with an admissions representative?
We do not discuss the reasons behind decisions over the phone. Additionally, the only phone calls we will receive on Friday will be from applicants who did not receive their decision via e-mail. Starting Monday, April 2, Admissions staff will receive phone calls with questions about decisions. Once again, 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.
The bins of admit packets are eagerly waiting.
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 Thursday 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? 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 Thursday evening, following the release of all other decision notification e-mails.
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.
When the phrase “March Madness” is uttered these days it evokes thoughts of brackets, upsets, Cinderellas, and Dick Vitale. In the corridors of Mason Hall, home to the Johns Hopkins University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions, this phrase represents a much different type of madness. The Admissions staff is currently focused on the committee rounds of decision-making and finalizing the regular decision selection process for the Class of 2016. Just as the next three weeks are considered madness for the world of college basketball, in the realm of college admissions a hectic and feverish demeanor is commonplace. But unlike the NCAA Division I College Basketball champions which will be decided on April 2 in New Orleans for the men and April 3 in Denver for the women, we cannot wait until after the calendar turns to April to finish our process. This Admissions madness must end in March.
Thankfully, the end approaches. Monday, March 5 was a significant day as all the Admissions counselors returned to the office and we shifted from the first read process to committee review. I like to describe this as the end of our winter reading hibernation. Basically, beginning right after the release of Early Decision notifications on December 15, the Admissions counseling team begins evaluating Regular Decision applications in earnest. Since to review applications you need to limit the distractions as much as possible, the majority of the team decides to work from home most days. Therefore throughout January and February we don’t get to see each other much and our days and nights are filled with a common routine of cycling through applications, supplements, transcripts, recommendations, essays, and the like.
Images of March Admissions Madness: Rosters, yard sticks, and lots of paper.
This winter has flown by though. Maybe because there have been so few days that actually felt like winter in Baltimore. If I am remembering correctly we have had just a few days with actual snowfall and the most accumulation ranged from a dusting to 2 inches maximum. (As a side-note, I know the reason for our mild winter. Back in early December I bought a brand new snow shovel at Target and so of course it wouldn’t snow and I wouldn’t get to enjoy me purchase. You are welcome mid-Atlantic residents.) The mild winter has continued as yesterday it was 81 degrees in Baltimore and the forecast is for near summer temperatures all week. I know the students love it as they get to take a break from mid-terms and preparation for their spring break next week, by relaxing studying on the Beach.
Though the weather may be mild, the volume of work the Admissions staff still faces is like a monsoon. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) However, as I said, the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight. With just a few weeks left until we complete the application review process, I felt it was time to end the Hopkins Insider blog hibernation as well. We hope you enjoyed the “Meet the Admissions Staff” entries posted throughout January and February, but it is time to get back to new updates and content. There are a lot of common questions this time of year by Regular Decision applicants, and while I need to get back to committee and the “shaping of the class” with my colleagues, I felt it important to share answers to these frequently asked questions. I hope this information helps, and Shannon and I do plan to blog more frequently in the coming weeks.
Images of March Admissions Madness: Remnants of Committee - tons of caffeine
How many applications were received this year? This is always a common question and for some reason our total is constantly speculated by news sources. The official count this year is 20,407. This is the first time we have ever broken the 20k mark and is a 5.2% increase from last year. Of this total, 1,459 were Early Decision applicants and we accepted 561 students from that group back in December.
How many applicants will be accepted in Regular Decision?
Don’t know yet. That is the work we are currently doing right now. The committee rounds are when we “shape our class” and use predictive modeling to determine how many students we need to admit to yield the class we want. To determine our class and the number of admits we use an in-depth statistical system to help guide our numbers, but in making decisions we never veer from our holistic approach of reviewing complete applications. We will release such data after decisions notifications have been sent out.
When will Regular Decisions notifications be released?
Unfortunately at this time I do have an official answer to that question. I can let you know that we are currently targeting Friday, March 30 as a tentative release date but that has not been officially confirmed. We might need to go later, and we are hoping we might be able to go a day earlier. I can confirm that decisions will not go out sooner than March 29 and we must release decisions by April 1. When an official date is determined, and that may not be until the last week in March, it will be announced on the Hopkins Insider blog.
