Update on housing and dining credits and packing of student belongings

March 28, 2020

Dear Residential Students,

Thank you again for your important efforts to leave on-campus housing this month as part of our commitment to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Drastically lowering the number of people on campus has helped slow the rate of transmission and has provided us with additional flexibility to meet the unpredictable needs related to this crisis. This difficult move has prompted many questions from students and parents, and we can now offer details about two of the biggest areas of concern: credits for housing and dining costs and the status of belongings students left behind in their on-campus residences.

Housing and Dining Credits

A credit is being applied to your student account for pro-rated room charges and the unused portion of your spring meal plan if applicable. If you owe a balance, the credit will reduce the amount you owe, otherwise the credit will be refunded to you.

We recognize that students are facing unexpected financial hardships as a result of the pandemic, the need to return home, and the switch to distance learning. Federal regulations would ordinarily require the University to deduct any credits from a student’s financial aid package, but the Department of Education has provided schools with the option not to do so in the case of disruptions related to COVID-19, and we have adopted this option. Johns Hopkins has decided to provide full refunds for all affected students regardless of their financial aid status.

Students who are eligible for a refund have the following options:

1)   Refund—A refund will be issued to you according to the Bank Mobile preferences you selected in SIS within the next 7 -10 business days. If you have not already set your refund preferences, please review the instructions and make your selection as soon as possible in order to expedite your refund. If you are receiving financial aid, the refund will not impact your awards.

2)   Request to have the credit remain on your account and applied toward next semester—Federal regulation does not allow us to carry over Title IV refunds. However, if you are not a federal financial aid recipient and wish to have the credit remain on your student account and applied towards the next semester, please email homewoodstudentaccounts@jhu.edu with your request.

3)   Reduce your student loan – If you have a student or parent loan processed through the financial aid office and wish to use the credit to reduce or eliminate your spring semester loan, please email fin_aid@jhu.edu to let us know which loan and how much of the refund you want applied to the spring total.

Unless we hear from you by April 1st, we will process your refund according to option #1.

If you need additional assistance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic or any other reason, the Office of Student Financial Services is here to help, and financial support is available. You can call, e-mail, or request a virtual appointment with the Office of Student Financial Services at https://finaid.jhu.edu/contact/ between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Any member of the team can help you.

For any specific dining questions, please email dining@jhu.edu. For housing specific questions, please email housing@jhu.edu. For questions on your student account, please email homewoodstudentaccounts@jhu.edu.

Student Belongings

In the last week, we have heard from students and families about concerns related to packing and storing students’ belongings until public health guidance allows their retrieval. Please know we take these concerns seriously and weigh them carefully against our need to manage a range of challenging circumstances, including uncertainty around the duration of this crisis as well as evolving guidelines from public health officials. We are also seeking ways to remain flexible in assisting our JHU community and health system, as well as the broader public health response for our City and State. For instance, we may be called upon to provide accommodations to serve as temporary housing for healthcare workers serving on the front lines to combat this pandemic.

With these factors in mind, we have decided not to pack and store all students’ belongings at this time, and will instead begin by packing and storing only those rooms needed in support of the university’s public health response. For now, if your space is not needed, your belongings will remain in place until further notice. If your space is needed to help in a public health support capacity, we will communicate with you directly. In the meantime, we will continue to uphold the health and safety of our residence halls by monitoring room conditions and continuing routine housekeeping and maintenance operations.

For more information, including answers to frequently asked questions, please check our COVID-19 Housing Updates page. We thank you for your continued patience and cooperation.

Please be well and stay safe,

Alanna W. Shanahan, EdD
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

Tom McDermott
Assistant Vice Provost for Financial Aid