Good day Early Decision applicants. The tradition of live blogging on decision notification days continues today with the release of our Early Decision notifications for the Class of 2014. As I have done the previous few years, I will be “micro-blogging” throughout the day to provide you all with a view into what transpires in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions on the day we release decisions. If you want full details on how the release of ED notifications will work today, please return my previous blog entry. You can also read previous ED Notification Day entries for 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2005. So check back throughout the day and follow the process of the release of our Early Decision notifications.
December 15, 2009
12:55 a.m. EST
As I was finally preparing to go to bed this late Monday evening, I realized it was no longer Monday evening but rather it was the start of Tuesday, December 15, 2009. I couldn’t resist staying up just a little bit longer to post this first entry of my live blogging journal for ED Notification release 2009. I can barely keep my eyes open right now after a long day and evening of work, so I am going to hit the pillows until my alarm clock rudely awakens me at 4:58 a.m. I’ll sign off with an appropriate famous quote … “Good night, and Good Luck.”
I almost threw my alarm clock across the room. Four hours of sleep is not enough for me. I know it is way too early in the morning when Soze won’t even wake up to go for his morning walk. Enough complaining from me … too much to do today so the day must begin.
Just spent the last hour responding to e-mails received in our primary Admissions e-mail accounts. Lots of questions from regular decision applicants. Going to use the next half-hour to pay bills (today is pay day … woo hoo) and watch my morning staple – Mike and Mike in the Morning.Golic and Greenberg are going to talk to me about how the Cardinals stunk last night and led to a loss for one of my fantasy football teams, and the baseball hot stove and how the Mets DID NOTHING. Yuck!
Just noticed that the College Confidential servers appear to be down and one can’t access their Discussion Forms. Have my prayers been answered???
Finished typing out my “To Do” List for today and it is a bit scary — it’s a page and a half long. Need to get started on crossing off items, but the sleeping dog just woke so I need to bundle up and go out and walk Soze. Then shower, shave (ha ha ha – inside joke), and my 15 minute commute to work.
As I headed out, Soze wanted me to take a picture of him and let you all know he is thinking of you and is hoping you all handle today’s news well. He would have smiled but it was cold and rainy for his morning walk, plus he wanted me to leave so he could start his daily partying.
Uneventful commute to work. Overcast weather but not as bone-chilling cold as it has been the last few days. Powered up the computer, and signed into Pandora — today’s play list will be a mix of Erasure, Depeche Mode, New Order, and the Smiths. Yes, I am a child of 80s alternative radio.
Just headed up to the third floor to see how the stuffing and sealing of letters was going. Pretty much everything is finished. Now we just wait for Dean Latting to officially seal the class and then to the post office we will head with just over 1100 pieces of mail.
As I was upstairs in the Operations area I snapped a few other pictures that I thought were interesting to share.
First is an unprocessed bin of application mail for Regular Decision applicants. By weeks end that will be probably a stack of 10 bins and by months end it will be closer to 20 bins. (Just a few years before 98% of our students applied online the number of mail bins could reach triple digits.
Next is a box of binder clips. Not binder clips that we have purchased. Nope these binder clips are sent by applicants. Thanks for the office supplies … but just remember we read online so we will never see your binder clips, your sleek folders, your perfumed resume paper, etc.
Finally, is a picture of one of the boxes that our materials are shipped in. Notice the spelling mistake? Notice the OTHER spelling mistake? Pretty hysterical … thankfully everything in the box is spelled correctly and has the proper numbers of “S”s.
Just spent the last 45 minutes reviewing the updates to our Admitted Student Web Site and also all the new updates to Hopkins Interactive. The Hopkins Interactive site is now fully updated with profiles for our newest members (8 freshmen and sophomore Keith), links to all our new blogs and Twitter accounts, and a variety of other updates. Always with the release of decisions we make sure our web sites have the most updated content possible.
A special “shout-out” (yes I did just write shout-out, and yes I know I am lame) to those posting comments to this entry. Thanks for the positive remarks and I am pleased to hear that you are enjoying the micro-blogging. No big updates yet. Just waiting for Dean Latting to seal the class. Be back soon.