We wholeheartedly understand the anxiety our applicants are feeling this time of year and that you all just want to know the exact date when you will hear the news. Please do not assume we are dragging our feet and attempting to prolong this process. We are working morning, day, and late night to complete our work, finalize our class, and move on to enjoyable April yield events. We want to release decisions as much as you want to receive them, but none of us are willing to rush through a very delicate process. We are perfectionists at this time of year, and we need to be, especially in a year with such strong quality and a record applicant pool. When we know, we will let you know.
Images of March Admissions Madness: Materials for decision release have arrived
How will Regular Decision notifications be released?
Most likely just how we released them last year, just on a different date. I encourage you to read through this blog entry I posted last year regarding how our decision release process works: Breaking News: RD Notification Release Explained.
Can I check my application status online?
No. We do not have a portal system for checking application status online like some other universities. Our Operations staff contacted students with incomplete applications already and those students were provided a chance to submit their missing items. At this time if you were not contacted about missing application items, you can safely assume your application is complete.
Can I still submit application updates? Unfortunately no. Since the Admissions Committee is in the process of rendering final decisions it is too late for additional updates to be added to an applicant’s file.
Images of March Admissions Madness: Admit packets getting ready
Now that you are more informed about what is taking place in the Admissions Office, back to the madness for me. Stay patient and know that my colleagues and I are working hard to create the best Johns Hopkins Class of 2016 as possible. We all have a great respect for our process and for our applicants, and the work we do over the next few weeks may be meticulous but it insures that we are diligent, accurate, and principled.
As the calendar turned to 2012 a few weeks ago, most of the news stories referenced in some manner the impending doomsday mythology associated with the year 2012. For me the turning of the calendar meant three things: (1) an increase of frantic messages being sent to the main Admissions e-mail account; (2) an increase in my stress level as I adjust to the fact that I am now in the throes of application reading season; and (3) an increase in the need of reminders I have to send myself about not writing the date as 1/11/11 but rather 1/11/12 . Pretty much, this new year represents not an apocalypse for me, but rather business as usual.
Outside of some leadership changes, 2012 feels pretty much like 2011 in the world of Johns Hopkins Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the same as previous years as well. It may be a new year but the team inside Mason Hall is focused on what we always focus on in January: the third floor is inundated with application mail and the processing of online submissions and the counseling staff on the second floor are logging on and reading Regular Decision applications. This same scenario will repeat daily for the next twoplus months. While my colleagues and I press forward through application processing and review, those of you who completed Regular Decision applications now must test the limits of your patience and just wait.
One thing I have learned in my many years of working in Admissions is that waiting is not something high school seniors do well, and this lack of patience often leads to many (MANY!) frequently asked questions. So at the end of this post, I will be providing answers to the most frequently asked questions this time of year. But before that I thought it would be helpful to share some important upcoming deadlines as well as what you can expect from this blog in the coming weeks.
Meet the Admissions Staff: Starting next week, the Hopkins Insider blog will continue an annual winter tradition where you get to know the members of the Johns Hopkins Undergraduate Admissions Committee. (If you click on the Admissions Staff Profiles category on the left-side menu, you can see past entries.) This winter we return to the format of questionnaire profiles. Working with my colleagues Shannon and Shelly, and with a few suggestions from current SAAB members, we have compiled a list of questions we feel will help you all get to know a little bit about the people actually reviewing your application.
Regular Decision Notification Day: All we can tell you right now is decision notifications will be released during the last days of March. No official date has been set and we tend not to select an official release date until the middle of March at the earliest. We guarantee that decisions will be released by April 1st. Once a notification date has been selected, it will be announced via this blog.
So stay tuned … be patient … and now on to the FAQS:
(The pictures throughout the post are what our Operations space looks like as we process the thousands of pieces of mail we have received in the last few months — the process might be “paperless” but that doesn’t mean there is no paper.)
Is my application complete? Do you have all my stuff? With the volume of application materials we need to process right now, we are not able to confirm whether application files are complete or to identity which individual items have been received. It takes time, so we ask patience of all of our applicants. Once your application is downloaded and processed, you are sent an e-mail acknowledgment. This indicates that our Operations staff has begun to process your application (not necessarily that it is complete). Please remember, with thousands of applications to process, this e-mail acknowledgment is not automatic and may take a few weeks to be sent.
