Each student has the right to request a review of her financial aid award at the time it is issued. Applicants to the college may request a review by submitting a letter of explanation. Returning students must use the Request for Review form (PDF).
- Must reapply for financial aid each year, and are automatically reviewed on an annual basis.
- May request a review any time if there has been a significant change in family circumstances or if the information on the original application was inaccurate.
- Are given an award at the time of admission for their entire Smith career.
- Are only eligible for a review at the time of admission.
- Serious consideration is only given to aided international students when there has been a significant life-changing event (e.g., the death of a parent or enrollment of a sibling in a U.S. college or university)
The Review Process
Reviews are conducted by the Student Financial Services Review Committee. In most cases, the decision of the committee is final.
Exceptions to Policy
When the issue under review would require an exception to policy,* a student may request it be reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee.
*All reviews from international students for increased grant or loan assistance are considered exceptions to policy.
The Financial Aid Appeals Committee is chaired by the Vice President of Enrollment and includes one member of the faculty, the Dean of Students and the Controller. The Director of Student Financial Services is a nonvoting member of the committee.
The Appeal Process
The student must present her appeal in writing. The committee will consider the appeal as soon as possible. and it normally takes one to two weeks for the committee to convene and review the appeal. A decision will be given in writing to the student within 48 hours after the appeal is heard. The decision of the Appeals Committee is final in all cases.
Non-Custodial Parent Waiver Petitions
It is Smith College policy to calculate institutional financial aid eligibility for all applicants and students on their complete households and on all parental figures regardless of whether the parents live together or are legally recognized. The standard practice at Smith College is that we consider each biological parent in our calculations. In the case of same-sex couples, Smith College considers that when a couple welcomes a child into their home to create a family, each adult person becomes a parent. This definition is separate from any policy by a federal or state government regarding the legality of marriage, legal custody, or whether a second person was able to be listed on a birth certificate or adoption paperwork.
Smith College requires non-custodial parent financial aid application material based on the student's response on the CSS Profile to the Biological/Adoptive Parents Marital Status question and other financial aid application information.
If you are petitioning for Smith College to make an exception to the requirement that your non-custodial parent submit financial aid application material, you must submit the Smith College Non-Custodial Parent Waiver Petition (we do not accept the Collegeboard Non-Custodial Parent Waiver Petition).