Frequently Asked Questions
We’re here to answer any questions you and your family may have about financial aid. Please select a category below to learn more, or contact our office with any additional questions or concerns.
Frequently Asked Questions
Applying for Aid
How do I apply for aid, and when will I be notified of my eligibility for financial aid?
If you are a returning student, you will receive an email when your financial aid for the upcoming year is available online. More information about the application process can be found on our Applying for Financial Aid page.
Did you receive my FAFSA and CSS Profile? How do I check the status of my documents?
You can review your To-Do List to see the status of any submitted documents online in the Student Information System (SIS).
Do I have to reapply for financial aid every year? Will my eligibility change?
Yes. You must reapply for need-based financial aid each year. Our office will review your family’s most recent financial circumstances to determine your eligibility. Most families receive similar financial aid offers each year, but changes to financial circumstances or the number of family members in college will impact aid eligibility.
My parents are divorced/separated. Are there any other forms that must be completed?
In cases of divorce or separation, we expect both biological parents to provide financial support. Complete the FAFSA and CSS Profile using your custodial parent’s information (including information about your step-parent, if applicable). The parent you do not live with must also complete their own CSS Profile by the application deadline. The non-custodial parent must also submit their tax documentation using IDOC. Non-custodial parent information is submitted separately and is not shared with the student or custodial parent.
We understand that issues of college support can be complicated in divorced and separated families, and we evaluate each situation individually. If you believe special circumstances exist in your family that would make it impossible or unwise for you to obtain your non-custodial parent’s information, contact your financial aid adviser. If your non-custodial parent’s information was waived in a prior year, it will be automatically waived during all future years as well.
Are merit scholarships available? How do I apply?
Hopkins offers a small number of merit scholarships to newly admitted students for their freshman year, with the opportunity for annual renewal based on merit. There is no separate application for merit scholarships—all students are automatically considered simply by applying for admission.
I have not applied for financial aid in previous years, but my family’s circumstances have changed. What should I do?
You may apply for aid at any time during the year, whether you’ve done so before or not. You can follow the returning undergraduate financial aid application instructions, and feel free to reach out to your financial aid adviser if you wish to discuss your specific situation in more detail.
My FAFSA was selected for verification. What does this mean, and what do I need to do?
Verification is a routine process schools use to confirm the information reported on your FAFSA. If you’ve been selected for verification, you will need to provide additional documentation before our office can finalize and disburse financial aid. Log in to SIS and review your financial aid To-Do List for verification requirements you’ll need to submit. Verification forms can also be downloaded from our Forms and Resources page.
Once Student Financial Support receives all documents, our office will review the data and compare it to the information on your original FAFSA. If necessary, our office will make corrections and send them to the federal government. You will receive an email if the corrections impact your federal aid eligibility. Verification can take several weeks to complete, so we ask that you supply the requested materials as soon as possible to avoid a delay in aid. Student Financial Support cannot guarantee that your aid will be disbursed by the first day of the fall semester if you do not submit all requested materials by August 1. Submit verification materials by the end of the academic year to avoid having your aid canceled.
We have saved money for college expenses in a 529 plan. How do we report this on the FAFSA and CSS Profile?
If you or your parents have a 529 account, the value is reported on the FAFSA and CSS Profile as a parental asset. This treatment provides a financial aid benefit since parental assets are assessed at a lower rate than student assets in the need analysis formula.
How do international students apply for financial aid?
If you received financial aid in your first year, you will not need to reapply in future years. Your financial aid will renew automatically. International students who are not offered scholarship assistance for their first year at Hopkins will not be eligible for scholarship assistance for any other academic period while they are undergraduates.
I am applying for the Peabody Double Degree Program. How does that impact the financial aid process?
If you’re admitted to the Peabody Double Degree Program, you will receive financial aid through the Homewood campus. Once admitted, you must decline any merit aid you receive from Peabody. You have up to five years to complete your undergraduate degree in the Double Degree Program. Click here for additional information regarding the program.
Determining Your Eligibility
How will my eligibility for financial aid be determined?
At Hopkins, most financial aid is offered based on financial need, which is the difference between the total cost of college for the academic year and your family’s expected contribution. If your family demonstrates you can only pay part of college costs, or none at all, Hopkins covers the rest through need-based scholarships and work opportunities—money that doesn’t need to be paid back.
To determine your eligibility for financial aid, our staff calculates what your family can contribute to your college costs annually (according to federal and institutional policies) using the following factors:
- Income, both taxed and untaxed, from parents, including both biological parents in situations of divorce/separation
- Income tax paid
- Family size and the number of family members in college
- Value of savings and investments
- Equity in home, business, and other real estate
- In some instances, special circumstances that you bring to our attention
The income information requested on the FAFSA and CSS Profile is from two years before the application year.
What types of financial aid are available?
