Category: Application Cycle (’07-’08)

Equal Time for the Regular Decision Applicants


Despite the title of this entry, I must start with some updates on the Early Decision notification process. Good news everyone. We’ve moved forward at a good pace over the last couple of weeks and therefore we have met our internal goal of releasing decisions one day earlier this year. So unless something tragic occurs over the next 48 hours (knock on wood … over and over again), Early Decision notifications for the Fall 2008 applicant pool will be released on Friday, December 14, 2007.

Just like last year, the process will work the same way:

  • All Early Decision notifications will be mailed on Friday, December 14. This includes all admit packages, as well as defer and deny letters.
  • We will also email decision notifications to those applicants who indicated an email address on their application.
  • We will begin sending emails at 6:00 p.m. EST on Friday, December 14. The reason for this is that we feel that receiving your college admissions decision should be a personal experience that you share with yourself and your family. We prefer students not receive decisions during the middle of the school day, so we wait until the majority of our applicants are out of school.
  • If an applicant does not receive an email it is because either there was no email provided with the application, the email address provided no longer works, or a data entry error. Unfortunately, we do not re-send emails, so in such situations the student must wait for the mail to arrive.
  • We will not release the “subject lines” of our email decisions in advance. The content of these emails does change from year-to-year.
    Admissions decisions can be released over the phone starting Tuesday, December 18. We will only release decisions to the applicant, a parent or guardian of the applicant, or the applicant’s high school guidance counselor. Decisions will be released only if the identity of the caller can be reasonably assured.
  • Decisions about acceptance into the BME major are departmental decisions and therefore we do not release such information over the phone or through email. All Early Decision applicants who applied to the Biomedical Engineering major will learn of their BME decision in their acceptance packets.

Good luck!!!


OK, regular decision applicants, the rest of the post is dedicated to you. For the last two years as the January 1st regular decision deadline approaches, I have dedicated a Hopkins Insider entry to responses to frequently asked questions. (Don’t believe me? Well check out the FAQs from December 2006 and December 2005.) As always, I hope you find this information helpful and if you have questions not answered here that is why we have the Johns Hopkins Message Boards.The_clock

When is the deadline, really?

The regular decision deadline is January 1, 2008. This is our online submission deadline and our postmark deadline. Applicants should submit their online application materials no later than 11:59 p.m. EST on January 1st. Since January 1 is a national holiday, we will accept application materials that are postmarked January 2, 2008. (Remember though, this is one of my pet peeves, so you shouldn’t even be thinking about procrastinating to that last minute.)

Have you received my application? OR I submitted my application online have you received it? OR My school sent my transcript and letters of recommendation have you received them? OR Any other question asking about the status of your application and whether it has been received and/or processed, or if anything is missing?

As you can imagine, it’s a busy time in the Admissions Office as we process application materials. Because of the volume of records being handled, we regret that it is not possible to confirm whether application files are complete or to identity which individual items have been received. Johns Hopkins does not have an online system for checking application status, nor do we confirm application materials through email.

You will be mailed an acknowledgment postcard after your application is 2007a received. This indicates your application file has been opened (not necessarily that it is complete). 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.  You may call (410) 516-8171 after February 18 to check on your application, but we do ask that you call only if you have been previously contacted by us about missing materials.

Can I mix forms from the Common Application, the Universal Application, and/or the Johns Hopkins application? Can I mix online application materials with “snail mail” materials?

To apply to Johns Hopkins University you must submit either the Johns Hopkins University application Part I and Part II OR the Common Application and Johns Hopkins Common Application supplement OR the Universal Application and the Johns Hopkins Universal Application supplement. Please be sure that you apply with both the Part I and Part II of the JHU application or the Common/Universal Application and Hopkins supplement – do not mix these forms.

Also do not mix online and paper application materials. If you are applying with the JHU Online application, then complete the whole online application and there is no need to submit the paper application. If you are applying with the Common/Universal Application online then you must submit the Hopkins supplement online as well – there is no need to mail the supplement.

Finally, though we do not encourage this practive, you are able to use Common Application school report and teacher recommendation forms with the Johns Hopkins application, and vice versa.

My school is closed for the holidays so I can’t submit the transcript and/or  letters of recommendation until after January 1st. May I send supplemental materials for my application after the January 1st deadline?

