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Questions and Answers | Freshman and Transfer Students

How will our need for aid be determined?
All financial aid is based on the premise that parents and students are expected to contribute to educational costs to the extent they are able. Our staff calculates a family contribution according to federal and institutional policies, based on the following factors:

• Income, both taxed and untaxed
• Income tax paid
• Family size and the number of family members in college
• Value of savings and investments
• In some instances, equity in home, business, and other real estate

If you would like to calculate an estimate of your expected family contribution, visit With this online calculator, you can estimate your financial need. The actual contribution calculated by Hopkins, however, may differ from the contribution you calculate by the federal method. Individual adjustments may be made to the basic federal formula to reflect more accurately the family's financial strength.

The family contribution is subtracted from the total college cost for the year. The difference is your financial aid eligibility or need.

How do I apply for aid and when will I be notified of my eligibility for financial aid?
See How To Apply page. It is imperative that you meet the application deadlines and indicate to us that you will be applying for aid by checking the appropriate box on the admission application. (Checking the box sets up your file in Student Financial Services.) There is no guarantee of Johns Hopkins University funding for eligible students who do not complete their financial aid files on time. Students who have completed their financial aid files on time are notified of financial aid decisions at the time of acceptance to Johns Hopkins.

Will an application for aid affect my chances for admission?
Applications for admission are evaluated separately from requests for financial aid. In most cases, students' admissibility to Johns Hopkins is determined prior to their aid application evaluation.

Who determines the aid package?
At Hopkins most financial aid is offered on the basis of need. To help you through the process, Hopkins students applying for financial aid are assigned a financial aid advisor who will get to know you and your needs. Most students feel very comfortable staying in touch with their advisors by phone, mail, e-mail, or office visit.

What happens when parents are divorced?
In cases of divorce, we expect both parents to assume a role in financing their child's education to the extent possible. Complete the financial aid applications using the information of the custodial parent (and step-parent if remarried). The parent you do not live with must file a Non-Custodial Parent's PROFILE online. The PROFILE must be completed in accordance with the financial aid deadlines. The non-custodial parent may access the PROFILE online after the student has registered with CSS PROFILE. An email reminder will be sent to the non-custodial parent to complete the requirement once the student has submitted and completed the PROFILE online with their custodial parent. The non-custodial parent must also submit to the Office of Student Financial Services a signed copy of their most recent federal income tax return and W-2 forms. Questions concerning this requirement should be addressed to the Office of Student Financial Services—the supplement may be waived in certain circumstances.

What if something happens, like one of my parents loses their job while I'm at Hopkins?
Hopkins recognizes that family situations are dynamic. Unexpected events such as loss of income, death, major illness, and disabilities can adversely affect a family's ability to meet educational costs. A Hopkins aid adviser will work with families in these situations to arrange assistance that will meet the changing needs of families. We are committed to meeting additional need to the extent that our resources allow.

Are Early Decision applicants eligible for aid?
Yes. Early Decision aid awards are typical packages; merit-based aid may be offered as well. Since Early Decision awards are based on estimated information, they are considered tentative until we review your most recent tax return. We encourage students who know that Hopkins is their first choice to apply Early Decision and to apply for aid at the same time. For more information about applying for financial aid under the Early Decision program see our How to Apply page.

What types of financial aid are available?
Depending on your level of need, you will be offered a financial aid package consisting of a combination of grants (non-repayable), loans, and work-study. Hopkins administers federal, state, private, and institutional grant and loan programs—see the Brochure for a complete listing.

Are merit-based scholarships available?
Yes. While financial need is the primary basis of financial aid at Hopkins, we also offer several merit-based scholarships including the Hodson Trust Scholarship and the Charles R. Westgate Scholarship in Engineering. Hopkins offers a limited number of incentive grants to recipients of the four-year Army and Air Force ROTC scholarships. For a complete list of available need-based and merit-based scholarships, refer to the chart.

How much will I have to borrow?
Freshmen typically borrow from $1,000 to $3,500 for their first year from interest-subsidized loans. The average four-year Federal loan indebtedness of a student graduating in 2010 was approximately $14,800. See our Student Loans page for details.

What types of work-study jobs are available?
Most Hopkins students work an average of 8 to 10 hours per week at a variety of jobs including clerical, laboratory, library, and athletic. The rate of pay for Federal Work-Study positions is $7.25 per hour and up. A job fair is held during the first week of classes, and a computer database of job openings is available to help students locate jobs. You can visit Student Employment on the Web.

Research has shown that working a few hours per week does not hinder the academic performance of most students, and leads to a higher level of satisfaction with life on campus. See our Student Work Opportunities page for details.

Do students receive the same amount of aid every year?
Hopkins is committed to continuing your financial assistance; however, you must reapply each year because eligibility is re-evaluated annually. Based on your most current financial information, the actual aid award may change. Aid will remain about the same if:

• Your family financial situation remains about the same.
• The number of family members in the household and in college remains the same.
• Your application meets the deadline dates.
• You are making satisfactory academic progress.

What if I don't qualify for need-based financial aid?
We encourage all students to apply and not attempt to determine their own eligibility. However, if you are not eligible on a need basis, a variety of options are available. They include:

Merit-based Scholarships
Private Scholarships
• Unsubsidized federal and private student loans
• Part-time campus employment
Parent loans
• Monthly payment plans
Tuition payment by credit card

Information is available from the Office of Student Financial Services.

How do you treat private/outside scholarships?
We encourage students to locate outside scholarships from private organizations, as they are an additional source of aid. Hopkins offers several free online scholarship search services which may be accessed through Hopkins' financial aid homepage at Need-based scholarships, Johns Hopkins University Grant, Bloomberg Scholarships and Johns Hopkins University-funded merit-based scholarships will not be reduced for freshman receiving private scholarships unless they exceed the student's financial need or cost of attendance. Holding your need-based grant "harmless" from reduction is intended to provide students with a financial incentive for obtaining private scholarships in their freshman year. If an outside scholarship is renewed for sophomore, junior, or senior year, the amount of the scholarship will reduce the amount of the Bloomberg Scholarship and/or Johns Hopkins University grant offered in those years.

Students who receive government and entitlement grants (i.e., Federal Pell Grants, state scholarships, veterans' benefits and employer tuition benefits) that were not included in their original financial aid package will have the amount of their Hopkins Grant adjusted by the full amount of the outside grant. For example, a student who receives a Federal Pell Grant of $500 will have his or her Hopkins Grant adjusted by $500. The total amount of financial aid will remain the same. Any exceptions to this policy must be discussed with your financial aid advisor.

How will the Economic Growth and Taxpayer Relief Act of 2001 benefit my family?
See our Tax Information page.

How can I get further information on financial aid at Johns Hopkins?
The Office of Student Financial Services is happy to help you with any questions you may have about financial aid. You can also browse our homepage on the Web, where you can find up-to-the-minute financial aid information, do an outside scholarship search, read our university publications, and obtain information on admission.

Phone: 410-516-8028
Fax: 410-786-2839


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