April 4, 2011

Class of 2015 takes shape for Homewood schools

Acceptance emails and envelopes are in the hands of the 3,032 potential members of the Johns Hopkins University class of 2015, but that doesn’t mean the Office of Undergraduate Admissions is taking it easy.

Though the office just wrapped up months of poring over a record-breaking 19,388 applications to begin forming the next freshman class in the schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering, its work is far from over: April is packed with on-campus activities designed to give those offered admission for fall 2011 a sneak peek into life as a Johns Hopkins undergraduate before their responses are due with May 1 postmarks.

“We’re excited to turn our energy to spring recruitment events, and among the things we’ll be doing is welcoming these new members of our community to campus to see the very best of what Johns Hopkins has to offer,” said John Latting, dean of undergraduate admissions, after acceptance letters went out on Tuesday, March 29.

Overnight programs featuring campus scavenger hunts, sessions for parents, greetings from President Ronald J. Daniels, dinner in a tent on the Decker Quad, undergraduate performing arts showcases and a Hopkins Night Festival and Concert are all on the welcoming agenda for the students admitted during the university’s most selective year to date. Because the university received the most applications ever, its admissions rate fell to a record low: Only 18.3 percent of those applying were admitted. (The previous low was 20.5 percent for entry in fall 2010.)

The target number for the class is 1,245.

“The interest in Johns Hopkins continues to grow,” Latting said. “For the ninth year in a row, we’ve seen more applications for freshman admission than we’ve ever seen before. In looking at the talented group of students we’ve selected for the class of 2015, I’m gratified by how many people from all over the world want to study here. It’s a testament to the faculty and students who make Johns Hopkins a remarkable place.”

Including the 518 incoming freshmen admitted through early decision, the 3,550 students offered admission for fall are academically well-prepared for a rigorous Johns Hopkins education, with the typical admit having scored a combined 1470 on the two-part SAT.

The accepted students are almost equally divided between men and women. The group is one of the most diverse in the university’s history, with 808 students (23 percent) coming from underrepresented minority groups, defined as African-American, Hispanic and Native American. All 50 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are represented in the admitted class. This year, New York overtook California as home to the largest number of admits.

Three hundred and two international students from 67 nations are among the admitted class, with 110 students living in 19 European countries and 109 in 11 East Asian countries. Among the international students are 28 from Canada, 20 from South Asia, 18 from South America and 15 from Central America.

Matching last year’s percentage, 37 percent of admits have been offered need-based grant funding—reflecting the university’s ongoing commitment to make a Johns Hopkins education accessible to students from all financial backgrounds—working in collaboration with Vincent Amoroso, director of the Office of Student Financial Services, and his staff.

While many admissions staffers were busy assembling thousands of envelopes to take to the post office, the Admissions Office’s social media maven, Daniel Creasy, was also busy, posting updates to his popular blog, the Hopkins Insider, to provide a real-time behind-the-scenes view of the big day for applicants, their families and anyone else interested in the process. Between Monday, March 28, and mid-day Thursday, March 31, the blog had 8,774 unique visitors and 15,306 overall page views. During the same time period, the student blogs at the Hopkins Interactive site attracted 10,183 unique visitors for 18,823 overall page views, and nearly 43 percent of the visitors were there for the first time, Creasy said.