They’re coming, and there’s a lot of them.
More men and women than ever will identify themselves as Johns Hopkins students this year, as most university divisions are reporting record-high enrollment numbers for their incoming classes.
The demographic of the classes also shows an uptick in international students, a number that had been holding steady in recent years due to stricter federal immigration laws post-9/11.
Of note, the number of freshman applicants to the schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering was an all-time high of 13,863, a 23 percent increase from 2005 and a more than 50 percent increase from eight years ago. The current number of enrolled students in the class of 2010 is a record 1,219, 40 percent of whom applied early decision.
Johns Hopkins witnessed the largest increase in its undergraduate applicant pool among the 31 private colleges and universities associated with the Consortium on Financing Higher Education, or COFHE, a group that includes Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Duke, Princeton and MIT.
William Conley, dean of enrollment and academic services, said that the high number of applications allowed the Homewood schools to be more selective than ever, as evidenced by the low admit rate of 27 percent.
“We are very pleased with how we have positioned ourselves and [by] our marketing efforts. It’s really gratifying to see these numbers, and it’s a good thing to be able to be this selective,” Conley said. “The diversity among this incoming class is strong, and it’s a very, very talented group.”
The number of underrepresented minorities, 173, increased for the sixth consecutive year, while the percentage of international students, 5 percent, climbed slightly.
For the graduate divisions of the Krieger and Whiting schools, the total number of applicants, 6,138, rose 5 percent from last year. The number of new students enrolled will be 533, up from last year’s 506. Nearly twice that number were admitted, but the others chose not to enroll.
The Peabody Institute will welcome a record-high 320 incoming students, 120 of them internationals hailing from 21 countries, a list that includes Spain, Russia, Croatia, Australia and Singapore. Peabody’s previous high number of incoming international students was 97.
The School of Nursing’s accelerated baccalaureate class is the largest ever admitted, while the traditional class equals the previous record-breaking size.
The theme for the incoming Nursing students is career changers: More than two-thirds entering the traditional baccalaureate program already hold a bachelor’s degree, and a substantial number have pursued other careers before choosing nursing.
The new baccalaureate students also are older, with an average age of 27 for both programs, and some students are in their late 50s. Forty-three are returning Peace Corps volunteers who served in countries literally from Albania to Zambia. Others have had careers in finance, military research, teaching, television news broadcasting, bioinformatics, lighting design and athletic training.
Dean Martha N. Hill said she sees the increasing numbers of nursing applicants and the second degree/career change trend evident at Hopkins as a demonstrable response to opportunities within the field of nursing.
The School of Medicine’s incoming class will again be around 120 students, as the school limits its class size to that level. Redonda Miller, assistant dean for student affairs, said that although the number of applicants varies by year, “we have a highly competitive selection process that keeps the numbers of enrollees around that.”
The projected incoming class size for the School of Public Health is 767, up from 716 last fall. Nearly 28 percent are internationals, who hail from 53 countries. The top-three countries represented in the class are the United States, India and Canada.
SAIS received 1,666 applications, up from 1,589 last year. The projected entering class for the MA in international relations is 268, with 166 enrolled at the D.C. campus and 102 beginning studies at the Bologna campus. The percentage of first-year incoming international students in D.C. is 20 percent, and traditionally nearly half of the students at Bologna come from European countries and other continents.
“The number of international students starting in Washington has dropped from last year,” said Courtney M. Burton, interim director of admissions and student affairs, “but we still manage to keep a robust international student body of about 36 percent when our Bologna students return to D.C. in their second year.”
Burton said that the school enrolled fewer students this year because of the relatively large class of 186 students in 2005.
Final figures for SPSBE are not reported here because enrollment is ongoing.