A Smith College education is the investment of a lifetime. Yet if you're concerned about the financial strain of paying for college, you're not alone. Families at all income levels wonder how to finance a private college education. The good news is that you don't have to be wealthy to afford Smith. The college welcomes students from all economic backgrounds, and we meet the full documented financial need of all admitted students.
Resources for financial aid include loans, campus jobs and grants; a given student's financial aid package will include one or more of these. A loan and a job (considered self-help) are usually the first components of an aid package, and remaining need is met with grant aid. Last year college grants to traditional-aged Smith undergraduates totaled more than $54 million. In 2012-13, 71 percent of traditional-aged undergraduates received some form of financial assistance from grants, scholarships, loans and campus work.
Smith's fixed fees are comparable to fees at other selective private colleges. Many families who feared they wouldn't qualify for financial aid are glad they checked out the possibilities. We try hard to make sure that every admitted applicant can afford the benefits of a private education. Financial planning services are offered to all families, whether or not they apply for aid. Nearly 75 percent take advantage of flexible payment plans that help families spread costs over time.
If you're planning to apply for financial aid from Smith, you should do so when your daughter applies for admission. Please note that financial aid is not available to applicants who do not meet the published deadlines. The Office of Student Financial Services determines a family contribution toward tuition costs based on information you provide, as documented by tax returns. Standard factors such as incomes, assets, the size of your household and how many family members are already in college are just the beginning. It also takes into account other significant factors, such as unusual medical costs or an imminent retirement.
Smith undergraduates can earn spending money by working on campus in a variety of jobs such as house-kitchen helper or para-professional intern in one of the college offices. Some students also find off-campus work. All of these jobs can yield more than money: studies have shown that students who work have higher grade point averages than those who don't. If your daughter is receiving need-based aid, she'll be given priority for campus jobs. First-year traditional-aged students generally work an average of six to eight hours a week for 32 weeks. Returning students work an average of eight to 10 hours a week.
Smith students prepare a mailing to prospective students.