Smith's resources for financial aid include grants, campus jobs, and loans. A 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; remaining need is met with grant aid. The ratio of self-help to grant will increase as you progress toward your degree.
Grants are funds given to students with no requirement of repayment or work time in exchange. Most Smith College grants come from funds given for this purpose by alumnae and friends of the college and by foundations and corporations. The federal and state governments also provide assistance through need-based grants, such as Federal Pell Grants and state scholarships. Smith receives an allocation each year for Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants and for state-funded Gilbert Grants for Massachusetts residents.
Loans, which enable you to borrow against future income, must be repaid. The loan offered in your financial aid package might be a Federal Subsidized Direct Ford Loan, a Federal Perkins Loan and/or a Smith College loan - none of which require that you pay principal or interest until you leave Smith. The annual loan amount in your package will increase each year you are at Smith.
If your financial aid award includes an on-campus earning opportunity, you will have priority in applying for campus jobs. Temporary jobs may be available to students who do not qualify for need-based assistance. Smith participates in the Federal Work-Study Program, which funds a large part of student earnings on campus and provides some job opportunities with nonprofit agencies off campus.
Student wages are paid every two weeks during the academic year. Earnings from campus jobs are intended to be used primarily for miscellaneous expenses, but may be used to help pay college bills. Optional payroll deduction is available for this purpose.