You will receive a financial aid offer consisting of need-based scholarships and work opportunities. If offered a merit scholarship when admitted, it will be renewed if you still meet eligibility requirements.
My financial aid offer does not include a loan. Can I still borrow?
Yes, your family still has the option to borrow as part of your strategy to cover college costs. Click here to learn more about borrowing options and other methods of paying for educational expenses. Current undergraduates can request a loan online using the Loan Action Form.
Are student work opportunities available on campus?
Yes. Most Hopkins students work an average of eight to ten hours per week, with job opportunities including clerical, laboratory, library, and athletic positions. Hopkins has a $15 minimum wage for all university workers, including students. An online database of job openings is available to help students locate jobs. Visit the University Experiential Learning’s student employment website for more information.
Are undergraduate transfer students eligible for financial aid?
Yes, domestic transfer students are eligible for need-based financial aid consideration. The financial circumstances of domestic transfers and their families do not factor into their admissions decision. Any financial aid offers will include need-based scholarships and work opportunities—money that doesn’t need to be paid back. We do not offer Hopkins Scholarship assistance for international transfer students. Click here for more information about the transfer admissions process.
If I receive a private scholarship, will that impact my financial aid?
You can use private scholarships to reduce your summer savings and work-study expectations. If private scholarships exceed your total summer savings and work-study expectations, your Hopkins Scholarship will be reduced dollar for dollar. Most undergraduate students can receive up to $5,300 in private scholarships before any reduction is made to your Hopkins Scholarship funding.
Employer tuition benefits, state scholarships, Federal Pell Grants, and ROTC are considered entitlement grants, and these offers will reduce Hopkins Scholarships. For example, a student who receives a state scholarship of $500 will have their Hopkins Scholarships reduced by $500. The total amount of financial aid will remain the same.
There is an expected Student Contribution under Resources in my financial aid notification. What if I cannot work and save money over the summer because I have an unpaid internship or research opportunity?
We do not want financial considerations to prevent you from pursuing summer experiences that contribute to career preparation and supplement your academic work. Continuing students who receive need-based financial aid and participate in an unpaid internship or research opportunity for 20 hours per week or more during the summer can apply for a Summer Savings Waiver Grant beginning June 1st. Availability of funding is not guaranteed. Decisions will be based on your financial need, date of application, and a review of your description of the opportunity and its relevance to your academic and career objectives.
What if I don’t qualify for need-based financial aid?
If you are not eligible for need-based aid, a variety of options are available:
- Private scholarships
- Unsubsidized federal loans
- Federal Direct Parent PLUS loans
- Part-time campus employment
- Monthly payment plans
More information regarding payment options is available on our website.
After You Enroll
What if something happens, like one of my parents losing their job while I’m at Hopkins?
We understand that things can change, and we want to provide you with the best possible financial aid offer based on your family’s current financial situation. Unexpected events like loss of income, death, major illness, and disabilities can affect a family’s financial circumstances. If financial circumstances affect your ability to afford Hopkins, we encourage you to request a reconsideration of your aid.
Am I eligible for financial aid during the summer semester?
Summer is an optional period of enrollment, and our office is able to offer limited scholarship assistance to students who qualify for need-based aid. Since funds are limited for the summer semester, we cannot provide scholarship assistance to every student who applies. The summer aid application typically becomes available online in SIS in February each year and is due in mid-April. Since need-based scholarship funding is very limited, we encourage students to consider other options, including payment plans and work.
Students must be enrolled at least half-time (two courses or six credits) and have remaining eligibility from the academic year to receive federal loans during the summer. If you enroll less than half-time over the summer (typically just one course), you should consider other payment methods. If you’re registered for summer courses, but not eligible for the Federal Pell Grant, you will be waitlisted for assistance with summer funding. If additional funds become available, we will reach out to you with more information.
I need immediate financial assistance due to an unexpected expense or emergency—what resources are available?
The Johns Hopkins University emergency loan fund is available to students needing short-term financial assistance to help with unexpected non-recurring expenses. You must meet with a financial aid adviser to initiate the emergency loan process. There is no application fee and funds are typically provided same-day. You have 45 days from the date the funds were received for repayment. You can borrow up to $450 per semester, although emergency loan funds may be increased beyond the $450 maximum in special cases. Recipients must be enrolled, in good academic standing, and not be in collections with Homewood Student Accounts. Funds are issued using cash and debit card options. Please contact your financial aid adviser or visit our office to learn more.
I will be living off campus next year. How will that affect my aid?
