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

See below for answers to commonly asked questions about applying for financial aid. Contact us if you have any additional questions.

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.

What is the difference between need-based aid and merit aid?

Need-based scholarships are based solely on a family’s ability to pay for college. We promise to meet 100% of a family’s demonstrated need—the difference between the total cost of attendance each year and what a family can pay. We also promise to meet this need without any loans. Domestic students will need to reapply every year. International students must indicate their interest in financial aid in their first year to be considered for need-based aid.

Merit scholarships are based on student achievement both in and outside the classroom. All applicants are automatically considered for merit scholarships when they apply to Hopkins, regardless of citizenship or their ability to pay. 

I have not applied for financial aid in previous years, but my family’s circumstances have changed. What should I do?

Domestic students: 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.

International students: You must have applied for need-based financial aid in your freshman year to be considered for future years.

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.

Please carefully review the information for International Applicants for further details.

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

See below for answers to commonly asked questions about financial aid eligibility. If you have any additional questions, contact us for assistance.

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. Review our examples of how outside scholarships are built into your award for more information.

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

See below for answers to commonly asked financial aid questions after enrolling. If you have any additional questions, contact us for assistance.

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 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.

Studying abroad can cost more or less than a semester at Hopkins, depending on certain variables like your program and location. If your program is more expensive than attending Hopkins (and if you are Hopkins need-based aid), your Hopkins scholarship will be increased to help support the cost of the more expensive study abroad program.  If your program is less expensive than attending Hopkins, your Hopkins Scholarship will be reduced dollar for dollar. 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.

Review our example scenarios for more information.

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.

Can I use federal financial aid to purchase books and supplies?

If your financial aid file is complete (all documents and outstanding requirements were submitted on or before our published deadlines) and you are entitled to a refund of excess federal student aid funds, you should receive your refund in time to buy required books and supplies during the first week of a term. Students enrolled in modules and/or courses that do not begin within seven days of the start of the term may not receive their aid until they actually begin class. To ensure timely receipt of your refund, be sure to choose the method to receive your refund as soon as possible. If your refund is delayed, contact the Office of Student Financial Services about obtaining emergency funds to purchase required books and supplies for the term.

I work off-campus in a community service role. Can I get assistance with travel expenses?

Student Financial Support provides a semester local travel grant to help students with the cost of traveling to and from a local, part-time job, ensuring that financial constraints do not hinder students from making impactful contributions to the community.


  • Students must already be receiving need-based financial aid from Johns Hopkins University.
  • The position must be off campus
  • Funding is limited, and students with an off-campus community service Federal Work-Study position will be given priority.

Grant Amount: Eligible students can apply for a travel grant of $150 per month, totaling $675 for a typical 4.5-month semester. This amount is based on the cost of a monthly MTA pass in the Baltimore area, as well as the occasional use of ride-share services like Uber and Lyft.

Application Process:

  1. Students who are already confirmed to be using their Federal Work-Study award in an off-campus community service role will be automatically awarded the Local Travel Grant (no separate application is required).  Awards will be made in the fall and spring upon confirmation of employment and will be visible in SIS.
  2. All other eligible students must submit a request online at https://support.sis.jhu.edu/find-answers/financial-aid/work-study .
    • Provide a statement detailing your off-campus community service role, start date, employer, organization address and supervisor name.

Review & Disbursement:

  • Applications will be reviewed throughout the academic year.  Disbursements will be made at the beginning of each term.
  • Funds are limited, and students in community service roles, especially those involved in reading/math tutoring, mentoring, or post-secondary advising, will be given first priority.
  • If approved, the grant amount will be disbursed directly to the student’s account.

Note: Students are encouraged to utilize public transportation when possible.

Deadline: While there is no hard and fast deadline, we encourage students to submit their applications by the end of the add/drop period each semester, and awards may be prorated based on actual employment start date.  For any questions or further information, please contact the Office of Student Financial Support.

Does JHU have a food pantry?

Yes. The Hopkins Food Pantry was founded to help address food insecurity for all Hopkins affiliates. The Food Pantry works in partnership with the Maryland Food Bank to ensure JHU affiliates have the opportunity to succeed.

Is there funding available for hands-on experiencse?

On-campus resources like the Hopkins Office for Undergraduate Research (HOUR)Life Design Lab, and business incubators will connect you with funding opportunities to get your ideas off the ground. 

I want to take classes at another university. What is the process to get financial aid for these courses?

