As we begin a new week there are always a lot of questions streaming into our office about how the release of Early Decision notifications will work. I thought it important to step away from our final admissions committee deliberations to share the following with all of our anxious Early Decision applicants:
Early Decision notifications will be released on
Thursday, December 15.
Here is the plan for how everything will operate on Thursday:
* Class is confirmed: In the morning the Admissions staff will arrive at work and wait for Dean Latting to confirm that the Early Decision class is complete. This will be a momentous occasion for all of us in Mason Hall as it will be the last official act of Dean Latting.
One of Dean Latting's going-away gifts: a framed and signed picture of the entire Admissions team
* Decisions are checked:Once the class has been confirmed, the Operations staff, along with assistance from the rest of the Admissions staff, will do one final check of all of our decision letters. Our office has a detailed triple-check process we take seriously.
* Decisions are mailed:Upon the completion of these checks, all admit packets and decision letters (defer and deny) are loaded into mail bins and taken directly to either the main Hopkins Mail Services station located in Mt. Washington, or the downtown Baltimore City Postal Office depending on the time of day. All the mail will enter the postal system by late afternoon on Thursday, December 15. Admit packets are sent priority mail so they arrive typically within three days. Our decision letters are mailed first-class and can take 4-7 days to arrive. Please note international addresses will always take longer for both types of mail, and due to the holiday season the U.S. Postal Service does not guarantee any of these delivery estimates.
* Decisions are emailed: Sometime after 6:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, December 15, we will begin sending Early Decision notification emails. No decisions will be emailed prior to this time, and there is no exact time set when emails will begin being sent. Please do not ask for an exact time or how long it will take all the emails to be sent, as we cannot provide that information.
It can take up to an hour for all of our decision emails to be sent so don’t expect a new message in your inbox right at 6:00 p.m. Have patience. Email notifications are released in random order so there is no way to deduce the order that decisions will be released. Decision emails are sent only to those who included an active email address with their application. (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 do not have a system of posting our decisions online or through a portal.
* No phone calls:We will not accept phone calls on Thursday requesting the release of a decision over the phone. It is our preference to not release decisions over the phone. If an applicant has not received their decision by next Monday then he or she may call the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. We will only release the decision 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. 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.
Admit packets waiting to be stuffed.
As I have been writing about our decision releases for a number of years now, I can always anticipate some of the most frequently asked questions:
Why are emails sent after 6:00 p.m.? The reason we wait to release decision notification emails until the evening is we feel that receiving your college admissions decision should be a personal experience that you share with your family. We do not believe students should be receiving this news in the middle of the school day. So we will wait until the majority of our applicants are out of school to send our email notifications. (Yes we understand that this system does not work neatly for international applicants.)
What happens if I do not receive an email decision on Thursday? If an applicant does not receive an email there a few things he or she can do:
(1.) Check your SPAM folders.
(2.) Check ANY and all email accounts you have ever used during the college search process. We send the email to the account you listed on your application. However, our database system does track all email accounts that have ever been matched to your record, so on occasion the notification email may be sent to old email address. (So check email addresses that you may have used when registering for the SAT/ACT for example.)
(3.) Have your parents check their email 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 Monday.
I applied to the biomedical engineering (BME) program; how will I learn of my decision? BME decision emails will come as a second email toall admitted students who selected BME as their first-choice major. Those notifications will also be sent on Thursday following the release of all other decisions. Further details about your BME decision will be included in your decision packet/letter.
I was deferred. What does that mean? Stay tuned. I will post information for deferred applicants a couple of days after the release of decisions.
I hope you all find his information helpful. Back to committee for me. Check back on Thursday as I once again live blog ED Notification Day.
Stacks of rosters used during committee stages are piling up.
It has been a whirlwind of activity over the last few weeks in Mason Hall, home to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Just as we completed the majority of our on-campus visit programs and the Admissions counselors returned from their fall recruitment travels, the November 1 Early Decision deadline came and went, but it did not pass without an adjustment. Following the Halloween weekend winter storm that hit the eastern seaboard, many in states from New Jersey all the way up to Maine experienced long term power outages. Like many other colleges and universities, Johns Hopkins University extended our Early Decision deadline through November 7 to accommodate students in the impacted areas. Now that extended deadline has passed, we can take a snapshot of the applicant pool and provide updates about where things stand with Early Decision.
Based on preliminary data, the Early Decision applicant pool is currently 1,432 applications. Due to a number of reasons (extended deadlines, delayed mail, cleaning up any processing errors), this number is likely to go up slightly over the next few weeks. Normally, the final official number is computed on December 1 so as to be accurate with totals from years past. Whatever the exact number is on that reporting date, what is clear is that for the fourth straight year and eighth time over the last ten years, our Early Decision applicant pool has grown. Currently, we are up 102 applications from last year, which calculates to an 8% increase. Again, we do expect this number to rise a bit in the coming weeks.
As we delve deeper into the early information some interesting data appears. The percent of women in the Early Decision applicant continues to rise, now at 47% when just a few years ago it was 44%. As well the number of under-represented minority applicants in the pool has grown for the third straight year. Unlike last year, where growth in the ED applicant pool came mostly from students interested in the social sciences, this year the growth appears to be with student interested in engineering. Finally, based solely on self-reported academic preparation data, not only have we received more applications but the “quality” of these applicants based on traditional metrics of GPA, test scores, and course rigor is also on the rise.
The Admissions staff is all excited about the continued increase in applicants stating that Johns Hopkins is their first choice school, and the counselors are already busy logging-on, reading, and evaluating applications. Along with an update to the numbers, I thought I would provide answers to the most frequently asked questions this time of year from ED applicants, parents, and their counselors:
When will Early Decision notifications be released? The plan is to release ED notifications on Thursday,December 15. When decisions are released they are mailed out (postal mail) during the day and then an email is sent after 6:00 p.m. EST. If our plans change, the first place you can find the updated details will be on this blog. For more on the process of the release of ED notifications, check out this blog entry from last year that provided thorough details about how it all works: Update Time Again.