Although your bill will no longer include charges for on-campus room and meals, our financial aid offers are based on a cost of attendance that includes nine months of estimated living expenses. Our estimate for off-campus living is based on the assumption that you will share expenses with at least one roommate. On average, off-campus living costs about $4,500 less per year than on-campus housing and dining. If all other family circumstances remain the same, the lower cost of living off campus typically results in a smaller financial aid offer. What your family pays toward your overall education should not change, provided that your housing plans are at or below our estimate. If your total financial aid offer (excluding work study) is greater than tuition and fees, you will be eligible for a refund of the excess aid at the start of each semester. Financial aid is disbursed ten days before the start of each semester, provided all required documents have been submitted. We encourage you to have your first month’s rent paid in case your financial aid disbursement is delayed. Click here for more information about how moving off campus affects your financial aid.
Can I get financial aid to help with the cost of a computer?
Yes. If you’re currently eligible for need-based financial aid, you can request a Technology Grant to assist in the purchase of a computer. Technology Grants will only be offered once during a student’s undergraduate career and are subject to a funding cap of $2,000.
Students can submit a request using the Budget Adjustment Request form in the Student Information System. Price quotes or receipts should accompany all requests. Technology Grants will be considered for laptop or desktop computer costs and other peripherals (e.g., keyboard, mouse, headphones, external monitor). Tablets, phones, or other stand-alone technology will not be considered.
For help selecting a computer, we encourage you to check out the Student Laptop Purchase Program in the Technology Store for recommendations.
Does your office provide assistance to cover the Hopkins health insurance plan?
Hopkins requires all full-time students in the School of Arts & Sciences and Engineering to maintain adequate health coverage. You will be automatically enrolled in the university-sponsored health insurance plan, and the premium will be charged to your account unless proof of comparable health insurance is provided. Student Financial Support provides limited funding to cover the cost of the insurance premium for eligible students, subject to the availability of funds. Our office will automatically determine eligibility for the health insurance waiver based on your financial aid eligibility. There is no separate application. We typically offer health insurance waiver funds in October each academic year.
I want to study abroad next year. How will this affect my financial aid?
If you’re approved to study abroad, you can use your financial aid to help pay for the cost of the semester(s) abroad. Your funding will be adjusted to align with the cost of the study abroad program. Hopkins Scholarship eligibility is capped at the total cost of attending Hopkins. This means that if you select a study abroad program that is more expensive than Hopkins, you will not receive additional funding. However, eligibility for federal and private loans is based on total program costs. Click here for more information.
I am thinking about applying to be a Resident Adviser (RA). If I am selected, how will that impact my financial aid?
Cost of attendance for RAs includes tuition, the value of a single room, personal expenses, books and supplies, and travel. Meals will not be included in the cost of attendance, and the charge for the Anytime Dining meal plan will be waived for all RAs. Since waived costs result in a lower overall cost of attendance, financial aid offers will be proportionally lower for financial aid recipients. Actual offers will vary according to financial need.
RAs will have the cost of a single room covered by Hopkins. The charge will appear on your bill but will immediately be covered by a credit offsetting that charge. This benefit is considered non-taxable income and is not subject to withholding. Financial aid recipients who become RAs in their sophomore year will need to report earnings from the stipend and the value of the room and meal benefits as non-taxable income on the FAFSA and CSS Profile they submit in their senior year. This can impact eligibility for federal aid programs. Click here to learn more about becoming an RA.
What if I need more than eight semesters of funding?
If you require a ninth semester of institutional scholarship funding, request support from your assistant dean for academic advising. Ninth-semester Hopkins Scholarships are only offered to students who must complete a ninth semester because of circumstances in their academic career at Hopkins beyond their control—not for resolving bad grades, taking accelerated coursework, or completing a second major.
I am an undergraduate student in a bachelor’s/master’s program. When am I considered a graduate student and thus eligible for graduate tuition funding and the health insurance subsidy?
You’re considered a graduate student once you are accepted to a program and have completed either all of your undergraduate degree requirements or eight semesters of full-time undergraduate study, whichever comes first. Graduate students are not eligible for Hopkins Scholarship funding, although they can receive tuition support directly from their academic department.
Is there a minimum GPA required to continue receiving financial aid?
You 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 special circumstances have impacted your academic performance. Merit scholarships, like the Hodson Trust Scholarship or Charles R. Westgate Scholarship in Engineering, require a 3.0 GPA for renewal. Clark Scholars are expected to maintain a 3.2 GPA.
What happens to my financial aid if I withdraw without completing the semester?
If you withdraw, are dismissed, or begin a leave of absence before completing more than 60% of the semester, eligibility for federal aid must be recalculated in compliance with the Return of Title IV Funds Policy. If you receive institutional scholarship funding, your Hopkins Scholarship will be reduced by the same percentage as any tuition refund you receive. Any adjustments to your tuition, room, and meal charges will be calculated according to the Refund Policy in the undergraduate catalog.
What happens to my federal aid if I’m enrolled less than half-time?
You must be enrolled at least half-time (two courses or six credits for undergraduates) to receive federal loans. A change to your enrollment status can result in the adjustment and/or cancellation of your aid, depending upon the timing of the change and your plan for the rest of the semester.