Talk about an encore. The two Homewood undergraduate
schools received a record number of applications this year
and saw marked gains in the percentage of minority
applicants. With a final tally of 11,112 applications, the
university smashed the existing high-water mark set just
last year when Johns Hopkins cracked the 10,000 barrier for
the first time in its history.
John Latting, director of
admissions, attributes the significant increases to
targeted, intensive recruiting efforts and enhanced
marketing on the part of the schools. The high numbers, he
said, were a pleasant surprise.
"You might try to hit a home run, but you don't expect
it to happen," Latting said. "We did a very good job of
recruiting this past year; it wasn't a matter of there
simply being 10 percent more high school students
The university had an 11 percent increase in the
number of African-American, Hispanic/Latino and Native
American applicants, who collectively accounted for 14
percent of the applications received for the schools of
Arts and Sciences and Engineering.
Latting said that he and his staff have made bringing
underrepresented groups to Hopkins a top priority. He added
that the Office of Undergraduate Admissions has received
strong support from alumni groups and current students to
promote the school and increase numbers in this area.
The admittance rate for the university was a record
low 28 percent, with 3,161 acceptance letters being sent
out last week. The target number for the class of 2008 is
Acceptance letters went out to students from all 50
states and more than 30 countries. The top five states
represented were, in order, New York, California, New
Jersey, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Latting said that the university has made a concerted
effort in recent years to court students in California, and
the result has been a steady increase in applicants from
"We said, these are kids we want. Our staff and school
officials have spent plenty of time on the ground in
California talking to students, teachers and counselors,"
he said. "Part of our strategy is for [students and
educators] to get to know us on a personal basis, as
compared to here's so-and-so from Johns Hopkins. I predict
the number of applications from California to go up again
next year, when we will perhaps see the number of
applications from there top what we get from New York."
Other notable admissions figures include a 37 percent
growth in applications to the School of Engineering. The
large increase falls on the heels of a slight dip in
application numbers the School of Engineering had from 2002
In an effort to increase the number of Engineering
applicants, Latting said that his office conducted a
targeted mailing effort to high school students who fit the
mold of "promising engineers," those who excelled in
physics, calculus, chemistry and other related courses.
"The Whiting School has also done a great job of
communicating its strengths," he said. "For instance, they
added new tracks and majors, like biomolecular engineering,
which highlight just how broad-based a school it is and
illustrate its wealth of teachers involved in different
A new option this past year for high school students
considering Johns Hopkins was filling out an online
application. JHU also offers a paper one and accepts paper
and online versions of the Common Application, a form used
by a consortium of 240 member institutions.
Latting said it is not known how much an impact the
online application had on the total numbers, but he did say
that the number of online applications is likely to
increase as students become more comfortable with the
The number of applications received from international
students — 1,113 — remained nearly the same as
last year. Latting said that he was pleased to see the
numbers remain strong despite new immigration screening
procedures put in place for the sake of national
"We are somewhat swimming against a tide in this area,
and to hold steady in the number of international
applicants was great," he said. "I personally feel that JHU
has to do all it can to attract international students.
It's part of the vision of where we are headed. The world
keeps getting smaller as Johns Hopkins continues to branch
What will the class of 2008 look like? Latting said
that the Office of Undergraduate Admissions has
deliberately sought out not just students who excel in
class but well-rounded students who demonstrate creativity
and ability in other areas.
"Some of the questions we ask are, How well will this
student do at Hopkins? and Where does this student fit in,
and what will he or she contribute to the community? " he
said. "Yes, we had more applicants this year, but it's not
just bigger group; it's a better one. We are in the
fortunate position to choose from many exceptional
students. It's a good place to be."
The deadline for students to make their decision is