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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University February 4, 2008 | Vol. 37 No. 20
Undergraduate Applications Soar at Johns Hopkins

Applicants up 7 percent from last year, 79 percent from six years ago

By Lisa de Nike

Forgive the admissions counselors at Homewood if they look a bit tired and hazy-eyed these days. After all, they're working long hours to read the largest number of undergraduate applications in Johns Hopkins' history.

This year, about 15,950 students are vying for about 1,200 spots in the 2008 fall freshman class in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Whiting School of Engineering, said John Latting, dean of undergraduate admissions. That's up more than 7 percent from last year's 14,848 applications and nearly 79 percent from 8,929 six years ago.

This is the sixth straight year that applications have increased, making admission to Johns Hopkins more competitive than ever before, Latting said.

"The Admissions Office staff all work very hard to get out the message about the wonderful undergraduate experience here at Johns Hopkins--and that experience is getting better all the time," Latting said. "It's great to see such an increase in students who want to come here, but we shouldn't be surprised."

Part of this trend includes a surge in early decision applications, with 1,055 college-bound high school seniors selecting Johns Hopkins as their first-choice school. That's nearly a 6 percent increase from last year's 997, and a 72 percent jump from the 613 students who filed early decision applications with Johns Hopkins in 2003.

What's more, the 439 students who were admitted early decision in December have the highest mean composite SAT scores ever: 1,373. The group's median SAT critical reading score was 670, and its median SAT math score was 704. Of those students, 32 percent each were accepted into engineering and natural science programs, 12 percent into the humanities and 19 percent into social and behavioral sciences. The rest are undecided Arts and Sciences students.

Latting's staff will be processing, reading and discussing applications over the next two months in anticipation of sending acceptance letters around April 1.

"Although the amount of work facing all of us in Admissions this time of year can seem daunting, year in and year out the staff here show they're up to the challenge," Latting said. "We all know that many people depend on us in this process to do a great job: the students who apply, of course, but also the faculty and students of the university. As Jerry Schnydman [executive assistant to president Brody] once said to me, 'This is our Super Bowl.' He's right on."


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