First, this should not be a problem since you should request this information before your school goes on holiday break. However, the application deadline is a postmark / online submission of January 1st for the student’s part of the application — either the Part I and Part II of the JHU Application or the Common Application and Common Application supplement. Supporting materials (school materials) such as transcripts, test scores, and recommendations can be sent separately after the January 1st deadline. However, we recommend all required documents be postmarked no longer than two weeks after the deadline — no later than January 15th.

I have yet to submit my application, but some of my application materials (school forms, tests, etc.) have already been sent. Will this be a problem?

Not a problem. 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.

When should my test scores be sent, and how?

You must request that all your SAT Reasoning, SAT Subject exams, ACT, and/or TOEFL scores be sent directly by the testing agency. The Johns Hopkins code for the College Board is 5332 and for the ACT is 1704.

Test scores submitted on or along with an official high school transcript will only be considered if the transcript is submitted by one’s high school and the scores are officially electronically recorded by the high school directly from the testing agency. One should check with their school’s guidance office to confirm that the test scores recorded on one’s transcript have been in the past considered by colleges as official.

Test scores need to be requested from the testing agencies prior to our stated application deadlines but may arrive after the deadline. Regular Decision applicants must submit their request for their tests to be sent to Johns Hopkins prior to the January 1st deadline. Though the scores will arrive past the deadline they will still be considered if requested in advance of the deadline.

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 take the 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. January scores will be accepted for those students unable to meet their test requirements by December. In such cases, we encourage you to note your intention of taking the later standardized test(s) on your application.

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. This is just a way the College Board / ETS makes more money. Save the money, don’t rush scores.

I have already sent my application but I want to update a few things or correct an error. How do I do this?

There are two ways to update your application. First you may send any updates in the mail up until the end of January. Please send to the following address and include your name, birth date, and high school:

Application Coordinator
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Johns Hopkins University
Mason Hall
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218

Or you may fax your application update with a cover sheet to 410-516-6025. Once again, include your name, birth date, and high school.

Please note we do not process application materials submitted via email or through email attachments.

Does Johns Hopkins accept additional letters of recommendation?

We require all applicants to submit two letters of recommendations – one from a teacher and one from a guidance counselor. Applicants may submit additional letters of recommendation but we request that you do not submit more than four letters total. Additional letters of recommendation may come from a coach, employer, extracurricular advisor, additional teacher, school administrator – pretty much anyone who can present additional sides of your character. I would though avoid parental and peer references.

How can I arrange an interview and are they required?

Interviews are not a required element of the application to Johns Hopkins. In fact, interviews are informational and non-evaluative. Unfortunately all interview requests for on-campus interviews needed to be submitted prior to December 1st. Please know that if you did not interview you will not be at a disadvantage in the admissions process. Information about off-campus alumni interviews can be found here:

I would like to submit a recording of my music / slides of my art / portfolio of my newspaper articles / DVD of accomplishments / research abstract / or some other supplemental information. Can I do this and will it be considered?

Yes, supplemental materials are welcome additions to your application. All supplemental information should be sent to the Admissions address listed above (under the answer for application updates). There are no specific requirements for supplemental materials; you can submit information in any format (e.g. portfolios, CDs, DVDs, slides, etc.) However we make sure applicants understand that typically the Admissions committee does not have much time to review such information. The general rule is that an application reader has about 5 minutes to review supplemental materials.

I am applying with the Common / Universal Application. Do I need to submit the two Johns Hopkins essays included in the supplement? Do the Hopkins essays have a word limit?

Read this message board thread for a detailed description of this year’s essay policy: New Essay Policy Explained.

As far as word counts, we do not state any official word limits. Typically the “community” essay runs between 500 – 1000 words while the “majors” essay runs between 250 – 500 words.

Does Johns Hopkins allow application fee waivers?

Yes, we will accept fee waivers. If paying the application fee presents any financial hardship to you we are happy to waive the application fee.The fee waiver must either be an official College Board fee waiver or a letter from your secondary school counselor on school letterhead. We require official copies and therefore we will not accept photocopied requests for fee waivers. Applicants can apply online and still submit their fee waiver requests in writing.

When is the Financial Aid deadline and where can I learn more about applying for Financial Aid?