Took a twenty minute break and played around on Sporcle.com. So addicting. My favorite game is Countries of the World. My highest score is 186 of 195 countries. I always seem to forget Malawi and I struggle with the small island nations in the pacific near Australia. I do get Vanuatu and Palau — those were sites for Survivor seasons.
Now things are moving along. Dean Latting has still not given the final O.K. yet, but all the packets have been sealed and moved into mail bins. One final set of checks and we should be ready to send them on their way.
THE EARLY DECISION CLASS OF 2014 IS SEALED. “And with two minutes to spare,” joked Dean Latting. The bins have moved to my colleague John Birney’s SUV and will be heading out onto the road and to the post office in the next few minutes.
The finishing touches have been been done to our Admitted Student Web site, our new Class of 2014 Facebook group, and the Class of 2014 Discussion Sub-Forum on the Hopkins Forums. Everything is edited and ready for later this evening once e-mail notifications have been sent. Whew, those were major items crossed off my “to do” list.
Just sent an e-mail to all the Hopkins Interactive student volunteers (also known as the Student Admissions Advisory Board). I wished them luck with their continuing finals (it is day three of finals for the fall semester) and also reminded them of the release of ED notifications. They will be the students that the new members of the Class of 2014 will interact with over the coming months.
This will be my last update for the next few hours. I expect to be back around 5:00 p.m. Now that decisions have been mailed, the whole Admissions staff is heading out for a Holiday Celebration Party. We are all going Duck Pin Bowling — a Baltimore tradition. It should be fun and it is well-earned as the whole staff put in tons of energy these pasts few weeks. As I depart for the afternoon I leave you all with two pieces of advice:
FIRST, go do something fun. Step away from the computer. Relax. Chat with your friends. Watch a movie. Read a book. Play a game. Spend time with your family. Take a nap. 7:00 p.m. is going to come very slowly if you stay on the computer refreshing my blog every 20 seconds. In fact, take time and don’t come back until after 7:30 p.m. Don’t stress right now, as there is nothing you can do now.
SECOND, I wish you all the best as you receive your e-mail decisions later tonight. My strong suggestion is that after you read your decision, log-off of your computer and go spend some time with your family. No matter what the decision is!!!
This is a major moment in your young life, and family is who you should share your initial thoughts and emotions with. Your family has been there since the first moment of your life, and they will be there FOREVER. Your family is not some online community. Afterwards you can log-on and share with others.
Let the news sink in first. React in the real world before entering the cyber world. OK, that is just my two cents … but I do hope you all heed it.
Back from our Duck Pin Bowling Holiday celebration. Let me put it simply … I STINK. First game I scored a 58 and was the second worst bowler. My team came in second place which is great, especially since my score was the one they dropped. Second game I did better – a 78. I finally left when I got a strike, but it took me an additional 100 throws it seemed. I am going to stick to Wii Bowling, though my Mom and four year old niece beat me in that too.
Thought I would share some pictures of what has gone on throughout the last few hours. First set of three pictures are of my colleagues Paul and John dropping off the decision notifications at the post office. The second set are some pics from the Johns Hopkins Admissions staff making fool of themselves, and having an amazing time doing so.
Checked e-mail and Dean Latting shared some Early Decision statistics with the staff:
- LARGEST ED APPLICANT POOL EVER = 1,155. Up 10% from last year.
- Over this past decade our Early Decision applicant pool has risen 138%.
- The acceptance rate has dropped to the second lowest rate for the last ten years. We admitted 43% of the applicants. 493 applicants will be the first students welcomed into the Class of 2014.
- The male/female ration is 54%/46% which is impressive and a rise for women in the class.
- We have 53 under-represented minority students in the admitted class which is our largest number ever.
- As far as academic interest, 32% interested in Engineering (+2% from last year); 12% are interested in Humanities (+1%); 34% interested in Natural Sciences (-4%); 19% interested in Social and Behavioral Sciences (-7%); and 3% Undecided (-2%).
- All of our academic markers are either a slight bit up, the same as last year, or the slightest tick down. The quality of our ED admits just based of academic factors continues to amaze us all.
- New York is the top state (76) for admits, New Jersey is second (71), and Maryland is third (50). Pennsylvania (47) and California (29) round out the top five. 36 states are represented in our admitted ED class.
- 41 international students from over 17 nations – both records for our ED class.
Some of you will ask for additional data. Unfortunately, these are the only statistics we release publicly.
