The application business is a mysterious one, but we Baltimore Fishbowl-ers are here to help make things a little less murky. We talked to admissions reps at several local colleges and universities to find out what went into selecting the class of 2016 — and whether it’s just our imagination that every other Baltimore-area college student seems to be from New Jersey. Their responses after the jump:

Johns Hopkins:  20,496 applied (up from 19,391 last year); 17.7 percent admitted (down from 18.3 percent last year)

  • Johns Hopkins’ applicant pool tends to skew male, but this years admitted students are 49.6 percent female — the closest to parity the school’s ever been.
  • Accepted students hail from all 50 states, as well as 65 nations worldwide
  • This is the tenth year in a row that Hopkins has seen its application numbers grow; in 2002, the school’s acceptance rate was 35 percent, almost twice what it was this year.

Towson:  18,080 applied (up from 15,883 last year); 50.5 percent accepted (down from 54.2 percent last year)

  • “New Jersey is our largest out-of-state market.  Each year New Jersey accounts for over ten percent of our incoming class of freshmen students. It is also a popular market for transfer students.”

Loyola University Maryland:  12,556 applied (up from 11,969 last year); 63 percent accepted (up slightly from 62 percent last year)

  • “We compete for students against highly regarded institutions like Boston College and Villanova University, so we have to admit a high proportion of applicants to yield each class.”
  • Loyola’s application pool has grown 65 percent over the past 5 years
  • For the third year in a row, Loyola allowed students to apply without submitting SAT or ACT scores. Seventeen percent of admitted students opted to keep their test scores under wraps.