Is my Early Decision application complete? As you can imagine, it gets busy in the Admissions Office as we process application materials. Because of the volume of records being handled, it is not possible for us to confirm with each individual applicant whether their application files are complete or to identity which individual items have been received. We do email applicants an acknowledgment message after their application is received and processed. Rest assured that application files are checked carefully for completeness. At the end of the month our operations team will contact students whose ED 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. Often applicants ask if there is a way they can track their application online. Unfortunately, Hopkins does not have such a system. For that reason, our operations team is quite proactive in contacting applicants and guidance counselors to make sure all required application materials are received and processed correctly.
Finally, if your application is in and you are now waiting for the news, here are some distractions for you:
1) Check out This Month @ Hopkins Interactive: http://www.hopkins-interactive.com/
- This is the most recent Hopkins Interactive project and is a one page re-cap of the best content published on the site over the last month. The page contains a select number of blogs, popular tweets, a picture, a video, and some event reports. Don’t forget to check out the archives, and check back at the start of each month for the next edition.
2) Check out our updated Student Profiles: http://apply.jhu.edu/studentlife/meet.html - One of the great sections of the Undergraduate Admissions website is our “Meet the Students” page. Here you can access student profiles from 28 current students – seniors through freshmen, students from 13 different states and Italy, and students of a wide range of majors. Each profile provides links to read each student’s blog entries or tweets, as well as a link to their personal message board thread so you can ask them direct questions.
3) Learn More, See More, B’More Videos http://www.youtube.com/HopkinsVideoBlog#p/u/1/VvuZJQ4aJ4s
- In Mid-October we premiered the 5th episode of the Learn More, See More, B’More video series. This video was part two of their tour of the Baltimore neighborhoods. Next up, a visit to the Baltimore Zoo.
4) Student Photos on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/hopkins-interactive/
- Did you know that the Hopkins Interactive site contains a Flickr online photo gallery where current students can upload their pictures of life at Hopkins? The pictures are categorized for easier viewing, and earlier this week we posted our 700th picture.
For the Early Decision applicants, we hope you enjoy these distractions as we review your applications. For the Regular Decision applicants just know that the January 1 deadline is closer than you think. And for everyone, stay tuned as Admissions_Shannon and I have some enjoyable entries for the Hopkins Insider blog coming up.
This time of year one of the more frequently asked questions we receive is about the advantages and disadvantages of applying Early Decision to Johns Hopkins University. As high school seniors get used to their schedules and begin to balance their time between classes, activities, and college applications, the question looms about whether to apply early to any colleges on “the list.” With the November 1 deadline under a month and a half away, I thought I would provide some resources that may be helpful in making the “to ED or not to ED” question a bit easier.
To ED or not to ED: Well how much does this picture excite you about going to Johns Hopkins University?
The first place I encourage you to turn to is a blog entry we posted last fall composed by Dean of Admissions John Latting: Early Decision: the Pros and Cons. Dean Latting provides a detailed look at why one might want to apply Early Decision, as well as the questions one should ask prior to make such a decision. You can also find a full list of FAQs about applying Early Decision to Johns Hopkins here: http://apply.jhu.edu/apply/faq_early.html.
Back in November of 2006 (wow, nearly five years ago!), I posted a blog entry about my thoughts on Early Decision: To ED or not to ED. Though times have changed, and our applicant pool has grown significantly and acceptance rates have fallen, many of my thoughts back then still apply today in making the decision about committing to our Early Decision program. Here are just a few of my thoughts, in a nice bullet-form fashion:
If Hopkins if your definitive first choice, then Early Decision is definitely for you.
If your main reasons for applying ED are tactical (i.e. you believe there to be a competitive advantage) you may want to reconsider your approach.
Applying ED should be about FIT, and not about one’s chances for admission.
The benefits of applying ED are being reviewed in a smaller pool of applicants, and showing interest.
ED is binding. We do not offer any non-binding early plans.
Financial Aid will not be limited if you apply ED.
We do not fill our class with ED students, so Regular Decision applicants have the same chances for admission.
Finally, one important thing to keep in mind is that the Early Decision Plan at Johns Hopkins is binding. If you decide to apply Early Decision, you wouldn’t be able to apply to any other binding early plans, and you’d be required to withdraw applications to any other schools if you’re admitted to Johns Hopkins. Basically, if admitted you will only be able to review an offer of admission from one school.
Should you ED? Well how much do you want to live in Baltimore?
This year I decided to add to this discussion about advice in determining whether Early Decision is the right choice, but providing you all with some thoughts from students. I asked a number of students I knew well to discuss why applying ED to Johns Hopkins was the right decision for them. Hopefully their comments will help as you make the decision whether to apply by November 1 and sign the ED contract, or hold off and apply by January 1 as an RD applicant.
Mandy Stein – Class of 2011 graduate (now currently a first-year law student at Washington University) Major: Public Health Studies Hometown: Cary, North Carolina
I applied Early Decision because I knew Hopkins was a great fit for me and that it was exactly where I wanted to spend the next four years. Applying under a binding contract was a little bit intimidating at first; the idea of giving up any hypothetical offers from other universities seemed scary. But after visiting the campus, and with the support of my family, I knew that I was ready to commit to Hopkins if they were willing to take me. The best part about applying Early Decision was that I knew in December where I’d be going to college – it made for a nice Christmas present and a great way to keep up the motivation during my senior year!
