The Johns Hopkins University will restructure its Baltimore Scholars Program to offer greater financial aid and more robust supports to high-achieving Baltimore City Public School graduates with significant financial need.
The shift represents a boost in the university's financial investment in the program. Over the last five years, Johns Hopkins has spent $11.6 million on the Baltimore Scholars Program; in the next five, it will spend more than $20 million.
Launched in 2004 to provide full-tuition scholarships to any admitted graduates of city public schools, the Baltimore Scholars Program is a reflection of the university's long-standing investment in Baltimore's students and schools. The program recognizes high-potential students from the communities around Johns Hopkins campuses and has attracted more than 180 of the city's brightest young scholars to JHU's Homewood campus schools and the Peabody Institute.
The changes respond to concerns from students, alumni, and local supporters that the current program was not meeting the needs of academically talented students with the greatest financial need.
Under the new, two-tiered program, admitted city public school graduates with family incomes of $80,000 or less will receive full cost-of-attendance scholarships covering tuition, room and board, and fees. Students with family incomes between $80,000 and $150,000 will have their family contribution capped at 10 percent of family income and receive a loan-free financial aid package. This framework replaces the automatic full-tuition scholarship the university had offered any admitted Baltimore City Public Schools graduate.
The university is also expanding experiential elements of the Baltimore Scholars program. Opportunities like paid internships, peer and faculty mentoring, career networking, and connections with alumni will enhance the undergraduate experience throughout a scholar's four years at Johns Hopkins. Scholars will also have access to specialized programming—dinners with deans and senior faculty and administrators; lecture series; and scholar retreats—as well as supplemental funds for internships, research, and study abroad opportunities.
Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels said the new program represents an increased commitment to high-achieving Baltimore City public school students with substantial financial need—one that will help convince these students to choose Johns Hopkins by removing financial barriers.
"The changes to our Baltimore Scholars Program will help us attract talented local students by making Johns Hopkins truly affordable," Daniels said. "This program adds to an array of investments we have made in Baltimore City schools, and to our abiding commitment to Baltimore's students."
Added David Phillips, vice provost for admissions and financial aid: "We want to make sure that financial considerations do not factor into the decision to attend Johns Hopkins. This program strengthens our investment in students with the greatest need."
The new program will begin with the class entering the university in the fall of 2016, although current high school seniors will be grandfathered into the full-tuition program if their family income is over $150,000.
Current Johns Hopkins University students who are Baltimore Scholars will be included in the enhanced program; those whose families earn more than $150,000 per year will retain their full-tuition scholarships.
In future years, the Baltimore Scholars Program will no longer offer full-tuition scholarships to incoming students with family income greater than $150,000, but those students will be considered for financial aid through the university's standard financial aid program. Johns Hopkins meets 100 percent of demonstrated financial need for all of its students and awarded more than $80 million to undergraduates last year.
In addition to the family income cap, JHU Baltimore Scholar candidates must meet admission requirements for the university. The program is open to undergraduates who have been:
- A Baltimore City public school student for at least the last three years of high school; and
- A resident of the city for at least the three years prior to applying to the scholars program; and
- Accepted as a first-year, full-time undergraduate in the university's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Whiting School of Engineering, or Peabody Conservatory of Music.
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