Is it really August already? Where did the summer of 2009 going? It really is quite insane how time flies by ... especially for someone like me who believes in the motto "Procrastinate now; don't put it off." (Thanks Ellen!)
My distractions of choice today has been two-fold. First, I am watching every video I can of Jeanine Mason's performances on So You Think You Can Dance this summer. I voted a ton of times for her last night and I really hope she wins (though all the finalists are amazing.) As well, I have been on various Big Brother update sitesto get ready for the live show tonight when I hope Ronnie is evicted, Jordan wins HOH, and Jeff is selected for the Coup. Since I don't get paid to procrastinate by thinking about reality television, I thought I would spend some time posting an update to the blog. And there are definitely updates to share.
As the summer ends and high school starts for the Class of 2010, many high school seniors will begin to focus on the actual process of completing college applications. Though deadlines are still months away, it doesn't hurt to start thinking about the actual application. For the 2009-10 application cycle, we have made a few changes and updates that I thought you all should be aware of.
FIRST, there is no longer a Johns Hopkins application option. Freshman candidates can apply with either the Universal College Application OR the Common Application. These applications are now available online for candidates seeking admission for the Fall 2010 term. Please note that you will be required to complete the Johns Hopkins Supplement, no matter which application method you select.
Speaking of the Johns Hopkins Supplement it is not yet currently available. We plan to release our supplement for both the Universal App. and Common App. at the end of August. At that time, we will update our applications page to include a downloadable copy of the JH Supplement: . You will also have access to our supplement to submit online (our preferred method) through both the Universal App. and Common App. sites.
SECOND, we will continue the movement towards a paperless application process. Starting with last year's application cycle, we implemented a sustainable / green application system. Once again, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions invites students to use a convenient online application to save paper, electricity, gas, and time. We have a paperless document management and imaging system that will eliminates paper files and allows admissions counselors to do all of their application reading online. So, do the green thing and apply online.
For further information about these updates and to ask any questions about the 2009-10 application process to Johns Hopkins University, be sure to check out the following discussion thread on the Hopkins Forums: 2009-10 Application for Admission.
The THIRD update is something our office has been discussing a lot this summer, the College Board's new Score Choice policy. This year's crop of high school seniors will be the first to apply to college with this new option of Score Choice and it is definitely something all schools have had to discuss. After much deliberation the last few months our office has selected the College Board defined score choice policy that we will follow for the coming admissions cycle. If you are unaware of what Score Choice is, here is how the College Board web site describes it:
Score Choice gives you the option to choose which scores (by test date for the SAT and by individual test for SAT Subject Tests you send to colleges—in accordance with an institution's stated score-use practice. You can choose scores from one, several, or all SAT test dates.
Each college and university was instructed by the College Board to select from 6 "score-use practice descriptions." Note that these descriptions were written by the College Board, not the individual college and universities. After our discussions, we decided on the following policy as defined by the College Board:
Highest Section Scores Across Test Dates -
Version 2 (Highest M, CR, W)
Johns Hopkins University has indicated that it consider your highest section scores across all SAT test dates that you submit. Only your highest section score as will be considered as part of the final admissions decision. Each time you submit scores, Johns Hopkins University will update your record with any new high scores.
Johns Hopkins University strong encourages you to submit your scores each time you take the SAT. Sending your scores each time you take the SAT can benefit you by allowing Johns Hopkins University to consider you for all available enrollment-related opportunities.
The following PDF was created by the College Board to list all the score-use practices and the choices made by individual colleges and universities: http://professionals.collegeboard.com/profdownload/sat-score-use-practices-list.pdf. (Do note, as of August 6th, Hopkins is listed on this PDF as selecting the "ALL SCORES" policy. This was the original policy we were going to choose, however after further discussion we changed our mind. The College Board is in the process of updating this form to reflect our official policy choice.)
So above, this defines JHU's Score Choice POLICY. However, it is not as simple as that. The language the College Board has used in creating their “score-use practice descriptions” is a bit limiting. None of the six descriptions accurately reflect our testing policies, and have made it difficult to fully explain how we use test scores in our review process.
Therefore, when explaining score choice it is best for us to explain that our POLICY is as described as above, but our PREFERENCE is different. Our preference is that applicants SEND US ALL THEIR TEST SCORES. It is our recommendation that an applicant to Johns Hopkins submit all test scores (SAT / ACT / SAT subjects) when applying ... all test dates, all exams. This for us is the easiest policy and simplifies the application review process.
With this stated PREFERENCE that is different than our selected POLICY, some may be confused and ask why the difference. Well, we had thought about selecting the "All Scores" policy of the College Board and actually did so at first. However, the way the College Board defined that policy made it seem like every score that a student takes would matter in our Admissions review process. That was just not true ... as we are a school that looks at an applicant's highest test score sections even across different SAT dates (what many call superscoring).So though we would prefer to see all of applicant's scores, we did not want to make it appear that in our admissions review process standardized test scores are the most important factor and that we review every score a student has ever taken.
So since ALL SCORES really didn't match our methodology we selected the HIGHEST SCORES option. But once again the language that the College Board used to define this policy did not completely match with our admissions review process. Yes, when we review an application we focus on highest test scores however, we do want to know how many times a student has taken these exams and what the trend of their scores were throughout the multiple exams. The Admissions Committee does see value in reviewing test score trends and does see a difference between an applicant whose highest scores came over one / two / three exams versus an applicant whose highest scores come over five or more exams.
For these reasons, when asked about Score Choice we talk about our POLICY and our PREFERENCE. In simplistic terms, we would like you to send all of your standardized exams with your application and if so we will focus on your highest sections. We require though for you only to send us the exam dates with your highest sections.
Questions about our Score Choice policy and preference? Then post them to this discussion thread on the Hopkins Forums: SAT Score Choice Policy. Also check out these discussion threads for further information about how test scores are reviewed: Standardized Test (SAT / ACT) Questions and Questions About SAT II Subject Exams.
I hope you all found these updates helpful. Much more to come about applying to Johns Hopkins in the coming months. I am off to go procrastinate a bit more ... maybe I'll vote some more for JHU in the Victoria's Secret PINK Collegiate Collection Competition(6th place, WOW!).