Applying Early Decision is a difficult decision to make because, in my opinion, a student has to be so committed to their ED school that it would be their absolute first choice no matter what. After visiting Hopkins, talking to some of the members of the very open and welcoming student body, and learning about some of their programs, I knew it was the place for me. I think I was one of the few fortunate people who can honestly say that I felt that I belonged at Hopkins. I could imagine myself there, and thought it was logical to apply ED. Now I know that applying ED was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Kevin Cryan – Freshman Majors: Political Science and French Cultural Studies
Hometown: Southport, Connecticut
I knew that I wanted to apply Early Decision to Hopkins once I realized both that this was the school I used as the metric to judge all other colleges by, and that all other colleges came up wanting. I would visit other colleges and immediately judge them in a “hmm, they don’t have as nice a campus /open a curriculum/rigorous academics /comfortable an atmosphere as Hopkins…” fashion. Once I visited a few more colleges and came to this realization, the choice became pretty clear.
Becca Krishnan-Ayer – Junior Major: History of Art Hometown: Houston, Texas
I visited Hopkins in the fall of my senior year, frustrated after countless mediocre college visits during my junior year. Something about my college visit to Hopkins clicked with me – the campus, the students I met, even the coffee shop in Levering Hall. I felt like I could really envision myself as a Hopkins student, studying at MSE library, passing through the breezeway en route to class, eating at the FFC, lounging on the water-less “Beach” on Charles Street. My decision to apply to Early Decision extended far beyond my campus visit, however. Throughout my college search, I continually kept coming back to schools that were prestigious, mid-sized institutions, located in or proximal to a large city, offering abundant resources in terms of research and extracurriculars. I wasn’t one of the students that knew exactly what I wanted to study or pursue career-wise (in fact, I had no clue) and so I also was looking for a school that had strong academics in a range of departments (arts, sciences, engineering). Hopkins fit the bill on all accounts. The students seemed just like me—motivated and hard-working academically, but social and multifaceted in their interests. Hopkins was the only university that offered everything I was seeking out of my college education—strong academics, extracurricular and research opportunities, renowned professors, a diverse student body, an international reputation, Greek life, athletics, and a convenient location. I applied ED because I wanted admissions to know that Hopkins was my number one choice out of all the colleges I was planning on applying to, and I knew that if I was accepted, I would be absolutely thrilled to enroll and attend.
Allysa Dittmar – Sophomore Majors: International Studies and Global Environmental Change and Sustainability Hometown: Cream Ridge, New Jersey
Hopkins was the first school I visited because it was close to home and it was at the very top of my list. I remember my visit vividly—I was absolutely taken aback by the beautiful campus. Visiting reaffirmed my belief that Hopkins was the one. I visited many colleges and ended up with ten schools on my list, with Hopkins at the top. After each visit, I still wanted to go to JHU. I did my applications with Hopkins’ Early Decision application on top of the pile. December 15th was truly one of the best days in my life. While my other friends were still filling out applications or trying to figure out where they wanted to attend, I was exploring Hopkins’ websites, majors, and visiting the campus and my Hopkins friends. In the end, I always tell others that I picked Hopkins because it fit me. I felt at home. I felt like I could thrive at Hopkins—achieve my goals, succeed, and be happy.
Nick Ginsberg – Sophomore Majors: Computer Science and Economics Hometown: Woodbridge, Connecticut
Early was the right decision for me because it gave me the ability to be secure in my future education and to know that where I was going was my number one choice long before many of my peers heard back. For months, I was able to get excited about coming to Hopkins as others awaited the ever unsure letters back from their schools. Not only that, but from the moment I came to Hopkins I knew it was the right place for me and by applying early I secured a spot in the class of 2014 as soon as possible. It was one of the best decisions of my life, and had I not done it, who knows what would have ended up happening.
Now that the proverbial dust has settled from the release of Early Decision notifications on Wednesday, I thought I would provide some interesting and hopefully helpful follow-up information. First though, some interesting stats from the day. No, not statistics about the ED class as I already posted our press release during my live-blogging. These stats are actually analytics of Hopkins Insider blog activity on December 15.
Traffic to the Hopkins Insider blog was +198.39%
3,591 unique visits
1,970 unique visitors
7,597 page views (you all like to push refresh)
One week before, there were only 338 visits to the blog; 747 on Monday; and 1,188 on Tuesday.
The live-blogging of ED notification day 2010 equaled 2,645 words, 11 pictures, over 20 comments, 1 video, and one infamous pair of holiday socks. The only word that comes to mind is … whew!
As I briefly mentioned near the end of the blog on Wednesday evening there are three different groups to address follow-up thoughts to: denied students, deferred students, and admitted students. Over the last couple of days as reactions to our decisions were expressed I jotted some notes on things I would like to collectively say to each group.
First snowfall of the season descends on Homewood
To the Denied Students: As I wrote during the live-blogging, 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.
Homewood at Winter
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 – Read This!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 2015 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 and the next steps will begin. 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 final transcript and please do not make our jobs difficult.
Regular Decision application components are flooding in.
Best wishes to everyone. Next week I will have a post for Regular Decision applicants and Admissions_Shannon is working on a special holiday post.
Our document scanner is looking forward to a mini-holiday break.
Good day Early Decision applicants. So here we are again. Six straight years. Starting in 2005, I began a tradition of live blogging on decision notification days and will continue today with the release of our Early Decision notifications for the Class of 2015. I will be “micro-blogging” through the day to provide you all with a first-hand look into what takes place in Mason Hall (home to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions) on the day we release decisions. You can also follow me on Twitter for regular 140 character updates — @AdmissionDaniel. For those looking for details on how the process will work today, please return to the blog entry I posted this past Monday. Check back throughout the day to follow the process and learn some inside details about this year’s Johns Hopkins Early Decision applicant pool and class.
