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Number of early decision applicants rises - Rate of acceptance decreases from last year; one-third of 2012 class has already been filled

By Heather Barbakoff | January 30, 2008

The number of early decision applicants for the class of 2012 increased by six percent while rates of acceptance went down, according to the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

Hopkins evaluated 1,055 early admission applicants, an increase from the current freshmen class, which had 997. Out of these applicants, 439 were admitted - an acceptance rate of 41 percent.

"We could have taken 50 percent of the freshman class [with early decision applicants], but we didn't want to," said William Conley, dean of enrollment and academic services.

Associate Director of Admissions and Alumni Relations Amy Brokl said the University wanted to "have a more equitable distribution between our early decision and regular decision applicants."

The total for all freshman class applicants - both early and regular decision - is expected to reach a record high for Hopkins at 16,000. Hopkins will accept 1,200 total students into the 2012 class.

The University still sees early decision as beneficial, allowing the most dedicated potential candidates the opportunity to come to this institution, Brokl said.

"We really like the balance we have. We really like having one out of three freshmen saying 'this is my first choice.' It's a good thing," Conley said.

According to Conley, around 35 percent of those students admitted by early decision will be receiving Hopkins-based grants. The average grant will be $25,000.

Aid is determined based on student use of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) form and will not have to be repaid.

It is estimated that this year's applicant pool requires less aid than the class of 2011. The total amount available for grants varies yearly due to fluctuating costs and the individual applicants' needs.

The availability of financial aid for early decision applicants remains a cornerstone in the ongoing debate about the need for early decision.

Proponents of eradicating early decision argue that the lack of an opportunity to compare financial aid packages is a disadvantages to certain students.

"When a student asks about financial aid, I tell them if you wish to compare packages, early decision is not for you," Conley said.

"They will be applicable for the same regular decision financial aid packages [as non-early applicants]."

The accepted early decision class is very close to an even gender division. The current University under-class gender ratio is 53 percent male to 47 percent female.

Underrepresented minorities compose 10 percent of the early decision applicants. The Asian student population is not included in the statistics.

Maryland remains the most represented state, with 16 percent of accepted early decision applicants coming from the state. The other highly represented states include New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and California.

The average SAT score for 2012 was higher than that of the previous, whose middle 50th percentile scored between 1350 and 1540.

Admissions looks to divide regular decision applicants so as to accept approximately one-third from those planning to enroll in the Whiting School of Engineering and the remaining two-thirds into the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. Early decision acceptances mirror this distribution pattern.

With regular decision acceptances expected to be sent out by post and e-mail no later than April 1, the admissions counselors are reading submitted applications.

"We're anticipating a really strong regular decision class," Brokl said. "It's seeing people who are paper applications come to life [that] is just so interesting for us."

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