In early February, once we have processed all received application materials, we will contact via e-mail students whose applications remain incomplete. Applicants receiving a missing items correspondence will be given an opportunity to provide us with any missing items before we complete the evaluation of their applications. Rest assured that application files are checked carefully, multiple times, for completeness.
Most importantly, please do not call right now to check on the status of your application or see if we have received a specific part of your application. We will not be able to answer such questions until February at the earliest. Please be patient and know that we will confirm the receipt of your application once it is processed and we do not review incomplete applications.
Can I check my status online? Why haven’t I gotten a user name and password to check my status through the application portal? Unlike many schools, Johns Hopkins does not have an online system for checking application status. We do things the old-fashioned way. You will not receive a log-in and password where you can track your application materials. Additionally, be aware that our system does not directly connect with the Common Application system to update the status of all processed materials. Because the Common Application site says something has not been received / processed, that does not mean that is the status of those materials in our office. This is especially true of any mailed materials. (Do note, those who apply for financial aid will get access to the ISIS system that tracks financial aid application materials. This system has nothing to do with applications for admission.)
Can I add items to my application even though the deadline has passed? Uh oh, I made a mistake in my application, how can I correct it? Yes, we will still accept application updates and we do have a process for error corrections. It is simple. To provide an update or error correction, you must compose a cover letter and submit these materials by fax (410-516-6025) or mail to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. In the cover letter, you should include your full name, birth date, and school name (SS# is optional but can help), so that we can merge this new information with your application folder. Also, all updates should be sent in by February 15. Finally, DO NOT SEND UPDATES VIA E-MAIL, as we do not process application materials received through e-mail.
My e-mail address / mailing address / contact information has changed … what do I do? All changes to personal contact information including updates to email, phone numbers, and mailing addresses need to be sent to email@example.com. Please include in the e-mail, your full name, birth date, high school name as well as the general time frame when you submitted your application.
May I submit January standardized test scores (SAT Reasoning, SAT Subject exams, or TOEFL) with my regular decision application? Though Regular Decision candidates should have completed required tests no later than December of their senior year, students may submit January examinations if they are re-taking the SAT Reasoning exam, are taking SAT II subject exams, or are submitting TOEFL exams. Although we cannot guarantee that January scores will arrive before the Admissions Committee evaluation, past experience suggests that scores taken on these dates usually arrive in time. If the scores arrive before the evaluation then they will be considered with one’s application. There is no need to rush scores from the testing agencies, as our office will not process them any quicker. We cannot guarantee that scores sent after our application deadline will be processed in time to be reviewed with one’s application and we do not delay the review of an application to wait for scores sent after the application deadline.
Do I have to submit a mid-year report and updated transcript? Yes, that is a clearly stated application requirement. All applicants must submit a mid-year report and updated transcript by the deadline of February 15th. The mid-year report must be submitted directly by one’s school and must include an updated senior year transcript. We do not accept any of these materials submitted directly by the applicant.
I have received a number of requests for more pictures of my dog Soze. Here is one I took a few days ago. Soze doing what he loves to do ... relaxing and sun tanning.
Remember, if you have any further questions you can:
- Send an e-mail to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Post a comment to this blog and I will respond back in a few days.
With just a few days remaining in 2011, I am taking a short break from my holiday vacation in Florida with my family to post an update to the blog for those of you working on your Regular Decision application to Johns Hopkins University. For those of you who have waited until the last days and may wait until the last moments to click submit on your application, this blog is for you. As the Janaury 1 Regular Decision deadline looms, many of you will have last minute questions. How do I know? Because of vast experience. Every year during my holiday vacation I take an hour or two out of my relaxation time each day to respond to the questions coming through any number of means.
Happy Holidays from the Johns Hopkins University Office of Undergraduate Admissions
So in an effort to diminish the time I will spend the next few days responding to questions, I present these answers to the most frequently asked questions by the application procrastinators. I hope these answers assist you in your last-minute haze of forms and looming deadlines. Just remember, next time when you have over three plus months to complete something, waiting until the last minute is never the best policy.
THE DEADLINE QUESTIONS So what is the exact deadline for submitting one’s application? Before the days of online applications this used to be such an easy question to answer — you need to have a postmark date prior to January 1. Now there tends to be so much confusion over such a simple concept.
