<li>Don't bother with scholarships after freshman year.</li>
<li><p>If your financial situation worsens, don't expect increased aid.</p></li>
<li><p>Don't bother with scholarships after freshman year.
I made the mistake of doing this. Freshman year, I received a scholarship and it didn't reduce my Hopkins grant. Entering sophomore year, I applied for a new scholarship, won, and reported it to JHU. JHU took off the amount I won from the grant it was originally going to award me.</p></li>
<p>It does say this on the site:
"Outside scholarships will count towards meeting your financial need before other types of need-based funding (including Hopkins Grant) are awarded."</p>
<p>I was still thinking that maybe my loan would be reduced, not my grant, but I guess that's not the case. So basically it's pointless to try for scholarships unless you don't receive any grant money, or the amount you're trying for is greater than the grant money awarded. The problem I now have is that the tuition bill comes before the time the scholarship organization sends out a check, and I don't have the money to pay, so I'm just going to be late with payment until that check comes in.</p>
<li>If your financial situation worsens, don't expect increased aid.
If your financial circumstances worsen from year to year, you might not get more aid. You might not even get the same award package as you did the previous year. My mother lost her job and replaced it with a temporary job that earned about 20k less. My dad lost his job as well, which meant a loss of 15k. That means my family has 35k less to pay, but we still have the same number in college. And yet I received a slightly smaller award than freshman year (when my family had an income of 35k more than this year, so why reduce aid at all?).<br></li>
<p>I am going to try to discuss the first issue with financial aid, and I already tried asking what the deal was with issue #2. But things are not looking good.</p>
<p>Granted, I like JHU, but my parents will no longer be helping me pay for school, so anything money-wise is extremely stressful. I have been given information by one counselor, switched counselors, then told significantly different information by the next. Today I received a notice that my grant has been reduced, but the bill is due in two weeks. I should have, at the least, reported the scholarship with check in hand, not when I received my acceptance letter, but I'm not sure what I can do about all that now. </p>
<p>I don't regret coming here for my first year. I don't have a problem with the environment or the academics. But financially, it has me terrified.</p>