Take a look at our frequently asked questions below. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, your regional admissions counselor is a member of the admissions committee that represents your high school’s region. They will happily answer any questions you may have or provide further clarification.
Since applications are reviewed holistically, and there is no magical formula for deciding the perfect Hopkins student, it really is impossible to predict any applicant’s chances of being admitted. Learn more about our application process.
What can I do to improve my chances of being admitted?
A major step is to complete the application in full and submit all application materials by the deadline. As far as the application goes, we’re looking for a complete picture of who you are inside and outside the classroom, why you think Hopkins is the right place for you, and how you plan to make the most of the opportunities available to you on our campus.
What do you look for in an application? How can I stand out?
When reviewing applications, we look for academic character, impact and initiative, and overall match across your application materials. See Crafting Your Strongest Application for a breakdown of these qualities.
Does Hopkins track demonstrated interest?
No, we do not track demonstrated interest.
How many applications do you typically receive?
The most up-to-date numbers for the incoming class, including the number of applications we received, can be found under Fast Facts.
I heard many students don’t actually pay the full cost of attendance at Hopkins. How does that work?
We are need-blind for domestic applicants, including students with DACA and undocumented status. That means we work with your family to understand your unique circumstances to determine what you can pay toward college costs. Then, we cover the rest through need-based scholarships and work-study opportunities—money that doesn’t need to be paid back. Because of this, most of our students pay far less than the cost of attendance, and some pay nothing at all.
We do not have an official language requirement. In general, we recommend students take four years of each of the following subjects: English, mathematics, foreign language, science with laboratory, history/social science.
We recommend students take five core academic courses each year throughout high school, focusing on academic core classes over elective classes. If you choose to discontinue the study of an academic core course, we strongly recommend you supplement that course with an additional course in one of the other core academic areas.
Please note these are only recommendations and not requirements. Every student’s individual academic record will be taken into account when reviewing course selection.
Can I interview as part of the admissions process?
No, we do not offer interviews as part of our admissions process. If applicants wish to speak with current students and learn more about our community, we encourage prospective applicants to connect with our current students via Blue Jay Connection or at one of ourvirtual or on-campus events.
How does Hopkins define a first-generation college student?
At Hopkins, we define a student (domestic or international) as a first-generation college student if neither of their parents/guardians have attained a bachelor’s degree or equivalent. This means if one or both of a student’s parents/guardians attained a bachelor’s degree or higher in any country, the student would not be considered first-generation under our definition.
The COVID-19 pandemic played a large role in my high school experience. Does this affect the way the admissions committee reviews applications?
While we will consider your experiences during this unique time knowing the impact the pandemic has had on many things—from classroom learning and testing to extracurricular activities—our review process takes the entirety of your high school career into consideration.
There is also a Community Disruption section on the application you can use to tell us how the pandemic impacted your experience so we can take it into consideration as we review your application.
I have been impacted by a natural disaster or current event and need more time to complete my application. Is it possible to get an extension?
Hopkins is committed to helping students and their families move forward in the face of natural disasters. Please reach out if you need support and flexibility when completing your application.
How do I apply as a home-schooled student?
The overall admissions requirements are the same. The secondary school report for home-schooled applicants must include a summary of the home-schooling program, a complete transcript with course descriptions, bibliography of textbooks, description of evaluation methods, and the actual grades and evaluations.
Home-schooled applicants must meet the same high school curricular standard expected of all applicants. A letter of recommendation from an academic professional who is familiar with the individual applicant, other than the home-schooling teacher/parent/guardian, should be included with the application.
I have a family member who graduated from Hopkins. Does that affect my application?
We are committed to recruiting and admitting the best students from all backgrounds to create a community of diverse perspectives and ideas. While we value our alumni’s commitment to our university, legacy has no bearing on the admissions process.
How do I get my application fee waived?
Fee waivers are available via the Common Application or Coalition on Scoir. In whichever application platform you use, you will be asked questions to gauge your fee waiver eligibility. If you do not meet the eligibility criteria but the application fee presents a financial hardship, please fill out this Fee Waiver Request Form.
Please do not submit a payment as we are unable to refund it. We must receive fee waivers or fee waiver requestsby November 15 for Early Decision I applicants and by January 15 for Early Decision II and Regular Decision applicants.
Is the application fee refundable?
The application fee is not refundable.
Do you require standardized tests like the ACTs or SATs?
Should I still send my test scores even though it’s optional?
Standardized test scores are just one part of our holistic review process. If you feel they are an accurate representation of your academic abilities, you may want to consider submitting them. Those who do not submit test scores will not be disadvantaged during the process.
Our exam credit policy is set by our academic departments and evaluated annually to ensure students have a strong foundation for their Hopkins education, while also allowing flexibility for students who have mastered certain material. Certain departments may choose to administer an online placement exam during the summer, so students enroll in courses at the appropriate level in their first semester. Academic advisors will be available to assist you with your course registration beginning in mid-July.