The regular decision deadline is January 1, 2012. This is our online submission deadline and our postmark deadline. Applicants should submit their online application materials no later than 11:59 p.m. on January 1st. Since January 1 is a Sunday this year, any mailed materials should have been sent before the weekend. But since we are nice, we will accept application materials that are postmarked by January 3, 2012, as January 2 is a national holiday.
What subsequently follows are two issues – time zone questions and Common Application / Universal College Application technical difficulties. This is why I strongly urge you all to finish your applications prior to January 1 and submit it. This gives you a window in case anything goes wrong, and it rules out any confusion about time zones. There will be a ton of traffic on the Common Application / Universal College Application servers throughout January 1, and we all know that computer servers are sometimes not the most reliable devices. We are understanding of such issues, but once again, why risk it.
SUBMISSION OF SCHOOL MATERIALS Is it a problem if you have yet to submit your application, but some of your application materials (school forms, tests, etc.) have already been submitted? Not a problem at all. Applicants to Johns Hopkins University may submit application materials such as test scores, letters of recommendation, and school reports along with transcripts in advance of their submission of their application. These documents will be processed and placed in a pending folder until one’s application is submitted, received, and processed. Then we will merge all documents and determine whether one’s application is complete. To assist with the proper processing of documents we request that all materials include the applicant’s full name, birth date, and school.
What if your school materials have yet to be submitted and because of the holiday week or inclement weather, they won’t be submitted until after the deadline? First, this should not be a problem since you should request this information before your school goes on holiday break. However, we understand though at times school-related application materials such as the secondary school report, transcript, fee waiver forms and letters of recommendation cannot be sent by that date. We will be flexible with the application deadline for those parts of the application; however the student portions of the application must be submitted online or postmarked by the January 1st deadline. The school materials of the application may be sent after the January 1 deadline, but not later than January 15th. If your school materials are going to be delayed longer than that, your guidance counselor needs to call the admissions office to request an extension.
SENDING SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS Can I submit supplemental materials (such as an arts supplement) to support my application? Applicants to Johns Hopkins University may submit supplemental information such as CDs, DVDs, slides, art portfolios, research abstracts and other such items. There are no additional forms that need to be completed nor do we have a preference regarding format. We accept Arts Supplement forms but do not require them. We do request that you include your full name, birth date, and high school on any supplement materials you send in. All information needs to be mailed to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions; we do not process materials submitted through e-mail. Supplemental materials should be submitted by the application deadline.
Please note that supplemental information will not be sent to academic departments for official reviews, but will remain in the Admissions Office with your application. There is no guarantee that supplemental information will be reviewed, but in most cases the Admissions committee will have some time to evaluate such additional information. Finally, it is important that original items not be sent, as the Admissions office is not able to return submitted application materials.
SUBMITTING STANDARDIZED TEST SCORES Always a ton of questions about how to submit your test scores, can scores be sent via transcript, what is the deadline to submit scores, and can I confirm you have received my scores? The Admissions Office requires that prospective applicants send their standardized test scores (SAT, ACT, or TOEFL) to Johns Hopkins University directly from the testing agencies. Our school codes are:
The Admissions Office will accept standardized test scores submitted with an official high school transcript only if all test scores are displayed and that the scores appear officially on the transcript, not hand-written in by the student or counselor.
Test scores need to be requested from the testing agencies prior to our stated application deadlines but may arrive after the deadline. Though the scores will arrive past the deadline they will still be considered if requested in advance of the deadline. There is no need to rush score reports as they do not arrive any earlier.
The Admissions Office does not send confirmation of test scores received. You will need to contact the College Board and ACT directly to confirm that your scores were sent to Johns Hopkins University. If they confirm your scores were sent than that means they are in our database.
May I submit January standardized test scores (SAT, SAT Subject exams, or TOEFL) with my regular decision application? Though regular decision candidates should have completed required tests no later than December of their senior year, students may take the January examinations if they are re-taking the SAT exam, are taking SAT II subject exams, or are submitting TOEFL exams. Although we cannot guarantee that January scores will arrive before the Admissions Committee evaluation, past experience suggests that scores taken on these dates usually arrive in time. If the tests arrive before the application review then they will be considered, but we will not delay the review of an application to wait for January test scores.
