Johns Hopkins Gazette | April 6, 2009
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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University April 6, 2009 | Vol. 38 No. 29
Admissions Mails... and Waits to See

State of economy adds question marks

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

The good news — and bad — recently went out to a record 16,122 people who applied for admission to Johns Hopkins in fall 2009.

On March 27, the "Yes!" envelope went out to 3,814 high school seniors seeking admission to the schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering. Along with the 502 early decision admits from the fall (up 14 percent from last year), this makes for an admitted class of 4,319, or 27 percent of the applicant pool. The target number for freshmen spots, however, remains roughly the same at 1,234.

John Latting, dean of undergraduate admissions, said that the number of admits was considerably higher this year for two main reasons: a very highly qualified applicant pool and the economy.

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions predicts a lower yield based on the exceptionally strong academic preparation and varied backgrounds of those admitted — a dynamic that affords these students many college choices, Latting said.

In terms of the economy, Latting said that Johns Hopkins would likely face stiffer competition from "flagship" public universities this year due to cost comparison and a decision by some families for students to stay close to home due to uncertainty over the world economic situation.

"This is not based on historical data, but rather we've been thinking through what the state of the economy means for families," Latting said. "The analysis says there will be a slightly smaller percentage of middle- and high-income families who choose a private university this year."

Because of the economy, the school has increased overall financial aid by 5.4 percent to $44 million. Latting said that in a time when most budget lines are being cut or frozen, financial aid remains a top priority and needs to be fully funded.

In addition, a one-time reserve of $1 million has been set aside by the deans to aid returning students who have had significant changes in their family circumstances due to the recession, according to Vincent Amoroso, director of the Office of Student Financial Services.

"The university has made a commitment to returning students to continue to fund their financial aid eligibility, even if their level of need increases," Amoroso said.

Funds to support the incoming freshman class, Amoroso said, were kept proportional to those allocated to upperclassmen, with slightly more than 24 percent going to incoming students.

Both Latting and Amoroso stressed that the university will be able to retain its racial, ethnic and economic diversity.

"The incoming freshman class will represent all different types of students," Amoroso said. "Given the state of the economy, it is a bit harder to predict the outcome. However, we do believe the economic diversity of the class will be comparable to that of previous years."

Of note, the number of offers of admission to international students increased 50 percent. Latting attributed the increase to the university's increasing global reach and the rising tide of applications from abroad.

Of the 4,319 admits, 48 percent are women, and 15 percent are minority students (310 African- American, 337 Hispanic, 22 Native American). The median SAT scores for this group were 710 in critical reading, 740 in math and 720 in writing. Of the 1,634 admitted to the School of Engineering, 36 percent are women.

The top 10 states of admits, in descending order, are New York, California, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Florida, Virginia and Texas.

Students residing in 64 countries were offered admission; the countries and territories from which more than one student was admitted were Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Vietnam and the Virgin Islands.

Final decisions need to be postmarked by May 1.


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