Regarding credits from Advanced Placement (AP), International Baccalaureate (IB), or similar exams, please see our External Credit Policies for our Krieger School of Arts & Sciences and Whiting School of Engineering.
English is not my first language. Do I need to submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo English Test (DET), or Cambridge English Exam?
TOEFL, IELTS, the Duolingo English Test (DET), or the Cambridge English Exam are recommended but not required for applicants whose primary language is not English or students who have not attended an English language school for the last three years.
Early Decision (ED) is an option that allows students who feel Hopkins is the right college for them to apply and receive their admissions decision early. Unlike Regular Decision, it is a binding agreement, which means you cannot apply to any other school under an Early Decision plan. You, your parents/guardians, and your high school counselor will be required to sign an agreement stating that you will enroll at Hopkins if admitted and withdraw any Regular Decision or Early Action applications to other schools.
What is the difference between Early Decision and Early Action?
Early Decision is binding while Early Action is non-binding. Hopkins does not offer an Early Action plan.
Does Hopkins offer rolling admission?
No. Admission is only offered through the Early Decision and Regular Decision plans.
What is the difference between Early Decision I and II?
Primarily, the deadline and notification dates. More information can be found about the differences here.
Can I apply Early Action or Early Decision at another school while applying Early Decision I or II at Hopkins?
Because Early Decision I and II are binding agreements, students can only apply Early Decision to one college at a time. The binding agreement means if you are admitted to Hopkins in Early Decision I or II, you must withdraw all pending applications to other schools and enroll at Hopkins.
Should I apply Early Decision?
If Hopkins is your top college choice and you want to make the commitment to enroll if accepted, we encourage you to apply Early Decision.
As an Early Decision candidate, you are eligible to apply for all types of need-based aid offered at Hopkins. Choosing Early Decision will not limit your financial aid options or consideration for merit scholarships. All applicants are automatically considered for merit scholarships and no separate application is required.
Please submit the Application Round Change Request Form in your applicant portal, and we’ll roll your application over to the Regular Decision pool.
What happens if I’m not admitted during Early Decision?
If you are not admitted during Early Decision I, you can be deferred and re-evaluated as a Regular Decision candidate, or you can be denied. If you are not admitted during Early Decision II, you can be waitlisted or denied.
I applied Early Decision I and my application was deferred to Regular Decision. Should I send any additional information to improve my chances?
You are not required to submit any additional materials. However, if you would like to, you may submit supplemental materials to your application file for review during the Regular Decision selection process. This information could be additional standardized test results, your senior-year semester grades, additional letters of recommendations, an updated resume, or another written statement of your interest in Hopkins.
After you submit your application, you can no longer edit it. However, you may email the link to or document of your supplemental materials to email@example.com. Please include your full name, birth date, and application ID number. Do not submit hard copy items via mail.
All applicants receive access to the applicant portal in which they can track the status of their materials.
We will notify applicants who have incomplete files and their school counselor. We will ask those students to provide us with any missing items before we evaluate their applications.
Can I send additional recommendations, supporting materials, or updates to my previously submitted application?
We do accept supplemental materials, but please ensure additional items will genuinely contribute to your application. Additional materials may include pictures of art, research abstracts, etc.
You may submitadditional materials by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org.Please include your name, date of birth, high school, and Common Application or Coalition on Scoir ID. Do not submit hard copy items via mail.
When will I be notified about my financial aid offer?
Financial aid applicants will be notified of any awards at the time of their admissions decision. You can learn more about the financial aid process through Student Financial Support.
How can I withdraw my application?
All requests to withdraw an application must be made no later than one week before decisions are released.
If you would like to withdraw your application, you can fill out the application withdrawal form in your applicant portal. If you haven’t created a portal account, you can email your withdrawal request to email@example.com.
Note: Decision release dates can vary slightly from year to year. Applicants will receive official communication from the Office of Undergraduate Admissions regarding specific dates.
How will I be notified about my decision?
All applicants view their admissions decision in their applicant portal. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions will send an email with a link to the site and instructions on how to set up your account prior to the decision release date.
On the day of decision release, visit the applicant portal and enter the username and password you created to log in. When logged in, you’ll see your admissions decision and, if admitted, your next steps. If you applied for financial aid and are admitted, you will also be able to view your financial aid offer.
We are unable to release admissions decisions over the phone, so it’s important that all applicants follow the steps above to ensure they will be able to access their admissions decision once it has been posted. If you have questions about logging in, please note that we are only able to share information with the student, parent, or high school counselor if the caller’s identity has been reasonably confirmed.
I never received an email with decision release instructions. What do I do?
If the admissions decision release date is approaching and you have not yet received a message from us with instructions on how to set up and log into your account, follow these steps:
Check all your email accounts, including your parents’ and any others you may have used throughout your college application process. All official communications are sent to the email you provide on your application.
Check your spam/junk folders. Sometimes (rarely, but sometimes) our emails get caught in spam filters.
