Bottom Line
December 2, 2009 |  by Elizabeth Evitts Dickinson

1,350: The number of freshmen who came to Johns Hopkins University this fall, defying expectations that the economic downturn would dampen enrollment at Homewood. This is the largest freshman class ever, capping a seven-year run of record enrollment. This year also saw a 1 percent increase in admissions applications, with 16,124 applicants competing for spots.

Back in March, as admissions letters were about to go out to potential students, the economy was in turmoil. John Latting, admissions director, says, “With so much uncertainty, we thought that lower-cost universities would provide more competition in this cycle than in the past.” So admissions staff hedged their bets and extended regular-decision admissions to a larger than normal pool. But the yield—or the percentage of admitted students actually enrolling—didn’t fall as predicted. Rather, it was 15 percent higher than anticipated, far exceeding the admissions goal of 1,235 students.

By August, Hopkins staff were scrambling to find places for so many freshmen to live. The university leased the Hopkins Inn, a bed-and-breakfast near campus, and reopened Rogers House, an apartment building that had been closed for renovation.

“I still find it a remarkable result,” Latting says. “It’s
a comment on the value that families place on a Hopkins education.”