Greetings Early Decision applicants for the Johns Hopkins University Class of 2016. The tradition once again continues. Now for the seventh straight year I will be live blogging throughout the day. Why today? Well, it is December 15, 2011 and throughout the day the Johns Hopkins Admissions Committee will be finalizing our decisions and releasing notifications to our 1459 Early Decision applicants. (For a reminder on how the release of notifications will work please review the blog post from this past Monday: Release of ED Notifications Approaches.) Back in 2005 at the dawn of this Hopkins Insider blog I got the idea of “micro-blogging” our decision notification days to provide insight to our applicants and other audiences about how the process works as seen through the eyes and experiences of an admissions counselor. I hope visitors to the blog will appreciate this first-hand look at what takes place in Mason Hall (the home to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions on the Homewood Campus) as well as respect the transparency we hope to project about how our process works. Check back throughout the day and also follow me on Twitter – @AdmissionDaniel – for continual updates.
5:54 a.m. - Rise and shine. Time to start the day. Normally the first part of my routine would be to walk my dog Soze, but he doesn’t appear to want to be woken up yet. So instead I’ll start with the first update to the blog. Unlike in previous years I got a full night of sleep as I was able to leave the office at a decent hour after making some final decision changes and confirmations in our Engineering Committee. Though the process of selecting the Early Decision Class of 2016 has been as arduous as in years past, this year seems to have run a lot smoother (*knock on wood*) than in previous years (*knock on wood again*), and my hope is when I arrive at work later this morning we will be sealing the class without too much adjustments (*fingers crossed*). Well it seems that Soze is finally stirring so I am going to bundle up and take him on his morning walk. Stay tuned.
6:41 a.m. - I’m a hat guy. Anyone who knows me knows that I love hats. Ever since high school I have had an addiction to hats. I wore the same hat every day in college (yes … every day for all four years) and when I graduated I sealed the hat away in a glass box. I want’ lying when I said I have an addiction. Currently I have about 40 hats and about 5 of them are in my regular rotation. Each day I bring a hat to work and by 4 p.m. (earlier if it is a rough day) that hat is on. Some say this hat addiction has led to the lack of hair on my head, I just say I am old and my genes from my maternal grandfather has made it impossible to fight that baldness pattern. Nevertheless I had to choose which hat I was bringing to work today … no to the “Panthers Football” Friday Night Lights hat as the show is no longer on … no to the Washington Nationals cap as it is not baseball season … no to the New York Mets hat – well I don’t want to talk about them … no to the Brown University hockey hat as today is not for my alma mater … YES to the Johns Hopkins Men’s Lacrosse 2005 National Champs hat. That is the appropriate one for today. Morning routine almost done. Shower time and then off to work. Oh yeah … plus it is time to SHAVE. Stay tuned.
7:15 a.m. - I am a sports fanatic. I am not good at any sports but I love being a fan of all sports. Why do I tell you this? Well in many sports during playoff season there is a tradition not to shave. Hockey players do it the best. I have always found this to be one of the greatest sports tradition and a few years ago I began to incorporate the concept of playoff beards into my profession. By that I mean I grow a beard during reading season and don’t shave or trim it until decision release day. So this year I began to not shave starting on the day after Thanksgiving when I evaluated my first ED application and just a few minutes ago I removed the beard. It may be a strange tradition, but it is one I enjoy, especially since I hate shaving. So it is both a ode to my sports fanaticism as well as an ode to my laziness. In the past I have had requests to reveal photos of the beard but I have hesitated since I rarely post pictures of myself on this blog. However, since the requests are coming in from my Mom and my niece Lilly, I thought it was time to post some before and after pictures. Enjoy. I am off to work so … stay tuned.
8:27 a.m. - Arrived at the office and things are already moving along. The Operations team is upstairs doing some last checks and my colleagues are arriving to as I like to say “hurry up and wait.” We will be waiting for Dean Latting to announce whether we need one last Admissions Committee meeting or whether the work we did yesterday is it and the ED class is sealed. I have a “to do” list of 9 items for today so I am going to get working on that. Stay tuned.
