“It’s definitely a nice Valentine’s gift because I’m used to rejection on Valentine's Day,” said Jackson Morris, who was recently admitted to the Class of 2025.
Early Decision II (ED II) results were released on Friday, Feb. 12. Hopkins accepted 304 of 2,874 applicants, according to Danielle Bernard, director of marketing and communications in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
This was the first year an ED II round was offered in addition to the Early Decision I (ED I) and Regular Decision (RD) cycles. ED applicants receive their admission offer earlier than RD applicants on the condition that they will commit to attending if they are admitted.
ED I applicants have an earlier deadline in mid-November, while ED II and RD applications are due in early January.
Newly admitted students join 520 others who were admitted through ED I in December from a historically high applicant pool that saw an 11% increase from last year.
Divya Ravindra, who was admitted as an ED II applicant, described Hopkins as her dream college. She expressed excitement to get involved with student organizations at the University.
“There are things like Tutorial Project and Camp Kesem that really appealed to me, as well as having the opportunity to meet super cool people from around the world,” she said.
Thomas Neumann chose to apply to Hopkins as his first choice after learning about the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at the School of Medicine.
“I was baffled to hear they were the only lab in the world testing psychedelics on treating depression and anxiety, and mental health was always a huge thing in my world,” he said. “I’m really excited to do research and definitely emailing Roland Griffiths himself, saying, ‘Hey, could I please work at your lab?’”
Bernard told The News-Letter that the admissions office added the ED II option to give applicants who consider Hopkins to be their top choice additional time to complete their application.
For Neha Tripathi, the option gave her enough time to include her SAT score with the rest of her application.
“I knew I wanted to apply Early Decision just because it’s my dream school, but I didn’t want to apply ED I because I didn’t have my SAT score, and I am good at standardized tests,“ she said.
Hopkins, however, made standardized tests, namely the SAT and the ACT, optional for this year’s applicants due to COVID-19. The University previously required that students take one or the other.
College Board — a nonprofit that administers the SAT, Advanced Placement examinations and other standardized tests — has announced that SAT Subject Tests and the optional SAT essay will be phased out this year. The nonprofit said the tests were unnecessary for evaluating college preparedness.
Some peer institutions, notably the University of Chicago, had been offering test-optional admissions before the pandemic. The University of California recently announced a test-blind policy, where admissions will no longer review any standardized testing scores.
Bernard confirmed that there are ongoing discussions to retain the test-optional policy for future admissions cycles at Hopkins but that no final decision has been made. In an email to The News-Letter, she added that the University has received an increased number of applications potentially due to the changed testing policy.
“There have been so many changes this year — the test optional policy, broader recruitment and event opportunities, and of course the increased attention Hopkins has received from our work addressing COVID-19,” she wrote. “It’s difficult to attribute our growth to any one factor.”
Manas Joshi, a newly admitted student, explained that COVID-19 inspired him to apply as a prospective Public Health major.
“The whole period from March to application season was a lot of time for juniors — seniors now — to sit with their thoughts and just think about what they want to do,” he said. “It was beneficial because that’s time that you would have been at school or doing other things, but sitting with your thoughts is very important for your personal development and growth, and the pandemic gave time for that.”
Since the University shut down all in-person activities last March, the admissions office has been conducting campus tours and other admissions events virtually.
According to Bernard, the new modality has allowed the office to expand its efforts.
“We developed a comprehensive virtual approach that ranged from current students and alumni leading Instagram takeovers, live virtual tours and small group chats to the more traditional admissions workshops, daily information sessions and faculty panels — all online,“ she wrote.
Morris highlighted his excitement to attend Hopkins.
“It’s a wonderful moment where you’re just up late with your friends, talking, thinking and discussing the world,“ he said. “What are those moments, how can you have more of them in life and is that what makes a good life? I can’t wait to find more of those moments at Hopkins.”
Chris H. Park contributed reporting to this article.