The Financial aid deadline for the submission of the FAFSA and CSS Profile is March 1, 2007. Please review this web site for full details:

FAQs for International Applicants:

Even more FAQs:

Whew … that was a lot of info. Hope it helped. Good luck with those applications, and don’t procrastinate!!!

Busy, Hectic, Crazed …


Welcome to November. I hope you all enjoyed Halloween, the start of Fall-like weather on the east coast (finally!), and for many of you the arrival of the Early Decision deadline. I hope many of you have already clicked submit or made your visit to the Post Office … but if not, good luck with meeting the deadline you procrastinators!!! For you EDers, I recommend taking a look at the “Early Decision Questions” thread on our message boards for answers to frequently asked questions, or for the opportunity to ask us your own questions; click here.

Today actually symbolizes for me the end of the busiest two weeks of my calendar year. As the title of this entry states, life has been busy, hectic, and crazed. Actually those three words barely describe my life for the last half of October … but it is over now and I am off for a few days of Mental Vacation!!!

Before checking out for a few days, I thought I would update you all on what’s been making life some crazed. So let’s rewind to 12 days ago:

Friday, October 19

I got to the office early since I knew it would be a wild day. It was the day before our first Open House, the first day of Jameel’s Colors of Hopkins program, our first of two overnights, and I had to head out to BWI Airport to pick-up my rental car for my up-coming travel. As the day began, I never expected it would be the last of these things to do that would cause the most chaos. Yes, I spent three hours at BWI because my car rental place (starts with a NAT and ends with an IONAL) did not have any cars in the size I had ordered. See my up-coming travel was group travel which meant four people, four sets of luggage, and four sets of materials for recruitment events. Finally, after me exploding on the manager, they drive down a beautiful extended-cab Dodge Durango. The car was awesome, though it did feel like driving a boat and was a gas-guzzler, but it worked. By no way should I have had to endure three hours in the rental car pavilion at the airport. Oy vei.

The rest of the day was great though. Before leaving for the Airport, I did have the chance to check-out the Overnight registration and enjoy a couple of songs by the Octopodes, one of the best campus a capella groups. Here is a bit of their performance, held in the new session room in Mason Hall:

Saturday, October 20

The Engineering and Natural Sciences Open House was a smashing success. Great weather and nearly 1000 visitors. The Hopkins Interactive students were in full force, staffing the ask-a-student table and helping answers tons of questions. They made my job very easy. Here’s some pictures for you all to enjoy:



At the end of the final session of the Open House, I ran to the new garage, jumped into the huge SUV, and got on the road to New England. The drive was endless, and I feared I would fall asleep a number of times, but at 1:00am I arrived in Waltham, MA and checked-in to my hotel … than hit the heavenly bed for some much needed sleep.

Sunday, October 21

Thankfully, I was able to sleep a bit before waking up and heading up to Manchester, NH to pick-up the friends and colleagues I would be traveling with throughout the week. My group travel program included:

  • Me representing Johns Hopkins University
  • Amy Atcheson representing Rice University
  • Greg Roberts representing the University of Virginia
  • Shep Shanley representing Northwestern University

This is our second year recruiting together in New England, and it was great to get together for another successful week of programs.

The trip officially began Sunday evening as we held our first evening program at the Sheraton Colonial Hotel in Wakefield, MA. Expectations was the turnout would be low because something else was happening that evening – The Red Sox faced a Game 7 versus the Indians, winner heads to the World Series. Well, shockingly the people still came to see us … in fact nearly 400 people turned out. I was the host for the evening, and obviously I began with a Sox joke … letting everyone know that I was the only rep from the four schools rooting for the Sox (which actually was not true, but brownie points always works). Though the room was crowded, it was a great start to the week.

Monday, October 22

Our group travel is not just about evening programs. As we travel from location to location, each morning we would also host a Counselor Breakfast. For these events we would invite local area school counselors to a local hotel for a nice breakfast. We would chat about the state of affairs of our respective fields (college admissions v. college counseling). Each of the reps would also give a brief update on their respective school, and then all four of us would do a Q&A. Each breakfast went exceptionally well, starting with the 35 Boston area counselors we met with. I also got in a second joke … I started my update about Hopkins by telling everyone we had sold the Hospital and were getting rid of pre-med. Some people actually thought I was serious.

The evening was our second program in the Boston metro area, this time in Dedham, MA at Noble and Greenough School. Another great night as we had about 275 to almost 300 people in attendance. Lots of questions at the end of the program, meant we didn’t get back to the hotel to close to 11:00. I crashed!!!