Step 1: Student’s Responsibilities

  • Student needs to ensure all required financial aid documents are completed in their SIS portal for the academic year (to-do list)
  • Student needs to confirm course work at host school will fulfil degree requirements and complete the transfer course pre-approval request form with academic advisor (we will also accept a letter from the academic advisor or external course review form that show course approval by academic advisor)
  • Student needs to complete the first page of the consortium agreement 

Step 2: Student to submit following documents

  • Completed consortium agreement (student, host institution portion and JHU financial aid advisor).
  • Copy of billing statement from host institution
  • Copy of transfer course approval from academic advisor

FAFSA Simplification

How will the FAFSA Simplification impact my financial aid offer from Hopkins?

As an institution that meets 100% of demonstrated need for all admitted students, the FAFSA Simplification will not affect the amount of need-based scholarships we offer to a student, regardless of which decision plan you are applying (Early Decision I, Early Decision II, or Regular Decision).  

How will this impact me as an international applicant?

International applicants do not submit the FAFSA and will not be affected by the changes. You will still have to submit the CSS Profile and Certification of Finances (COF) by the required deadlines.

If I’m applying Early Decision I, will I still get my financial aid offer at the same time as my admissions decision?

Yes. If you’re admitted through Early Decision I, you will still receive a financial aid offer with your admissions decision in December as long as you have completed the CSS Profile.

After we receive your FAFSA, your total amount of financial aid offered will remain the same and still come from need-based scholarships that don’t need to be paid back. However, the amount of money that comes from the federal government (as determined by the FAFSA) or directly from Hopkins (as determined by the CSS Profile) may change, but both amounts will still add up to the total financial aid offered.

For example, if the FAFSA determines you are eligible for a federal grant, we will reduce the Hopkins scholarship by the same amount to remain at the total financial aid offered.

Does the Net Price Calculator still work?

Yes. We encourage you to use our financial aid estimators—MyinTuition and the Net Price Calculator—to get a ballpark estimate of your college costs and estimated financial aid offer before applying.  

These tools will still work to give you a general idea of college costs. Keep in mind that the official financial aid review is more comprehensive than the estimator tools, so your financial aid offer may look different from the estimates.

I’m a returning student – when will the FAFSA be available to complete?

We have extended the deadline to submit the FAFSA application to February 15, 2024.

There will be a delay between the date you submit the FAFSA and when we receive it. Even though the FAFSA was available to be submitted in late December, Hopkins will not be able to confirm receipt until mid-April. If you have submitted the FAFSA, please check the To-Do List on the Financial Aid tab in SIS in April for confirmation of receipt.

What should I do to avoid any further delays?

Student and parents can sign up for an FSA ID prior to the FAFSA application’s release on December 31. We highly encourage you to complete this step ahead of time to avoid any processing delays.

Who should be reported as the parent of record on the FAFSA in situations of divorce?

Starting with 2024-25, a dependent student’s parent of record (if the parents are divorced or separated) is the parent who provided the most financial support during the 12-month period prior to filing the FAFSA. If both parents provide equal support, the parent of record is the parent with the higher income or assets. Which parent the student lived with the most does not determine the parent of record.

How can my parent(s) obtain an FSA ID to sign my FAFSA if they don’t have an SSN or ITIN?

The Department of Education is currently developing a process for contributors without Social Security Numbers or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to create FSA IDs. The process will include identity confirmation with an outside agency such as one of the three major credit bureaus. More information on the process to create a FSA ID, visit the Federal Student Aid Website.

What if my parents are unwilling to provide their information on my FAFSA form?

Parent information is required on the FAFSA for dependent students. Parent’s refusal to help complete the FAFSA form will not make a student independent. Still, we do understand that in some cases, the parents are not supporting the dependent student at all and refuse to provide their information on the student’s application. If you’re in that situation, here’s the process for filling out the FAFSA form online:

  1. When the FAFSA form asks you to provide information about your parents, select the “I am unable to provide information about my parent(s)” option.

  2. You will then be provided with an explanation of what’s considered a special circumstance. After reading through the options, select the one that says you don’t have a special circumstance, but you still can’t provide parent information.

  3. The application explains that if your parents don’t support you and refuse to provide their information on the application, you may submit your FAFSA form without their information.

  4. Contact Student Financial Support once you’ve submitted your FAFSA form.

What does a negative Student Aid Index (SAI) mean?

Students with a negative or $0 SAI are eligible for the maximum Federal Pell Grant. A student with a negative SAI has higher demonstrated need than a student with $0 SAI. The negative SAI helps our office prioritize students with high need for any limited funding that we may offer.

How do I make FAFSA corrections?

Make changes by logging in to your StudentAid.gov account. More information on specific correction types can be found on the StudentAid.gov website.