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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

At Hopkins, most financial aid is offered on the basis of financial need. Financial need is the difference between your family's calculated contribution and the total college cost for the year.

In 2017-18, the FAFSA is available on October 1. The income information requested on the FAFSA is from two years prior to the application year; for 2017-18, applicants will use 2015 tax information to complete the FAFSA.

If you would like to calculate an estimate of your expected family contribution, use our Net Price Calculator. If you have questions about how to complete the information on the Net Price Calculator or about the results you receive, please do not hesitate to contact your Financial Aid Advisor.

What is the Early FAFSA?
In 2017-18, the FAFSA is available on October 1. The income information requested on the FAFSA is from two years prior to the application year; for 2017-18, applicants will use 2015 tax information to complete the FAFSA.

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.

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.

What if something happens, like one of my parents loses their job while I'm at Hopkins?
We recognize 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. Applicants may provide supplemental information through the Financia Aid Appeal Process.

Are Early Decision applicants eligible for aid?
Yes. Early Decision aid awards are typical packages; merit-based aid may be offered as well. 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. Refer to our list of merit-based scholarships for additional information.

Will I need to take out student loans?
Our need-based financial aid packages generally include a portion of self-help aid, consisting of a student loan and employment. It is, however, a family decision as to whether the student chooses to accept the loan or work portion of the award.
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 2014 was approximately $23,600. 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 minimum wage and higher. 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. Your family's expected contribution will remain about the same if:

• Your family's income and amount of assets are consistent with the previous year.
• 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

How do you treat private/outside scholarships?
JHU encourages all students to apply for private scholarships, as they can be used to reduce the loan and/or work portion of your financial aid package. Your Hopkins grant will only be reduced if the total amount of your private scholarships is greater than the loan and work portion of your financial aid offer.

Employer tuition benefits, state scholarships, Federal Pell Grants, and ROTC are considered entitlement grants, and these awards will reduce JHU Grants. For example, a student who receives a state scholarship of $500 will have his or her Johns Hopkins University-funded grants reduced by $500. The total amount of financial aid will remain the same.

My FAFSA was selected for verification. What does this mean and what do I need to do?
Verification is a process used to check the accuracy of certain information entered on the FAFSA and to resolve any errors. Some students are selected by the Department of Education and some are selected by Johns Hopkins University. Selected students will need to provide additional documentation to the Office of Student Financial Services of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering before we can finalize and disburse federal financial aid.

If you are selected for verification, you will need to complete and submit a verification worksheet.

Verification Worksheets can be downloaded from our website at They can also be downloaded from your To Do List on the Financial Aid tab in SIS Self-Service.

Once all documents have been received, our office will review the data and compare it to the information on your FAFSA. Our office will make corrections (if necessary) and transmit them to the federal processor. You will have an updated Student Aid Report (SAR) if corrections are required. If the corrections impact your federal aid award, we will notify you by email or letter.

Verification may take several weeks to complete, so we ask that all students supply the requested materials as soon as possible.

If your documents have not been turned in by August 1 your federal aid will be cancelled.

Your financial aid will not be disbursed until the verification process is complete. Students can track the completion of verification documents on the To Do List tab in SIS at

You may be asked to submit additional verification documentation later in the year. If you do not submit the additional documents requested, your federal aid will be cancelled, including money you have already received.

Is financial aid available for Study Abroad?
Financial aid, including institutional grant aid, is available for Hopkins-approved study abroad programs. It is important to begin working with the JHU Study Abroad Office and the Office fo Student Financial Services well in advance of your trip.

Students on semester- or year-long student abroad programs are officially registered as full-time Off-Campus Matriculated (OCM) Students. OCM students thereby retain full eligibility for federal grants and education loans.

Institutional grants awarded by Johns Hopkins will be adjusted to reflect the cost of attendance on your study abroad program. The Study Abroad Office drafts a financial aid budget for each student approved for OCM status. Your financial aid package for the semester or year you are abroad will be based on the cost of attendance reflected in this budget. If your cost of attendance is less than a semester or full year at Hopkins, the level of your institutional aid will be reduced to reflect anticipated costs. Only loan asistance may be available to cover additional expenses greater than the costs of a semester or a full year at Hopkins.

We have saved money for college expenses in a 529 plan. How do we report this on the FAFSA and CSS Profile?
If a parent or student has a 529 account, the value is to be reported on the FAFSA and CSS Profile as a parental asset. This treatment provides a financial aid benefit since parental assets are treated more generously than student assets in the need analysis formula.

Along with favorable asset treatment, a 529 account also has beneficial treatment in the income portion of the financial aid eligibility formula. A tax-free distribution from a 529 plan owned by a student or parent to pay this year's college expenses will not be part of the "base-year income" that reduces next year's financial aid eligibility.

What happens to the bill for tuition, room, and board and to financial aid if a student withdraws without completing the semester?
If a student withdraws, is dismissed, or begins a leave of absence before completing at least 60% of the semester, the eligibility for federal aid must be recalculated in compliance with the Return of Title IV Funds Policy. The University's charges for tuition, room, and board will be calculated according to the Refund Policy in the undergraduate catalog.

Is there a minimum GPA to continue receiving financial aid?
A student must meet the criteria outlined in the policy for Satisfactory Academic Progress to continue receiving need-based financial aid. An appeal process is available if a student loses financial aid eligibility and there were special circumstances which impacted the student's academic performance.

Merit scholarships, such as the Hodson Trust Scholarship or Charles R. Westgate Scholarship in Engineering require a 3.0 GPA for renewal.

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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