5:56 a.m. -- Four minutes before my alarm clock will go off and I am up already. Since college I have always woken up just before my alarm clock goes off. It is nice to have an internal alarm clock in my head since I can’t stand the noise my actual alarm makes. Time to start my day. First up, is bundling up so I can walk my dog Soze. (Well really that was the second thing I will do as updating the blog clearly is more important today.)
6:06 a.m. - Dog walking FAIL. Soze doesn’t want to get up. This has been his way the last couple of weeks since the weather in Baltimore has become more frigid. He prefers to sleep in and then walk once the sun comes up. I am not complaining. I guess as he nears 10 years in age he is becoming much wiser. So instead of the walk Mike and Mike in the Morning is on in the background and I am going to do a bit of morning work before getting ready to head into the office. I just hope Greeny and Golic don’t talk more about Cliff Lee signing with the Philliesl; as a die-hard Mets fan that decision just saddens me greatly.
A lazy, yet wise, Soze preferring to sleep in rather then walking in the cold.
6:51 a.m. - Done with e-mail responses. Done with Facebook posts. Tweet’ed. To Do list set for the day and I am happy to say that I just have seven items on the list. My morning is moving along quite smoothly. Soze is still not up, so I am going to shower, shave (ha ha … inside joke again), dress, and head in to work. Oh yeah, I need to find an item in my house I am willing to re-gift for our “White Elephant” gift exchange at our Holiday Party later today. Hmmmm, what should I bring?
8:09 a.m. - Just got in the office. Pretty quiet here which is a good thing. Uneventful commute except for the fact that it is so cold outside that I think my mind finally understands the true meanings of the words frigid and bitter. Going to start my morning routine.
Despite frigid temp., Mason Hall always looks amazing as the sun rises.
8:21 a.m. - Pretty easy morning routine. E-mail accounts are clear. Voicemails returned. Social media sites monitored. Heck I even was able to solve my brain teaser of the day. That makes it 245 of 349. 70%. See if you can solve the puzzle.
Brain teaser of the day. Can you solve it?
9:10 a.m. - My day just got 100% more awesome for three reasons. (1) I created a great December 15 iTunes plalist -- a shuffle of all my Cure, The Killers, and Florence + the Machine songs. Strangely the mix works very well. (2) Reading the comments being posted put a huge smile on my face. Thanks for your kind words and I am glad you all appreciate the inside access I try to provide. AND (3) Admissions_Shannon just brought me holidays socks to wear. Check out how cool they are.
Holiday socks. Thanks Admissions_Shannon.
9:57 a.m. - Took my first foray to the third floor (our Operations center) to see how everything is moving along. We are in excellent shape for mailing by early afternoon at the latest. The admit packets are being sealed and stamped as I type this update and the next step is our last set of checks. No official word from Dean Latting yet that the class is sealed, but that should come shortly. Here are a couple of pictures of the “action” going on upstairs.
Sealing and stamping admit packets.
Letters awaiting one last check.
10:35 a.m. - They are still working on things upstairs and we are still waiting for the final confirmation from Dean Latting. In the meantime, I put the finishing touches on our official Class of 2015 Facebook group and took one last look at our special Admitted Student Web site. All looks good.
Check out the front page of the main Admissions site: http://apply.jhu.edu. So cool! The wait is almost over!And the story links directly to the blog. I love that.
I am going to have some BIG AND EXCITING NEWS in my next update. No it has nothing to do with an early release of decisions or anything even related to Early Decision. Just something related to Hopkins Interactive and an internal tradition that will continue today. Just going to make sure that everything is ready.
11:04. -- IT’S ALIVE!!! Go to http://www.hopkins-interactive.com. If you are a frequent visitor to our Hopkins Interactive site you will probably notice a major re-design. This is the BIG AND EXCITING NEWS I just mentioned. Hopkins Interactive and the Hopkins Insider blog launched in December 2005 just about the same time as the release of Early Decision notifications for the JHU Class of 2010. Ever since we have considered December 15 a big anniversary and we try to launch a new version of the site. Simply put, we have traveled light years from where we were five years ago.
Hopkins Interactive version 6.0 is LIVE!
I asked the mastermind behind our Hopkins Interactive design and implementation, JHU_Joe, to discuss the upgrade. Here is what he wrote:
The new Hopkins Interactive preserved many of the features of the first redesign I completed for Hopkins Interactive, mainly the thumbnails for each post that gets published, as well as the “news-ticker” featuring some of our most recent posts. This time we show posts outside of the “news-ticker” using their thumbnail as a form of identification which allowed us to free up the bottom half of the page for something we’ve been wanting to do for a while: advocating our blogs. Most students will make it to Hopkins Interactive or Hopkins Insider without discovering the rest of our blogs. Now we show the most recent post from each of our major blogs, AND we’ve added a Related Posts feature on all of our current blogs that obtains related posts from ALL of our blogs. Finally, the design itself is (at least in my opinion) 10x better than what it was a few days ago. The colors combine in a way we didn’t see on the old site, and this design is the final step in bringing HI into the modern world of web design. Not only did we completely redo the design from scratch, but we re-coded the entire backend of the site (which took about 20 hours). Enjoy everyone! And be sure to follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/JHU_Joe!
11:11 a.m. - The Early Decision Class of 2015 is set. Dean Latting just made the announcement. Time for one last check of all the decision letters and packets and then to the post office we go.
11:44 a.m. - EARLY DECISION NOTIFICATIONS FOR THE CLASS OF 2015 ARE IN THE MAIL. Photographic proof below.
Stacked and ready to ship out.
Waiting to be loaded.
Putting the new socks to work.
And off they go.
