June 6, 2011

Record-breaking class of 2015: Highest yield, most diverse

Thirty-seven percent of the 3,552 high school students offered admission into the undergraduate class of 2015 have enrolled, giving the Homewood schools their highest-ever yield, according to John Latting, dean of undergraduate admissions.

The 1,302 members of the class of 2015 were drawn from 19,388 applicants, a tally that set another record high. A third broken record marks an all-time low: The admit rate for freshman undergraduates entering in the fall is just 18 percent, showing the university’s increasing selectivity, Latting said.

The new class is also Homewood’s most diverse, with 18 percent (237 students) coming from underrepresented minority groups, including 136 Hispanic/Latino students and 94 African-American students, Latting said.

Academically, 63 percent (823 students) are enrolling in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and 37 percent (479 students) in the Whiting School of Engineering. Forty-eight percent of freshmen are women. As for academic preparation, the class hit record highs in SAT scores and GPAs. The class of 2015 hails from 46 states plus Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, and 11 percent of the class (143 students) are from foreign countries, including 61 students from Asia, 40 from Europe and 16 from Canada.

Across the board, the record-setting numbers become even more impressive when compared to the admissions profile for the class entering 10 years ago. The fall 2001 yield was nearly as strong at 33 percent (1,023 students), but the applicant pool was 112 percent smaller at 9,132 applicants. The 34 percent admit rate (3,135 students) was also much higher than today. And in 2001, only 6.8 percent (70 students) of enrolling students came from underrepresented minority groups, Latting said.

Latting said that improvements to undergraduate life at Homewood and physical upgrades to the campus are both key factors in the “tremendous progress” that has been made in the university’s admissions outcomes, as are the people from all walks of campus life who help recruit new students.

“We have a really dedicated, energetic and talented team in the Admissions and Financial Aid offices, and we benefit from the efforts of an incredible group of Hopkins student volunteers who help us recruit as tour guides, overnight hosts, emailers, callers, greeters and so on,” Latting said. “Alumni, faculty, staff and even Hopkins parents have a strong hand in recruiting these days, too. Our Web presence and communication with admitted students, generally, are strong, too. Finally, I think Johns Hopkins is increasingly thought of as a place offering an education of unusual quality, with rare opportunities for students to prepare themselves for life. These characteristics seem to be ever more valued by students in America, and all around the world.”

The anticipated target number for the class is 1,245, allowing for “summer melt,” the admissions term describing the seasonal phenomenon when some students change their enrollment plans.