Once again I wanted to say thanks to everyone posting comments. I really appreciate the positive remarks you are leaving and I am happy to read that you find this blog helpful. In the past someone people have written me “hate mail” about these decision release entries. Typical they say I am over-hyping the whole process. Such remarks do concern me, but in the end I feel that is the minority opinion. I think no matter what decision you all will receive in a few hours, in the end you appreciate receiving a better understanding of how the process works and knowing how much attention the Hopkins Admissions Committee pays to you and your application.
Oh and to Taylor K., the spelling of the countries is one of the hardest parts of the Name the Countries game. The former Soviet republics especially – Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, etc. – it makes me appreciate Georgia, Armenia, Belarus, and the Ukraine so much more.
With one hour to go before we begin to release Early Decision notification e-mails I want to remind you all of a few things:
(1) We will start sending e-mails after 7:00 p.m. EST. Please note the bold, italic, underlined emphasis on the key words start and after. This means that not everyone will get an e-mail in their in-box immediately at 7:00 p.m. It can take about an hour for all the e-mails to go out. So if you refresh your e-mail in-box at 7:00 p.m. or 7:05 p.m. or 7:10 p.m. and there is no message – DO NOT PANIC and do not assume anything. Be patient and allow our e-mail servers to work properly.
(2) For those who applied for the Biomedical Engineering program (selected it as your first choice major) – if you receive an admit notification you will receive a second e-mail later this evening. That second message will be your BME decision notification. The decisions come in two separate e-mails. So if you receive an admit notification, don’t assume you are also admitted to BME. Be patient and you will receive that news a little later through e-mail.
(3) For those who do not receive an e-mail notification tonight, please refer to what I wrote in my previous blog about such situations:
What happens if I do not receive an e-mail decision on Tuesday?
If an applicant does not receive an e-mail there a couple of things he or she can do: 1. Check your SPAM folders. 2. 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 old e-mail address. (So check e-mail addressess that you may have used when registering for the SAT/ACT for example.) 3. Have your parents check their e-mail accounts too. Not sure how that happens, but it has happened in the past. If none of those methods work, then unfortunately the student will need to wait to receive the decision in the mail, or can call on Thursday.
Every year some e-mail notifications just don’t work. There are a number reasons for an applicant not receiving an e-mail notification including: no e-mail was provided on the student’s application, the e-mail provided on the application is no longer active, there was a SPAM filter blocking the message, or some error occurred that caused a bounce-back. WE ARE UNABLE TO RE-SEND E-MAILS. Once again, in such situations the applicant must wait. We understand how frustrating that can be, but unfortunately mistakes can happen when processing over thousands of applications.
All decision notification e-mails have been sent. Only four messages bounced-back as undeliverable but thankfully I was able to correct the e-mail address and forward the decision e-mail to the correct address. Got a lot of work to do, but I’ll update again soon.
Whew! So all decisions are out and I’ve already confirmed over 100 members into the Class of 2014 Facebook group. I will go back to doing that after walking Soze and eating a little bit of dinner. I do though want to address a few things before taking that break …
TO THE ADMITS: Congratulations! I hope you are all so excited and got some time tonight to jump around and celebrate. You will get your admit packets soon and there will be a ton of information you will go through. Also, remember to use the Admitted Student Web Site, Hopkins Interactive, and the Class of 2014 Facebook group. But also pace yourself — August 25th is still 9 months away. I will have more to say to you all in the coming weeks. Time to put that bumper sticker on the car!!!
TO THE DEFERS: I will be posting a blog entry for you all later in the week. I do though suggest that you all read the discussion thread that I have set-up for deferred applicants: Early Decision Defers – Read This.
TO THE DENIES: Please know that I understand how difficult receiving such news can be. My colleagues and I do not take pleasure in not offering admission to students, especially those where Hopkins is their first choice. Last spring I wrote a post to denied applicants, and I recommend you all read it: A Posted for the Denied Applicant. I do wish you all the best of luck.
Well that’s it for me tonight. I have hit the proverbial wall and my eyes will not remain open anymore. As I head off to bed I have my phone in hand and I keep dialing the So You Think You Can Dance phone numbers for Kathryn, Russell, and Jakob.
Thanks to everyone who followed this journey over the last 20+ hours.