Should I rush my test scores? There is no need to rush test score reports as they do not get processed by our office any sooner.
POST-SUBMISSION QUESTIONS After you submit your application, immediately you start asking questions like did they receive my application; did my school materials arrive correctly; is my application complete? As you can imagine, this becomes a very busy time in the Admissions Office as we process all the application materials. Because of the volume of records we handle, it is not possible to automatically confirm whether application files are complete or to identity which individual items have been received. Unlike many school, Johns Hopkins does not have an online system for checking application status.
Once your application is download and processed, you will be sent an e-mail acknowledgment. This indicates your application file has been opened (not necessarily that it is complete). Please remember, with thousands of applications to process this e-mail acknowledgment is not automatic and may take a few weeks to be sent. In late February, once we have processed all received application materials, we will contact students whose 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. Rest assured that application files are checked carefully for completeness. Please do not call to check on the status of your application as we will not be able to answer such questions until the beginning of February at the earliest. Please be patient and know that we will confirm the receipt of your application once it is processed.
Some additional post-submission questions include:
Can I add items to my application even though the deadline has passed? Uh oh, I made a mistake in my application, how can I correct it? Yes, we will still accept application updates and we do have a process for error corrections. It is simple. To provide an update or error correction, you must compose a cover letter and submit these materials by fax (410-516-6025) or mail to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Please note that we do request in the cover letter you include your full name, birth date, and school name (SS# is optional but can help), so that we can merge this new information with your application folder. Also note, that all updates should be sent in by February 1st. Finally, DO NOT SEND UPDATES VIA E-MAIL, as we do not process application materials received through e-mail.
Even more questions asked after post-submission. These are all legitimate questions, but all too early to ask. Once we have updated information, it will be posted on the blog.
When will decisions be released?
— Last week in March. No official date has been set yet.
How many applications have been received?
— Not sure yet. We will reveal a total sometime in February.
How many will be admitted?
— No clue. We have to review applications first.
What will the acceptance rate be?
— Also, no clue. We will rely on our formulas when the time comes.
EVEN MORE QUESTIONS
Here are additional sources to obtain answers to your questions:
I hope these answers help, and that in some way they minimize the number of e-mails we will receive the rest of the week (probably not going to happen, oh well). Best wishes and we will see you in the new year.
Yesterday was my last day in the office for 2011. It wasn’t my last day of work for 2011, as I will be doing work tasks over the next couple of weeks such as answering e-mails, keeping our social media sites updated, and reading some Regular Decision applications. But basically my vacation has begun. Later today, Soze and I will begin a two-day drive down to Florida to spend the holidays with my family. I am excited to have this time off and even more excited to see my niece Lilly and nephew Cooper. I haven’t seen them and my family since late August, nor have I had an actual day off since then. So yes, this is clearly a much needed vacation and break.
Lilly and Cooper getting excited for Uncle Admissions_Daniel and Uncle Soze to arrive in Florida to celebrate the holidays.
While in the office yesterday there was a much different vibe than the previous few weeks. The proverbial dust has settled and we all are feeling much more relaxed. The pace leading up to the release of decision notifications is always hectic, and the aftermath is always a mix of relief and a feeling of accomplishment. The vibe yesterday was a bit different than previous years though, as I think it has finally begun to sink in that we are no longer an office under the vision and guidance of Dean John Latting. Dean Latting’s last day was Friday as he joined the staff at our annual holiday party where teams compete in duck pin bowling and best holiday costumes. But now Dean Latting is at Emory and we move-on to the Regular Decision application phase.
Admissions Holiday Party Team Bad Holiday Sweaters and Sunglasses.
Admissions Holiday Party Team "Save the Bow"
Before fully turning the page to RD, I thought I would provide some interesting and hopefully helpful follow-up information and reflections on the release of Class of 2016 Early Decision notifications. December 15, 2011 was a record-breaking day for the Johns Hopkins Office of Undergraduate Admissions and especially when it relates to this blog. The traffic to the Hopkins Insider blog on December 15 are staggering:
4,641 visits to the blog for the 24 hours period of 12/15/11 (up from 3,951 last year).
2,464 unique visitors (up from 1,970 last year).