For Gmail users, check the “Promotions” or “Updates” tabs.
Instructions for how to submit your Reply Form and enrollment deposit are in the applicant portal where you received your admissions decision. Both forms must be submitted by the reply-by deadline.
After submitting my Reply Form and deposit, what happens next?
In April, we will send additional information about enrollment to admitted first-year students. This will include details about housing, dining, academic advising, registration, orientation, and more.
What if my personal information changes before fall semester starts?
If your address, phone number, email address, or intended major changes between the time you submit your application and the start of classes in the fall, please inform the Office of Undergraduate Admissions as soon as possible by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve been waitlisted. What do I do next?
Follow the directions in the applicant portal after choosing to remain on the waitlist.
I was denied admission. Can I appeal this?
Admissions committee decisions are final, and we do not accept appeals. We understand the disappointment that occurs when receiving a deny decision from any university. Unfortunately, we are not able to admit all the talented students who apply for admission each year.
What do I do if I want to defer my admission?
If you would like to defer your admission, you must first accept your spot by submitting the Reply Form on mydecision.jhu.edu and paying your enrollment deposit. You will then be able to complete a deferral request form.
Deferrals are granted on an individual basis and are not guaranteed. They are for one-year or two-year periods only. Students are not permitted to study at another institution for credit during their deferral year(s) and must begin their studies in the fall semester upon their return.
How does the waitlist work?
Admitted students have until May 1 to accept their spot. If we have remaining spots available in the class, we will go to our waitlist to admit additional students where we have room.
I still really want to go to Hopkins. What should I do if I want to accept my spot on the waitlist?
All you need to do is complete the Waitlist Reply Form and it indicates to us that you would like to remain on (or be removed from) the Johns Hopkins waitlist.
Should I do anything else besides selecting to remain on the waitlist?
The only requirement to remain on the waitlist is completion of the Waitlist Reply Form on your applicant portal at mydecision.jhu.edu by the deadline. You are not required to submit any additional materials, but you may send updates that you would like to add to your application. If you do choose to submit updates to your file, it is important you make sure they will contribute in a substantive way or provide new information.
What kind of application updates can we submit?
Students on the waitlist may provide additional information to assist the admissions committee in the event that we review candidates for admission. We suggest the following if updating your application:
A Letter of Interest: A one-page letter to the admissions committee that states why you continue to be interested in Hopkins and why you feel it is the right school for you.
Updated resume: Let us know what you’ve gotten involved with during your senior year. This should include updated information not in your original application.
Updated transcript: Your most recent grades, even beyond the mid-year report, can be helpful. Ask your guidance counselor to submit them if possible. In addition, a final transcript when it becomes available is requested. (If you are admitted from the waitlist, a final transcript will be required.)
Please do not send items such as: Additional letters of recommendation, writing samples, research or term papers, or other supplemental materials like CDs, slides, or portfolios.
All updates should be sent to your regional admissions representative. Include your full name, birth date, school name, and a note that the materials are to be used as a waitlist update on any materials you send.
Is the waitlist ranked?
The waitlist is not ranked. We reevaluate wait-listed applicants who chose to remain on the waitlist if spots become available in the class.
What are my chances of being admitted from the waitlist?
Admission from the waitlist is dependent upon available space and the needs of the class. Therefore, we are unable to provide information about an individual’s chance in any given year.
When will I hear if I've been accepted off the waitlist? The other schools I was admitted to require a deposit by May 1 (June 1 for transfer students)—should I wait until I hear from Hopkins?
The decision of whether we will admit students off the waitlist will not be made prior to May 1 (June 1 for transfer students). We strongly recommend that you submit your deposit to a school where you have been admitted. If you are later admitted to Hopkins from the waitlist and choose to attend, you will withdraw your enrollment from the other school and forfeit the previous deposit.
What kind of events can I participate in?
We offer virtual information sessions and student-guided virtual campus tours most weekdays, financial aid 101 sessions, and more. Check out all event options on the Tours & Events section of our site. Please note that we do not have programming specific to wait-listed students.
Can I get an interview or meet with an admissions counselor one-on-one?
We are unable to grant interviews or meeting requests for wait-listed students. Instead, we ask that you email email@example.com with any information or updates which will be added to your application file. If you have a specific question, you may email your regional counselor.
If I am accepted off the waitlist and I applied for financial aid, will I receive any financial assistance?
If you completed your financial aid application by the deadline and are admitted off of the waitlist, you will receive financial aid information with your admissions decision.
If I am accepted from the waitlist, am I bound to enroll at Johns Hopkins?
No. If we offer places in the class to students on the waitlist, those students will have the chance to select whether they want to enroll at Hopkins or stay with the other university they had previously selected. Students who are admitted from the waitlist must respond to our offer of admission within the designated time frame noted on their admitted student site. Choosing to remain on the waitlist is not a commitment to enroll at Hopkins, if admitted.