12:09 p.m. - Every year the most popular question we are asked after the release of Early Decision notification is what were the results. This year our communications specialist, the amazing Shelly Placek, worked with Dean Latting to create the following official press release:
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
Johns Hopkins University
December 15, 2010
————————————————— Wednesday, December 15, 2010—The Office of Undergraduate Admissions officially admitted the first members of the Class of 2015 today, sending admit packets and e-mails to 518 accepted Early Decision applicants. These talented students were chosen from a record applicant pool of 1,330, a 15 percent increase in Early Decision applications from last year.
A snapshot of the accepted Early Decision class:
Early Decision applications received: 1,330
Early Decision students admitted: 518
Early Decision acceptance rate: 39%
Preliminary areas of academic interest:
Whiting School of Engineering: 31%
Krieger School of Arts and Sciences: 69%
Natural sciences: 32%
Social and behavioral sciences: 21%
Top five home states: New York, New Jersey, Maryland, California, Pennsylvania
39 states represented, plus 48 international students from 20 different countries
Top five countries (other than US): South Korea, China, Canada, India, Turkey
“I’m excited about this class,” said Dean of Undergraduate Admissions John Latting of this year’s Early Decision admits. “You can measure them all you want in terms of their grades and test scores but, more importantly, I think they are just a great group of students in terms of what they will bring to our campus community. It’s a great beginning to the Class of 2015.”
The Class of 2015 will be completed with students selected from the Regular Decision applicant pool. Applications are due January 1, 2011, with admissions decisions being released by April 1. Regular Decision students are given until May 1 to enroll; official numbers for the Class of 2015 will be available in May.
12:15 p.m. - Time for some “radio silence.” Now that we are done the Admissions staff is going to celebrate and enjoy our Holiday Party. I’ll be back later (close to 6 p.m.) with an update. Enjoy your collective afternoons. My socks and I are going to have an amazing time duck-pin bowling with my colleagues.
4:13 p.m. - Just returned home after an awesome Holiday Party with my colleagues. We all enjoyed our second annual Duck Pin Bowling tournament and it was a blast. It was nice to let loose after a few weeks of stressful work. My team did awesome and though we did not win in the end, my teammate and co-blogger Admissions_Shannon had the highest score of anybody. I also did much better in year two nearly doubling my score to an 81, from a pitiful 42 last year. I am going to walk Soze and then take some Extra Stength Tylenol as my voice and throat are killing me. Be back soon with some important updates on how things will work after 6:00 p.m.
4:36 p.m. - I was going through my e-mail and came across a message from my colleague Sarah Godwin with an attached MOV.file. Sarah created a short little video re-cap of the mailing of ED notifications. I thought I would share it with you all. (By the way, this is a big deal because I personally can be seen in a couple of shots of this video. I usually refrain from every putting any photographic of video evidence of my existence on the blog, but Sarah is pretty proud of the video so I had to share it.) Enjoy.
5:00 p.m. - As my colleagues on the IT Team prepare to release the e-mail notifications there are a few important things I want you all to listen to and heed.
FIRST, we will start sending e-mails after 6:00 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 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.
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 annonymous screenname. 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. Don’t go post your emotions on some Web site. 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.
6:47 p.m. - All the e-mails have been sent. The process seems to have gone quite smooth this year (fingers remain crossed). Just two bounce-back e-mails so far and I was able to correct the e-mails and send them again. Will continue to monitor throughout the evening. Now that decisions have been received I wanted to share some quick thoughts to each group:
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 2015 Facebook group. But also pace yourself — August 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: The main message is that this was not a “no.” Instead it was a delay of your decision for another three month. I strongly 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. A couple of years ago 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.
8:49 p.m. - As it approaches 13 straight hours of live-blogging I am going to call it a day. Thanks to everyone who commented and I hope this trek through the day was helpful. I will return on Friday with a new blog entry with reflections on notification day and what’s next. Cheers!
I had not planned on posting a new blog entry until this Wednesday, but it seems that many of you missed the information I posted a few weeks back on how Early Decision notifications will be posted (It’s Update Time posted November 24, 2010). Just since Friday we’ve received 37 e-mails to the email@example.com account asking when ED notifications would be released and/or how ED applicants will be notified. So I’ve stepped away from our final admissions committee deliberations to share the following with all 1,330 anxious Early Decision applicants:
Early Decision notifications will be released on Wednesday, December 15.
Here is the plan for how everything will go on Wednesday:
* Class is confirmed: In the morning the Admissions staff will arrive at work and wait for Dean Latting to confirm that the Early Decision class is complete. Dean Latting usually spends the previous evening going over a statistical breakdown of the class and confirming final decisions on the most debated cases.
Admit packets waiting to be stuffed.
* Decisions are checked: Once the class has been confirmed, the Operations staff, along with assistance from the rest of the Admissions staff, will do one final check of all of our decision letters. Our office is very diligent in checking the right decision letter is going to the right applicants, and have a detailed triple-check process we take seriously.
* Decisions are mailed: Upon the completion of these checks, all admit packets and decision letters (defer and deny) are loaded into mail bins and taken directly to either the main Hopkins Mail Services station located in Mt. Washington, or the downtown Baltimore City Postal Office depending on the time of day. All the mail will enter the postal system by late afternoon on Wednesday, December 15. Admit packets are sent priority mail so they arrive typically within three days. Our decision letters are mailed first-class and can take 4-7 days to arrive. Please note international addresses will always take longer for both types of mail, and due to the holiday season the U.S. Postal Service does not guarantee any of these delivery estimates.
Priority mail envelopes awaiting labels and postage.
* Decisions are e-mailed: Sometime after 6:00 p.m. EST on Wednesday, December 15, we will begin sending Early Decision notification e-mails. No decisions will be e-mailed prior to this time, and there is no exact time set when e-mails will begin being sent. Please do not ask for an exact time or how long it will take all the e-mails to be sent, as we cannot provide that information.
