Admission to Johns Hopkins

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What do you think about this letter to prospective Johns Hopkins applicants?

Are you applying for admission to Johns Hopkins? If so, you might want to read this. Apparently, directors of admission at Johns Hopkins University have been sending out emails to parents of prospective students. The subject line of these emails reads, “Your student put me in touch.” These emails represent another way in which highly selective colleges are trying to encourage students to apply just so that they can reject the vast majority of applicants and boost their rankings in “US News & World Report.” The more students a highly selective college can get to apply, the lower the university’s admission rate will invariably be. So, as we’ve written many times before, they “recruit” students who have no shot of getting in.

But this particular letter from Johns Hopkins University might take the cake. It’s ridiculously generic. The letter doesn’t even make a reference to the gender of the prospective applicant. Oy vey. And yet, nonetheless, students and parents who receive letters like these jump for joy because they think a school like Johns Hopkins wants them. And they do want them! They want them to apply.

It gets even better. You’d think that emails like these would come from regional admissions officers. But they’re not. Ellen Kim represents the Middle East region for Johns Hopkins and the below email was sent to a high school student in the Midwest:

“Dear Parent or Legal Guardian of Molly,

My name is Ellen Kim and I’m the Director of Admissions at Johns Hopkins University. I recently reached out to Molly with an offer to share our new college search publication, 5 Tested Tips for Impressing Top Colleges. When your student requested that I mail this guide, I was also given your email address so I could reach out and tell you more about Johns Hopkins University.

Molly has shown academic talent – and JHU’s goal is to turn good students into great thinkers through intellectual discovery, research and real-world experiences. You can read more about our mission here, or you can explore our website as a whole to get an even better sense of who we are and what we have to offer top students like Molly.

I look forward to keeping in touch as your student continues toward a successful college experience.

Sincerely,
Ellen Kim
Director of Undergraduate Admissions
Johns Hopkins University
Mason Hall
3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218”

And while we are focusing here on a letter from Johns Hopkins University, we by no means wish to single out Johns Hopkins for a practice like this. They are no more guilty than all of the other highly selective colleges that send out letters such as this. We just happen to think that highly selective colleges shouldn’t do this anymore. The admissions process is stressful enough. There is no need to get students excited that a university wants them when in fact this letter isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

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