Johns Hopkins Gazette: February 20, 1996

On Administration: Some Applicants Put Their Eggs In One Carton

Leslie Rice
Homewood News and Information

     It may look like an egg carton gone haywire, but Bill
Hapiuk, assistant director of Undergraduate Admissions, is
actually holding a freshman admissions essay. This year, the
Hopkins admissions crew came up with some rather creative essay
questions for Hopkins hopefuls, and they were met with some
equally creative responses.

     Among the essays was one presumably geared for the more
engineering-minded: "Take a piece of wire, a Hopkins car window
sticker, an egg carton and an inexpensive hardware store item and
write an essay about how your invention would solve a problem.
But fiction writers, don't worry, we won't require proof it

     While most applicants responded with stories about their
invention--one wrote he retrieved his keys from beneath his car
by attaching the wire and the carton and scraping it underneath
the car with the sticky part of the window sticker--one high
school senior from Southern California created an actual gizmo
and mailed it to the Admissions Office.

     Straight out of an episode of the old television show
McGyver, the student used some wire, the sticker, the egg carton
and a small bell to create a pool alarm. The bell goes off if
there is splashing in the pool and alerts parents 
that a child may be in the pool.

     The number of applicants may break a Hopkins record this
year, says admissions director Paul White. By last Friday, the
Admissions Office had received 8,466 applications. That's up from
7,875 this time last year, leading administrators to believe
applications will hit an all-time record in 1996. 

     High school students will learn about their fate in the
middle of March. No word yet on whether the pool 
alarm inventor has been accepted.

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