It can take up to an hour for all of our decision e-mails to be sent so don’t expect a new message in your in-box right at 6:00 p.m. Have patience. E-mail notifications are released in random order so there is no way to deduce the order that decisions will be released. Decision e-mails are sent only to those who included an active e-mail address with their application. (If an applicant does not receive an e-mail it is because either there was no e-mail provided with the application, the e-mail address provided no longer works, or a data entry error. Unfortunately, we do not re-send e-mails, so in such situations the student must wait for the mail to arrive.) We do not have a system of posting our decisions online or through a portal.
* No phone calls: We will not accept phone calls on Wednesday requesting the release of a decision over the phone. In fact, the office will be closed after decisions have been mailed as the entire Admissions staff will be attending a holiday party. It is our preference to not release decisions over the phone. If an applicant has not received their decision by Friday then he or she may call the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. We will only release the decision 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. 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.
A scene from last year.
As I have been writing about our decision releases for a number of years now, I can always anticipate some of the most frequently asked questions:
Why are e-mails sent after 6:00 p.m.? The reason we wait to release decision notification e-mails until the evening is we feel that receiving your college admissions decision should be a personal experience that you share with your family. We do not believe students should be receiving this news in the middle of the school day. So we will wait until the majority of our applicants are out of school to send our e-mail notifications. (Yes we understand that this system does not work neatly for international applicants.)
What happens if I do not receive an e-mail decision on Wednesday? If an applicant does not receive an e-mail there a few 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 addresses 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 Friday.
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.
I applied to the biomedical engineering (BME) program; how will I learn of my decision? BME decision e-mails will come as a second e-mail to all admitted students who selected BME as their first-choice major. Those notifications will also be sent on Wednesday following the release of all other decisions. Further details about your BME decision will be included in your decision packet/letter.
I was deferred. What does that mean? Stay tuned. I will post information for deferred applicants a couple of days after the release of decisions.
Regular Decision mail keeps stacking up.
I hope you all find his information helpful. Back to committee for me. Check back on Wednesday as I once again live blog ED Notification Day.
Greetings once again, faithful blog readers and welcome to those of you new to the Hopkins Insider Admissions blog. It’s been close to a month since the last time I personally composed a new blog entry and I thought it was time to return with a number of updates. Not blogging as frequently as I used to has been pretty strange, but I’m glad that the Hopkins Insider has not faltered in my absence. I’ve really enjoyed reading all the recent guest author entries from my colleagues and learning so much about their fields of expertise. As well, Admissions_Shannon’s entries about her travels, her office responsibilities, and her love of all things Baltimore have been a welcome addition to the blog. I hope you all agree with my completely biased opinion. But enough patting ourselves on the back … on to the updates.
Clearly, the first update many of you want to read about is where things stand with Early Decision. Other sources may have reported tentative totals for our 2011 ED applications, but the accurate number as confirmed by Dean of Undergraduate Admissions John Latting this morning is 1,330 applications. This is a 15% increase from our 1,155 total from last year and continues a nice trend over the last 10-plus years which the following chart displays:
The rise in ED applications to JHU.
We are all excited to see this continued increase in applicants stating that Johns Hopkins is their first choice school. Over the last few weeks there have been discussions of what led to the increase. Many agree that it is a combination of factors, including the rise of students applying early in general, the increased discussion of our Early Decision plan this year, and evidence that Hopkins continues to be a “hot” school. Personally, I think the increase has everything to do with Dean Latting deciding to write a guest blog on the topic of Early Decision.
Fall is upon us at Homewood.
My second update is to answer the two questions that are most frequently asked this time of year from Early Decision applicants, their parents, and their counselors. Hope these answers help clear up any confusion:
When will Early Decision notifications be released? The plan is to release ED notifications on Wednesday, December 15. When decisions are released they are mailed out (postal mail) during the day and then an email is sent after 6:00 p.m. EST. If our plans change, the first place you can find the updated details will be on this blog. To prepare yourselves, click on the Early Decision category tab on the left column and check out Decision Release entries for the last few years.
Is my Early Decision application complete? As you can imagine, it gets busy in the Admissions Office as we process application materials. Because of the volume of records being handled, it is not possible for us to confirm with each individual applicant whether their application files are complete or to identity which individual items have been received. We do email applicants an acknowledgment message after their application is received and processed.
Rest assured that application files are checked carefully for completeness. Starting next week our operations team will contact students whose ED 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. Often applicants ask if there is a way they can track their application online. Unfortunately, Hopkins does not have such a system. For that reason, our operations team is quite proactive in contacting applicants and guidance counselors to make sure all required application materials are received and processed correctly.
As always, if you have any questions, head on over to the Hopkins Forums. (By the way, check out the re-design—it’s pretty awesome.) There is an extensive 10-page discussion on Early Decision Questions that may be helpful.
The mail continues to pile up in Mason Hall.
Finally, for those of you who are eagerly awaiting the release of decisions on December 15, I encourage you to find a distraction for the next few weeks. One suggestion is to check out the updated student profiles we added to the main Admissions site: http://apply.jhu.edu/studentlife/meet.html. A second distraction could be all the amazing student blogs that have been posted over the last few weeks: http://www.hopkins-interactive.com/index.php. And third, I highly recommend catching up on some great television shows. Here are the shows I am currently watching each week: Glee, The Walking Dead, Modern Family, Community, 30 Rock, House, Chase, Hawaii Five-0, and definitely Boardwalk Empire.
Those of you who have been a frequent visitor to the main Admissions Web site (http://apply.jhu.edu/) over the past couple of weeks will know that we’ve had a countdown reminder to the Early Decision deadline of November 1. When I woke up this morning and went to the main site I noticed that there are just four days until Early Decision applications are dueand that the reminder bar is now red instead of the goldencolor it was previously. As well, if you have visited this blog since October 12, you’ve probably read Early Decision: the Pros and Cons, written by Dean of Undergraduate Admissions John Latting.
