Family Handbook

Family Support for
Students

Family Referral Guide

Common Smith
Acronyms

Family FAQ

Student Resources

Things to See at Smith

Additional Resources
for Families

Family FAQ

Academic Advising

Can families participate in the advising and registration process?

Families should not attend advising sessions with their daughter, as she may be more likely to express family expectations rather than personal interests regarding classes and majors. College is often one of the first steps in becoming more independent, and Smith College hopes to foster that in many ways, including through individualized advising.

Academic Support

What resources are available for struggling students?

The instructor of the course your daughter is struggling in and her class dean are the best sources of help.  Students can talk with instructors before or after class, visit them in their office, contact them via e-mail, or leave a note in their office mailbox.  Class deans are available either by making an appointment or attending their walk-in hours.

Students with Disabilities

Where is assistance available for students with disabilities?

The Office of Disability Services coordinates programming for people with disabilities, as mandated by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

The office provides free and appropriate academic aids and services, including the use of assistive equipment, reader and sign interpreter services, special test proctoring services, academic support and counseling assistance specific to disability issues, and more. Disabilities Services also serves the campus community as an advocate/consultant resource on all disability-related issues.

Employment

Is it advisable for students to be employed while taking classes?

Studies show that most students who work a modest amount each week perform better in school.  Many students receive a work-study award as part of their financial aid at Smith.  Students work in positions both on and off campus that not only give them the opportunity to earn some money for expenses but also help them to engage more fully in their college experience.  In most cases we recommended that students not work more than 12 hours per week.

Financial Aid

Where can information be found on loans, grants, and scholarships?

If you are concerned about how to finance your daughter's education, the Student Financial Services Office will assist you. Smith College uses grants and scholarships, loans, and part-time campus employment, either singly or in combination, as the means to provide financial aid.

Emergency short-term loans can help students with unforeseen expenses. The Student Financial Services Office can provide detailed information on the available aid programs, application processes, eligibility requirements, and student responsibilities.

Grades

Why are parents and other family members not informed of a student's grades?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) mandates that once a student is 18 years old, information from the student record cannot be shared with others, not even parents, with written consent from the student. The only exception is directory information (telephone extension, box number).

Most students want to discuss their academic progress with their families. Families are encouraged to consult with their daughter regarding courses and grades.

Source: Family Policy Compliance Office of the U.S. Department of Education.

Health Insurance

Is health insurance available for students?

All Smith College students are required to have health insurance, either through your family policy or through the Smith College plan

Learning Communities

What is the First-Year Experience?

The First-Year Experience begins with orientation and continues through the year with first-year seminars, lectures, workshops and special outings with faculty and staff.  This program helps to ensure that new students become academically engaged, connect early with other students, faculty and staff, make friends and learn about campus life.