9:00 a.m. - Just about 30 minutes have passed and three items on my to do list are already done. Listening to The Killers always makes me productive. No news yet as Dean Latting has yet to arrive. I am going to do some of my daily social media “work” and then walk around the office to see how things are progressing. Next update won’t be for a bit of time. Stay tuned.
10:04 a.m. - I have accomplished a lot over the last hour. I put the final touches on our Facebook group for the Johns Hopkins Class of 2016 and sent an e-mail to all my student volunteers (the Student Admissions Advisory Board) about the launch of the group tonight after decision e-mails are released. I did one last check of our web updates related to decision release and our Admitted Student website and informed my colleagues that everything looks great. Then the whole office got a really exciting e-mail:
MAIL DAY DANISH HAS ARRIVED. Our former colleague Lester Su, who was a Mechanical Engineering faculty member and member of the Admissions Committee, sent the office an authentic Danish kringle to congratulate us on the completion of the ED process. We all miss Lester (and not just because of gestures like this) but we know he is doing wonderful at Stanford.
While getting my piece of the Danish I saw Dean Latting with a number of data sheets so I think the finalizing of the class is in progress. An interesting note related to how I am not the only traditionalist in our office (i.e. shaving of the beard). Dean Latting has this mustard colored shirt that he wears very sparingly (I don’t think he is a fan of it), but always on important days. I can confirm he is wearing the shirt today. Stay tuned.
11:33 a.m. - Nothing new to really report. I only three more items on my to do list to complete but can’t do them until the class is sealed. Basically, we are all just waiting on Dean Latting to emerge from his office and confirm that the ED class is finalized. All packets have been sealed and are waiting to be moved into mail bins. All of our checks have been done, and barring any other last minute changes we are ready to roll when Dean Latting gives us the word. Stay tuned.
11:39 a.m. - IT IS OFFICIAL … THE JOHNS HOPKINS EARLY DECISION CLASS OF 2016 IS SEALED. I will have more updates this afternoon but now have to go assist my colleagues in getting the decisions in the mail. (Please do not call our office to ask for your decision as we will not release it.) Stay tuned.
1:08 p.m. - All Early Decision notifications are now in the mail. Just returned from the post office and all decision packets and letters are now out of our hands. Time for some lunch with my colleagues. I’ll have a more thorough update with more pictures after lunch. Stay tuned.
2:34 p.m. - Back from a good Italian lunch at Maxie’s. Hat is on. Not because I am having a bad day but rather it is raining outside and I got a bit soaked walking back from lunch. Working on some more updates for the blog. Stay tuned.
3:05 p.m. - Time for a number of updates as I am finally back at my desk and have some time to reflect on the last few hours. Once Dean Latting confirmed that our ED class was complete, the message reached the third floor of Mason Hall and the Operations team got to work with the final stages of preparing our decision packets and letters. Within minutes all packets were sealed and stamped and transferred into mail bins. One final check was done and it was time to depart.
Next step was to transfer the mail bins into one of the Admissions staff vehicles (my Trailblazer won the lottery this year) and depart for the post offices.
First stop was the main University postal office at our Mount Washington campus and then downtown to the main Baltimore branch of the U.S. Postal Service. Within 30 minutes and only minor traffic on I-83, my colleague John Birney and I were done with the mailing of notifications. As we returned to Mason Hall it was interesting to see that new mail bins had arrived, this time with Regular Decision application materials.
3:22 p.m. - Every year the most anticipated live-blog update is always when I reveal the “results” of our Early Decision process. Hot off the presses they were just delivered to me so without further delay:
The Office of Undergraduate Admissions officially admitted the first members of the Class of 2016 today, sending admit packets and e-mails to 561 accepted Early Decision applicants. These talented students were chosen from a record applicant pool of 1,459, a nearly 10% percent increase in Early Decision applications from last year.
