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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University June 7, 2004 | Vol. 33 No. 37
JHU Offers City Students Full Tuition

Program, for public school applicants, to begin in fall 2005

By Dennis O'Shea

The Johns Hopkins University announced last week that it will provide full-tuition scholarships to graduates of Baltimore City public schools accepted into the university's undergraduate programs.

President William R. Brody said the university's new Baltimore Scholars Program, to start with the class entering Johns Hopkins in fall 2005, will give the city schools' best and brightest students the opportunity to stay near home and study at one of America's premier universities.

"Baltimore is Johns Hopkins' home, and Baltimore's future is our future," Brody said. "The Baltimore Scholars Program is one more step the university can take to support our city and especially our public schools."

The announcement was made June 2 at Dunbar High School, where President Brody was joined by Mayor Martin O'Malley and Bonnie Copeland, chief executive officer of Baltimore City Public Schools.

The new Baltimore Scholars Program — first envisioned by the university's Commission on Undergraduate Education — is open to applicants who have been Baltimore City public high school students for at least three years, have been residents of Baltimore City for at least the previous three years and are accepted as first-year full-time undergraduates in the university's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Whiting School of Engineering or Peabody Conservatory of Music.

Baltimore Scholars who are accepted to transfer after their sophomore year from one of those three schools into the university's junior-senior-only School of Nursing may do so and transfer their scholarships as well.

Eligible students who cannot or do not wish to pursue full-time undergraduate study may still qualify as Baltimore Scholars. Up to three Baltimore Scholars annually will be selected from applicants for the part-time undergraduate programs in business or information systems at the university's School of Professional Studies in Business and Education. Baltimore Scholars in SPSBE will typically begin study at Johns Hopkins after completing the equivalent of 60 undergraduate credits elsewhere, often by earning an associate's degree at a community college.

All Baltimore Scholars' scholarships will be renewed until they graduate, provided that they continue to meet academic and course load requirements. The scholarships do not require any showing of financial need, but full-time Baltimore Scholars may apply for additional need-based financial aid to cover room, board and expenses.

Mayor O'Malley described the program as a testament to Hopkins' commitment to the people of Baltimore.

"Sometimes in the city," he said, "there is a sense that neighbors and institutions are not on the same page. You have clearly demonstrated that you are on the same page.

"This is no small thing," he said. "You are saying that you expect kids to be bright and talented enough to make it to Hopkins. You are saying that there is a place for them if they use their talents and the brain cells that God gave them."

Matthew Crenson, a professor of political science at Johns Hopkins and a graduate of both Baltimore public schools and Johns Hopkins, will be the lead faculty adviser for the Baltimore Scholars Program, heading a team of faculty and administrators who will support the program. Crenson, who attended Johns Hopkins as an undergraduate, said he will be available to offer both academic and personal advice and will organize regular meetings of the scholars so that they get to know each other and build a strong group presence at the university.

"My job will be to make sure that they make a successful transition from high school to the university," he said. "I will be somebody they will be able to talk to."

Speaking of the Baltimore Scholars program, Crenson said, "It's good not just for Johns Hopkins; it's good for Baltimore. It means some of the ablest city students will go to university in Baltimore, and I think that increases the chances that in the long run they'll give something back to Baltimore."

The precise monetary value of the first Baltimore Scholarships is not yet known because tuition for the 2005-2006 academic year has not yet been set. The yearly tuition this fall, however, will be $30,140 for Arts and Sciences and Engineering, $27,000 for Peabody, $22,224 for Nursing and up to $400 a credit hour at SPSBE.

The university will fund the Baltimore Scholarships from a combination of internal and external sources, building on a foundation laid by some existing scholarships designated for city residents, including ones endowed by the Baltimore-based Goldseker Foundation and by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The total cost of the program will depend on the number of students who apply and are accepted under the university's regular admissions standards. In recent years, the number of Baltimore public school graduates in the freshman classes in Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Peabody has averaged around four. This fall, as a result of already intensified recruiting in city schools, there are expected to be seven Baltimore public school graduates in those classes. The university hopes that the Baltimore Scholars Program will further increase the number. Other than in SPSBE, however, there is no set goal for or cap to the number of Baltimore Scholars. The university hopes to be able to raise sufficient funds to ensure that the program will remain available to all eligible students as the program succeeds and the number of Baltimore applicants grows in future years.

The university is announcing the Baltimore Scholars Program now so that current Baltimore high school juniors and their parents can take it into account in planning their college searches, which will begin in earnest this summer and fall, said John Latting, director of undergraduate admissions at the university's Homewood campus, where the schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering are located.

The university will reach out to students, families, teachers, counselors and principals to encourage potential Baltimore Scholars to apply, Latting said. A regular admissions application to the appropriate Johns Hopkins school is all that is required of eligible students, he said. No special application is required, though the university will welcome special letters of recommendation from principals, counselors and teachers specifically addressing an applicant's suitability to be a Baltimore Scholar. Financial aid applications are necessary for any potential Baltimore Scholars seeking assistance with room and board or expenses.

A brochure outlining the program is available online at

Additional information, including answers to likely questions, can be found via the university's home page at


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