Tuesday, October 23

Tuesday was our one sleep-in day. We gathered around noon, checked-out, drove an hour south to Providence, and I got to show everyone around College Hill. We had lunch on Thayer Street near Brown University, and actual were sitting right next to Lincoln Chaffee, former senator from Rhode Island. We checked into our new hotel, all took naps, and then headed down for our third evening program. Last year the Providence program was the smallest of our events, but this year it went amazingly well. Easily over 250 people. I always enjoy holding the Providence event because two of my favorite alums get to help out — Steven Snow and Stephanie Cascio. Both are alums who have had children attend and/or graduate from Hopkins. In fact, Stephanie is the Mom of Esther, one of our current bloggers.

Wednesday, October 24

The Providence Counselor Breakfast was a bit smaller, about 15 counselors, but the more intimate environment was great. Some great conversations and questions, that actually had all four of us chatting as we headed out on a 2 hour drive to Norwalk, CT. The drive was actually pleasant not just for the conversation but also for the wonderful foliage we got to see. I wish I had my camera, but I left it on my desk back in Baltimore. Take my word for it, it was beautiful. The only negative of the day turned out to be lunch … not that the food was bad, but our waiter was one of the most evil people we all had ever met. We were actually scared to ask for anything. So strange.

Our Fairfield County evening session was held at Darien High School and was another smashing success. Great turnout that was over 350 people, and the crowd actually included blogger Jackie’s Mom, Dad, and twin siblings who happened to be high school juniors starting their own college searches. Another great night … at this moment I made a mental note that Group Travel is really the best way to recruit nowadays.

Thursday, October 25

Another great breakfast … 35 counselors … a good bagel … some good eggs (not runny) … and some sausage. Plus, Shep had his bacon … he loves his bacon. After breakfast and some email, it was up to Hartford and the site of our final programs.

The Hartford area evening session held at Simsbury High School turned out to be our smallest event, just about 200 people, but also turned out to be the only night when I was under 10 minutes in my presentation. Which was great … since most nights I was closer to 15 minutes and we had all agreed to be between 10-12. It is hard … I like to talk and there is so much to say. Thankfully, by the last night I had it down and now I am ready for next year.

Friday, October 26

Our final counselor breakfast with about 15 counselors from Hartford area schools. I love talking with Connecticut counselors because they can’t hold me accountable … I don’t read CT students. Ha Ha Ha.

After the breakfast, it was the worst part of the trip. Saying goodbye to Greg, Shep, and Amy at the airport. They are three of the top Admissions counselors I have met in my ten years, it is a true pleasure traveling with them. It also meant I need to drive back to Baltimore, and specifically tackle the Cross Bronx Expressway.

I got back into Baltimore around 10:00pm. It was nice to be home, until my alarm clock went off at 5:00am….

Saturday, October 27

Why you ask? Well, Open House #2 for Humanities and Social Sciences students this time. Thankfully, this was not as big as the first Open House as we hosted between 350-400 people. The event went well despite horrible rains and winds in the morning. Honestly, I was so over-tired that I really don’t remember much from the day. What I do remember is how great the Hopkins Interactive students were again with fielding questions.

Unfortunately, the day ended quite poorly as I returned to BWI airport to return the car. No problems with the return of the car, but when I went to pick-up my own car in long-term parking … well let’s just say it is not good when you turn the key to your car and nothing happens. An hour later I got a jump from a nice AAA guy, headed home, and crashed. I’d list Sunday activities, but pretty much it was just a constant day of sleep.

While I was dealing with a broken down car at BWI Airport, something was going on back on the Homewood campus. Saturday evening they held a black-tie optional formal convocation for the New Decker Quad, the New Mason Hall, and the New CSE Building. A full tent went up, and the event was supposed to be amazing. Here are some shots:


_jvr1697Dsc_0006Hope you enjoyed this journey through my travels of the past couple of weeks. I’ll be enjoying a few days away, and then will return to begin reviewing ED apps (and updating the blog).

OK, I am going to pander for comments. In the last two weeks I have spoken in front of more than 2500 people … so if you met me either at an Open House or during any of my Group Travel programs … let me know!!! Just post a comment below, I’d love to hear from you. CHEERS!