* Early Decision applications received: 1,459
* Early Decision applicants admitted: 561
* Early Decision acceptance rate: 38%
* Male / Female ratio of admits: 52 / 48
*Preliminary areas of academic interests for admits:
– Whiting School of Engineering: 31%
– Krieger School of Arts and Science: 69%
– Humanities = 14%, Natural Sciences = 29%, Social and behavioral sciences = 21%
– Undecided: 5%
* Top five home states for admits:
(1) New York; (2) New Jersey; (3) Maryland; (4) California; (5) Pennsylvania
– 42 states represented in admitted class (3 more than last year)
– 45 international students from 13 different countries
An impressive class to say the least.
I am going to take another break from blogging as I complete the final few items on my to do list and then head home to prepare for the second major part of the day … the release of e-mail notifications. Stay tuned.
Yup, ALL DONE. Everything crossed out. So far this has been a very productive day, but in no way is it over.
As my colleagues on the IT team prepare to release the e-mail notifications there are a few important notes I need to share with you all who have been following this blog all day.
FIRST, we will START sending e-mails AFTER 6:00 p.m. EST. Please note the STRONG EMPHASIS on the words START and AFTER. This means that not everyone will get an e-mail in their in-box immediately at 6:00 p.m. It will take a while for all the e-mails to go out 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, 6:11, and there is no message – DO NOT PANIC and do not assume anything. Be patient and allow the process to work properly. All e-mails will be sent by 7:00 p.m.
SECOND, for the next hour (if not two hours) step away from the computer. Stop reading this blog. Stop refreshing your e-mail. Stop checking College Confidential (in fact you should stop that altogether for the future). Relax. Take a nap. Go do something that will calm you and distract you. Take your mind off of the clock.
THIRD, and most importantly, after you receive your e-mail decision my strong suggestion is that you log-off of your computer and go spend some time with your family. No matter what decision you receive, get off the computer after you receive your e-mail. This is a major milestone in your young 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 some online community. Your family is not Facebook. Your family is not some anonymous screen name. Your family is not this blog. Please heed this advice. Receive your decision and sign off. Don’t update your Facebook status. Don’t post a comment on this blog. 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.
5:45 p.m. - O.K. Final checks complete. I am going to take a break now to have some dinner (Chinese food … woo hoo) and play with Soze a bit. As you can see in this picture, Soze is a bit upset with me that I got home and went right to work. I’ll be back once all the e-mail notifications have been sent. Best wishes and Stay Tuned.
7:52 p.m. - Well this has been a busy two hours. I can confirm that all of our e-mails have been sent and any bounce-back error messages that we could correct have been. If you didn’t get your e-mail then please refer to what I wrote in my blog post this past Monday: Release of ED Notifications.
Now that decisions have gone out I wanted to share some thoughts to each group:
TO THE ADMITS: Congratulations! I hope you are all so excited and will put aside some time tonight to jump around and celebrate with your family and friends. You will get your admit packet soon and there will be a ton of information for you to review, including a list of resources just for admitted students. But also pace yourself – August is still 9 months away. I will have more to say to you all in the coming days and weeks. Time to put that bumper sticker on the car!!!
TO THE DEFERS: The main message is that this was not a “no.” Instead it was a delay of your decision for another three months. I strongly suggest that you all read the discussion thread that I have set-up for deferred applicants: Early Decision Defers.
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. A few years ago I wrote a post to denied applicants, and I recommend you all read it: A Post for the Denied Applicant. I do wish you all the best of luck.
I’ll be back with some final thoughts in a little while. Stay tuned.
8:35 p.m. - As it gets close to 15 hours of live-blogging I think it is time to sign-0ff. I am going to relax with Soze while watching the Washington Capitals play against the Winnipeg Jets (C-A-P-S, C-A-P-S, Let’s Go Caps!!!). I also need to get some rest as it will be a big day in the office tomorrow as we have our holiday party and it will be Dean Latting’s final day. :(
Thanks to everyone who commented and I hope this trek through the day was helpful. I will return early next week with a new blog entry with reflections on notification day and what’s next. Cheers! Not stay tuned … but turn off.