Obviously, Early Decision is on the mind of many prospective applicants right now. During our Open House program last Saturday, the majority of questions my colleagues and I received were about the Early Decision process. (By the way, if you didn’t get to attend our last Open House we are holding another one this Saturday and there is still room for visitors; full details here: http://apply.jhu.edu/visit/openhouse.html.) Easily 50% of the emails we have been receiving over the last two weeks to our main Admissions e-mail account (firstname.lastname@example.org) have been about Early Decision. So I thought the best blog topic for today would be to provide answers to these frequently asked questions.
Time is running out ... ED deadline is fast approaching.
Is my Early Decision application complete? How can I track the status of my Early Decision application? Did you receive my tests scores / recommendations / etc.? As you can imagine, it gets busy in the Admissions Office as we process application materials. Because of the volume of records being handled, it is not possible for us to confirm with each individual applicant whether application files are complete or to identity which individual items have been received. We do e-mail applicants an acknowledgment message after their application has been received and processed. Rest assured that application files are checked carefully for completeness. At the end of the November we will contact students whose ED 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. Early Decision applicants may call the Admissions Office at (410) 516-8171 after November 30 to check if their application materials have been received, but once again we are not able to confirm the receipt of individual parts of your application. Often applicants ask if there is a way they can track their application online. Unfortunately, our office does not have such a system. For that reason, our Operations team is quite proactive in contacting applicants and guidance counselors to make sure all required application materials are received and processed correctly.
I know Johns Hopkins offers a binding Early Decision plan, but do you also offer Early Action or rolling admissions? No, we only offer Early Decision and Regular Decision processes.
If I apply to Johns Hopkins under the Early Decision agreement, can I also apply Early Action elsewhere? This is not the easiest question to answer. It is important to note that when you choose to apply ED to Johns Hopkins you, your parents, and your secondary school counselor will be required to sign an agreement/contract stating that you will enroll at Johns Hopkins if admitted and withdraw all applications to other schools.
The Early Decision agreement is binding, so you may not apply to any other school under an early decision plan. You also may not apply to any school through a Single-Choice Early Action (SCEA) plan because you will be breaking the contract of that SCEA school which states you cannot participate in a SCEA plan if applying ED elsewhere.
Applying to a non-binding Early Action school is allowed. However, when you apply early to a school you are stating to that school that it is your first choice, no matter if it is an ED, EA, or SCEA school. By applying through any type of early program, you are conveying a commitment to an individual school; applying early to multiple schools may make it seem like you have conflicting intentions.
Finally, please be aware that if a student does not abide by the ED contract then they forfeit their admission to Johns Hopkins and will not be able to enroll at a later date. We strongly urge students not to apply Early Decision if there is any possibility of later breaking the ED contract.
What my desk will look like in just a few weeks. Reading online!
How do I go about submitting the Early Decision Agreement? As stated above, all Early Decision applicants are required to submit the Early Decision agreement along with their signature, a parent/guardian signature, and the signature of their guidance counselor. Whether using the Universal College Application or Common Application, you may find the Early Decision agreement form as part of online application system or as a downloadable PDF. Just log-in to your account to access this form. If your school is submitting your application materials online, then you and your parent/guardian can sign the form online and pass it to your guidance counselor. They can submit their signature online and submit the form with the other required school materials such as the secondary school report and high school transcript.
We know that not all high schools are submitting materials online. In such situations, the student should print out the Early Decision agreement as a downloadable PDF and sign the form. After having your parent/guardian sign the form, turn the form into your guidance counselor. They should sign the form and mail it with all of your other school materials. If your application materials have already been submitted and mailed, then your guidance counselor can fax the form to our office at 410-516-6025.
Can I take October exams (SAT, ACT, SAT subject exams, TOEFL) and have those exams considered with my ED application? As stated on our standardized test requirements web site (http://apply.jhu.edu/apply/testreqs.html), Johns Hopkins requires that ED candidates complete their required tests no later than the end October of their senior year. Test scores need to be requested from the testing agencies prior to our stated application deadlines but may arrive after the deadline. Though October exam results may 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.
Will November exam scores be considered? We cannot guarantee that November scores will arrive before the Admissions Committee evaluation. Past experience does suggest that exams taken in November usually arrive in time. Therefore, Early Decision applicants may only submit November testing if they are taking the SAT, ACT, or TOEFL a multiple time, or if they are taking the recommended but not required SAT subject exams. If the scores arrive before the evaluation then they will be considered with the application. We cannot guarantee that scores sent after our application deadline will be processed in time to be reviewed with the application and we do not delay the review of an application to wait for scores sent after the application deadline. Do note there is no need to rush scores from the testing agencies, as our office will not process them any quicker.
A unique way of delivering his ED application to JHU: I guess Conan is hedging his bets re: his new TBS show.
So these are the many questions we have been fielding lately, and I hope you find these answers helpful. To those of you who have chosen to apply Early Decision, good choice and good luck. Make sure to have all of your materials submitted online and/or postmarked by this Monday, November 1.
Editor’s Note: Today’s guest author is Dean of Undergraduate Admissions John Latting. Dean Latting expressed interest in writing an entry for those prospective applicants debating whether to apply through our early decision program. So read on to hear Dean Latting’s advice on the advantages and disadvantages to applying early decision to Johns Hopkins University.
As we near the deadline to apply “early” here at Johns Hopkins, we thought it might be helpful to explain the advantages and disadvantages of the process, at least from where we see things.
Our early application program, as an “early decision” plan, does require that students commit to attending Johns Hopkins if admitted. That’s the big thing to keep in mind. There is also a November 1 application deadline, and a December 15 notification date.
Dean Latting in the midst of applications.