10,422 page views (up from 7,597 last year). WOW!
31.59% of visits were new visitors and average time on the site was 7:39.
Live-blogging totaled 2,939 words; 13 pictures; over 50 comments.
The analytics could actually have been even higher, if not for our servers being sluggish between the peak hour of 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Still, in every category records were broken.
As I briefly mentioned near the end of the live-blog on Thursday evening there are three different groups to address follow-up thoughts to: denied students, deferred students, and admitted students. As I prefer to do in these “look back” entries, I want to share some additional thoughts I have for each group.
To the Denied Students: Please know that I and all of my colleagues understand how difficult receiving such a decision from your first-choice school can be. We respect the frustration and anger you feel, but hope that you can understand the daunting task we are faced with selecting very few students from a truly outstanding pool of applicants. Many will deal with rejection by trying to determine where they fell short or focusing on statistics. That is understandable but it is short-sighted.
Our decisions are decisions of preference and fit, and not a rejection of an individual. I can attest to the fact that we extensively deliberate about the candidates for admission, especially during the ED review process. When reviewing a student’s application, we take into consideration a vast array of factors including academic achievement, extracurricular involvement, leadership, commitment to community, promise of future contribution, and fit. This may seem to be just rhetoric, and I can probably not persuade you that it’s not true, but honestly there is never one reason that leads to our decisions and the words holistic and comprehensive have true value to us. Our applicant pool is filled with qualified applicants, but unfortunately being qualified is not the only consideration. Our freshman class is small and we are unable to admit everyone who is capable of doing the work. Please do not receive this news as a judgment of your value and your ability, but rather understand the competitive nature of applying to a highly selective institution like Johns Hopkins.
My advice now is to forget about Johns Hopkins. Know that there is a college that is going to be uniquely enriched by your presence on their campus and that you will have an amazing undergraduate experience. If there is one thing I have learned over the years, it’s that the right college for you is the one that you select to attend and the one you commit yourself to fully from freshman to senior year.
To the Deferred Students: Most say that this is the hardest of the decisions one can receive during the ED round of review because it feels like a state of limbo. And that is true. There is confusion about how to react. The news is not good, but it is also not a final decision. We understand that being asked to wait three more months is not the decision you were hoping for, but unfortunately defer decisions are part of the ED process.
The best message I can share with you all is that there is still hope. Every year ED defers are admitted during RD, and defers are provided the same chance of admissions as applicants who apply Regular Decision. Yes the competition remains tough, and yes we are going to focus on your progress in your senior year, but a defer decision is the admissions committee stating that there are still factors that are of interest once the context of the entire applicant pool is known.
It is important to note that we do not just politely defer ED applicants into our RD applicant pool to delay bad news, and the amount of denied applicants significantly outweighs those deferred. Those who are deferred still have a chance for admission; otherwise we would not have deferred the decision. However, your hopes need to be tempered. Being deferred does mean there were weaknesses in your application that raised concerns with the admissions committee.
So the question is what can you do? Well read this: Early Decision Defers.We have compiled an extensive list of advice and answers to frequently asked questions for the deferred applicant which we know will be helpful.
To the Admits: Congratulations! You are the first members of the Johns Hopkins Class of 2016 and we look forward to welcoming you to campus in about nine months. There will be a lot of things you will need to do between now and move-in dates at the end of August, but there is time to get to those items. Now is a time to celebrate, start wearing your JHU clothing, put the bumper sticker on the car, and get to know you future classmates via the special Facebook group. For right now the only date of importance is January 15 – you need to submit your candidate reply form (CRF) and enrollment and housing deposit before that date.
In late March you will be contacted about the next steps. You will get your JHED-ID, set-up your @jhu.edu e-mail account, and gain access to the New Student Portal and your enrolling freshman to-do list. In the meantime, enjoy the holidays, continue to enjoy your senior year, and let January 1 pass without any stress.
One favor though … do not become infected with senioritis. Do not allow your admission to become in jeopardy by letting your focus in school lapse. Yes we admitted you now, but we will review your mid-year and final transcripts and please do not make our jobs difficult.
I am off to pack and get on the road. I-95 South here I come. Happy Holidays to all and Regular Decision applicants check back soon for an update tailored just for you.