Affording Hopkins

Parental Responsibilities and Family Assets

General Policy

The School expects parents to pay the educational costs for their children to the extent they are financially able. The Financial Aid Committee considers the family’s financial history as part of its review, and expects that parents have been careful and prudent stewards of their financial resources.

List of 6 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: What if I am separated, divorced or never married?

    In those instances where a student’s parents are divorced, separated or never married, both parents are expected to file a Parents’ Financial Statement with SSS and to comply fully with all of the guidelines and requirements of the financial aid process. Hopkins is not bound by any written or oral agreement excusing a parent from financial responsibility for his or her child’s education.
  • Q: I am living with/married or remarried a new partner OR My child's other parent is living with/has married or remarried another partner. How is this family situation considered in the financial aid process?

    Marriage or remarriage to, or cohabitation with, another adult by either parent creates a new family unit with new relationships. In such cases, the income and assets of the entire family unit, including stepparents and stepchildren, are viewed as relevant for purposes of calculating a family’s level of need. The School considers the obligation of the parents to new family situations in determining the aid award, but the School will not allocate the award on a proportional basis among the families involved.
  • Q: What if I am planning to leave my current job to go back to school or to change careers?

    Hopkins policy is to decline to subsidize with financial aid a parent’s voluntary reduction in income, e.g., voluntarily terminating employment, choosing to start a business, returning to school, or changing careers. It is assumed that the parent has considered the impact such a choice would have on his or her ability to afford the costs of a Hopkins education and that such a change could preclude his or her child from enrolling or returning to Hopkins. In this situation, the need is recalculated on the basis of the family’s income before the voluntary reduction. Likewise, Hopkins’ policy is to decline to subsidize with financial aid a family’s voluntary increase in expenses.
  • Q: What if our family has only one working parent by choice?

    Because Hopkins expects each family to do its utmost to provide for a Hopkins education, when one parent chooses not to work and has children who are in school full-time, the Financial Aid Committee will recalculate need using an imputed, minimum income for the non-working parent. This policy does not require the parent to work. It only attempts to adjust the level of need by accounting for the minimum income that the parent could earn if he or she chose to work. The policy does not apply if a parent is able to document that he or she is disabled or otherwise unable to work.
  • Q: My child has Trust or "College" funds. How are these considered in the process?

    Trust funds and/or funds or accounts earmarked for college are considered student assets and are treated accordingly. While it may not be possible for a family to tap the principal of such funds, in most cases, the existence of the funds is treated as effectively making available more of the family’s current income for Hopkins tuition, especially when the source of the funds is immediate family income/resources.
  • Q: Our family has had an unexpected change in financial circumstances (for better or worse). What do we do?

    As Hopkins’ financial aid program is need-based, it is imperative that families receiving an award keep the Financial Aid Office informed of any significant change in their financial position. For example, should a parent lose a job, be promoted, or change jobs, the event, as well as the anticipated financial effect, should be reported immediately to the Financial Aid Office.