We understand that things can change. If financial circumstances affect your ability to afford Hopkins, we encourage you to request a reconsideration of your aid. Our goal is to offer you the best possible financial assistance based on your family’s current financial situation.

Special Circumstances

What Kind of Reconsideration Should You Request?

Whenever we put together your financial aid package, the first thing we do is build the Cost of Attendance budget, or COA. The COA represents the approximate total cost of attending JHU for one nine-month academic year. Then, we use the information you provide about your family’s financial resources to calculate a parent contribution and a student contribution. We then take the COA, subtract your parent and student contribution, and put together your financial aid package to cover however much is left. 

While there are many reasons why you could need reconsideration of your financial aid package, all of them fall into one of two categories: 

  • The parent contribution is too high. The family’s financial situation has changed, or was not fully demonstrated on the original financial aid application. For example, this can happen if a parent loses their job, or if there are other circumstances that impact the family’s ability to pay. 
  • The COA is too low. The student has expenses that are not covered by the COA, such as unexpected travel home due to a family emergency, or a new computer purchase. 

If you need financial assistance because your parent contribution is too high, please submit an appeal. If you need financial assistance because your COA is too low, please submit a budget adjustment request

If your appeal is approved, it could result in an adjustment to your federal and/or institutional aid.

Unusual Circumstances

Unusual circumstances refer to conditions that may warrant an adjustment to your dependency status when completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Unusual circumstances may include, but are not limited to, parental abandonment, refugee or asylee status, incarcerations.  It is important to note that financial self-sufficiency alone does not constitute an unusual circumstance.

There are two ways in which you can pursue your unusual circumstances request.

1 – Unusual Circumstances Request Form

Please complete this DocuSign request form. It is recommended that you attach any relevant documentation along with your submission.   

Acceptable documentation may include:  

  • Court order or official Federal or State documentation that your parent(s) are incarcerated;  Statements from an attorney, guardian ad litem, court-appointed special advocate, or a representative of TRIO or GEAR UP program that confirms your circumstances, and their relationship to you;  
  • Other third-party testimonials;  
  • A documented determination of independence made by a financial aid representative at another institution in the current or prior academic year;   
  • Utility bills, health insurance, or other documents that demonstrate your separation from parents or legal guardians; 
  • Any other relevant supporting documents.   

2 – Schedule an appointment with your assigned financial aid adviser  

Visit here to find your dedicated adviser’s office hours. When scheduling your appointment please indicate “unusual circumstances” as the reason.   

What Happens Next  

Once you have submitted the request form and/or spoken with your financial aid adviser, you will be notified of a final decision within two weeks. Additional guidance will be provided at that time.   

Request for JHU Grant Beyond the Standard Number of Terms

Undergraduate students who begin JHU as a freshman are eligible for 8 semesters of aid, and transfer students are eligible for 4-6 semesters of aid depending on whether or not they entered JHU as a sophomore or junior. If a student needs an additional semester of aid, they will need to submit a request for JHU grant beyond the standard number of terms.

Have Questions?

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your financial aid office.  

Payment Options

Learn about our flexible options for paying for college costs not covered by your financial aid offer.


Applying for Aid in the Future

Find up-to-date financial aid requirements deadlines on our Apply for Financial Aid page.