Let me begin by wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving. I have survived the holiday traffic and arrived at my parent's home for the start of a lovely Thanksgiving break with the family, Lilly, and Soze. This will be a traditional Thanksgiving of great food, great football, great family, and great files. Yes, the four "Fs" of my Thanksgiving holiday for the last nine years. Food, football, family, and FILES - FILES - FILES.
(((Popular Culture blog break: As I am writing about Thanksgiving I am thinking about last summer's movie "Grindhouse." Did any of you see it? This was the double-feature horror film with Quentin Tarantino's "Death Proof" and Robert Rodriguez's "Planet Terror." What made me think of it? Well during "Grindhouse" you get these fake trailers to fake movies and one is by Eli Roth of "Hostel" fame and is titled simply "Thanksgiving." It is one of the sickest things I have ever seen and has changed the way I think of this Turkey Holiday.)))
Back to the blog .... So files during Thanksgiving, that's the life of a dedicated Admissions counselor. Starting in November and running through March your life in many ways becomes reading applications files first and everything else (even holidays) second. For me this is just fact and actually not something I really complain about. Especially with my family ... I've trained Lilly (my nearly two year old niece) and Soze (my nearly six year old dog) to help read files. Soze is great with transcripts and Lilly is even better with letters of recommendation. Obviously, I am kidding ... OR AM I?????
Well as you all prepare to take a break from school I thought I would share a few updates in the world of Admissions at Hopkins. As you can see from the pictures the reading of Early Decision applications has truly begun. In fact, it began earlier this year than ever before since we moved the ED deadline to November 1st. That has been a wonderful blessing to the Admissions staff both from the Operations side with more time to process and from the Counseling team side with more time to read. I actually got my first batch of applications to read on November 5th, nearly two weeks earlier than in any previous year. (Read last year's "Ready, Set, READ" blog entry that the official first day was not until November 21.) This has been wonderul because my stress level has not risen and I really have been able to pace myself with my evaluations. Plus we are going to have a good amount of time to discuss things in Committee before finalizing decisions.
For those of you who applied Early Decision, I thought I would provide you with answers to some of the questions I have been asked over the last couple of weeks. (Regular Decision applicants don't fret ... I will post an FAQ list for you all in the coming weeks.)
When will ED notifications be released???
The plan as stated on our web site and in the application materials is to release Early Decision notifications to all ED applicants by December 15th. For the last few years that means we release decisions ON 12.15. I suspect the same will be true this year, but if our plans change and we are able to release decisions a day or two earlier I will update you all through this blog.
When decisions are released that are mailed out during the day and then an email is sent at 6:00pm EST. For further details about the process of notification for ED, please read "Down to the Wire..." and "Notes on the Release of Early Decision Notifications", two blog entries I wrote last December.
How many Early Decision applications were received this year???
Since this generation of college applicants is so obsessed with numbers, this has become the question I am asked constantly. How many applicants? Is that more than last year? Less? Why such a change? What does that mean? AAAAAAHHHHHH! Here is my answer ... calm down ... patience ... and the numbers do not tell the story.
Director of Admissions Dr. John Latting did reveal earlier this week that it looks like our Early Decision application total for the 2007-08 application cycle will be ... 1055 applications. This number is subject to change as we continue to complete applications and confirm Early Decision agreements. But, it is looking like the largest ED applicant pool in Hopkins history surpassing the record 1004 applications two years ago. I always think it is impressive to note that just six years ago in 2002 we received 516 ED applications and ten years ago we received 462.
Is my Early Decision application is complete???
It would be great if we had an online system where you all could log-on and checking to see if your application is complete. Unfortunately we don't, but after a series of demos/discussions I sat-in-on last week that possibility is looking much brighter for next year. For now the process is a simple one.
As you can imagine, it gets busy in the Admissions Office as we process application materials. Because of the volume of records being handled, we regret that it is not possible to confirm personally whether application files are complete or to identity which individual items have been received. Applicants will be mailed an acknowledgment postcard after your application is received and processed. It can take up to 4 weeks for a received application to be processed.
Rest assured that application files are checked carefully for completeness. Starting next week (Nov. 26th) 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 can not confirm individual parts of your application.
What are you looking for when you review the applications??? How do you choose who gets admitted???
These are questions that I am often asked and unfortunately there is no easy answer. Plus, Lilly just woke up from her nap and therefore I prefer to end this blog entry and go play with her. Fortunately though I have written on this topic twice before. Last year I posted "The Approach..." and the year before I posted "Three Months..." Take a read and hopefully my words can shed some light on the process.
Happy Thanksgiving all.
[[[Photo Captions: (1) Mmmmm....turkey. (2) Lilly teaching Soze as they prepare to read applications. (3) & (4) Reading applications in my amazing new office. (5) To be filed bins beginning to stack up. (6) Decision support sheets and files waiting to be merged. (7) The printer is working over-time. (8) The office supplies are ready, including the blue application confirmation postcards.]]]