So what are the advantages? First, there’s the timeline itself: You’ll hear from us in December, before the general January 1 deadlines. This allows you to make adjustments to where, and to how many, colleges you’ll apply by that time. Students who are admitted early decision don’t have to apply anywhere else. They’re done, and they can focus on other things beside college admission for the rest of their senior year.
For students not admitted, they, too have feedback in December. They can then proceed with the applications they were considering for regular decision elsewhere, knowing that a place in a college freshman class still has to be found.
A second advantage has to do with chances of gaining admission. I don’t want you to make too much of this point, but when we’re reading applications during the early process, we don’t feel nearly as constrained as we do during regular decision to bring the size of the freshman class down to our target (which lately has been 1,235 students). At the early stage there is more freedom to respond to students who make a great case. During regular decision there are times when, frankly, capacity in the class just doesn’t allow us to admit all the students we think are great. Admit rates in early and regular decision here have been about 40% and 20%, respectively. The difference reflects how we breathe a little easier in December than we do in March.
But here’s where I need to remind you of the terms of the whole process—not so much the “disadvantage,” but just the reality of early decision. Despite more favorable admit rates at Johns Hopkins (and often at other universities, too) the process remains sensible only for students who have a clear first-choice school , students who have done the research to get to that point, and students who would have no regrets about enrolling at their early decision school. If Johns Hopkins seems familiar to you, is something you believe you have prepared for (academically, in particular), meets your expectations for what a college should be, and is just where you really want to be next fall, then by all means apply early. You are the reason we have the option in the first place.
If there’s a disadvantage with applying early decision, it has to do with financial aid. No, you won’t get bigger grants from Johns Hopkins if you are admitted regular decision, rather than early decision. We use absolutely, precisely the same methods for calculating eligibility for financial aid no matter when you are admitted. And we admit students without regard to whether they apply for financial aid, and how much we think they might need. But what you can’t do is compare financial aid offers from more than one college or university. Each institution has its own way of determining how much a family can reasonably pay for college, and the outcome of that process is only revealed after you are offered admission. When you apply early decision, you just get that one offer of financial aid.
Mason Hall: Where your applications are processed.
Now, if you and your parents don’t like what you see there, or feel it isn’t reasonable, you can be released from any obligation to enroll (at least you can here at Johns Hopkins). Just let us know. It should be encouraging to hear that last year, out of 493 Early Decision admits here at Johns Hopkins, only six students felt that our financial aid offer wasn’t acceptable to them and their parents.
And this financial aid issue gets back to the point about the importance of whether you have a clear first-choice college or not. If you’re looking here, or somewhere else for early decision and wouldn’t be thrown off by a financial aid difference (which, by the way, you can estimate using a college’s net price calculator; here’s ours: http://www.jhu.edu/finaid/estimator.html), then, we say it again: It makes sense to apply early.
As promised in my live blogging of the release of Early Decision notifications, I thought it appropriate to post an entry dedicated to those of you whose Early Decision notification informed you that your application was deferred into our Regular Decision applicant pool. Before I even begin with this post, I have to strongly encourage those of you who are in this situation to review the discussion thread I have set-up on the Hopkins Forums:
In my experience, those who receive a defer notice from their Early Decision school are confused about how to react. The news is not good, but it is also not all bad. In many ways, the news is that your reactions are going to be delayed for another three or so months. Yes, we understand that more waiting is not what you want to hear at this time, but unfortunately defer decisions are part of the Early Decision process.
Disappointment is absolutely reasonable, but you do not need to lose all hope. Every year ED defers are admitted during RD, and defers are provided the same chance of admissions as the applicants who apply regular decision. It is very important to note that at Hopkins we do not just politely defer Early Decision applicants into our Regular Decision applicant pool to delay bad news. We deny applicants Early Decision, in fact we deny more than we defer. Those who are deferred by the Admissions Committee still have a legitimate chance for admission, otherwise we would not have deferred the decision.
However, your reactions need be tempered. Being deferred does mean there were weaknesses in your application that raised concerns with the Admissions Committee. Though we do and will admit ED defers during the Regular Decision round, statistically the majority of deferred applicants will not be offered admission. During the Regular Decision review process we will offer admission to less than 20% of all applicants. The competition will be difficult during Regular Decision, however as I stated above, all deferred applicants will be re-reviewed and given a fair shot for admission. There is no advantage nor disadvantage for deferred students … just a second chance.
What do you have to do as a deferred applicant? Nothing. Deferred ED applications are automatically moved into the Regular Decision round of application reviews. There is nothing a deferred applicant must do. No new application needs to be completed.
There is though one thing you must do, and that is make sure you apply to other schools. Though obvious, your chance for admission to Hopkins is not guaranteed and you want to make sure you have options next year.
What should I do as a deferred applicant? I have provided a lot of detail on the Deferred Student Discussion Thread on the Hopkins Forums, so I thought I would just share that advice here:
(2) Make sure you update the academic portion of your application. This would include mid-year grades (which will play a MAJOR role in your re-review), additional standardized test scores you may have taken, and maybe even an updated letter of recommendation from your guidance counselor.
(3) Consider updating the non-academic portion of your application. Though not required, an updated resume and an additional letter of recommendation (especially from a senior year teacher) can always help. Just make sure anything you add does contribute in a new way to your application. Do not be redundant.
(4) Write a letter to the Admissions Committee. Though not something all deferred applicants need to do or even should do, some of you may consider writing a personal letter to the Admissions Committee stressing your interest in Hopkins and why you feel you are an appropriate candidate for admissions. Consider this a cover letter to your overall application.
The most important thing you have to do is have a stellar senior year academically. By far, the most important part of the review of a deferred applicant during the regular decision round will be the academic progress and success throughout the senior year. Make sure that any updates to your application are submitted by February 1st and your mid-year report and transcript are submitted by your school by February 15th.