The Smith Students' Aid Society (SSAS) was founded to help Smith students in financial need with small grants that could bridge the gap between needing to leave for financial reasons and remaining at Smith to complete their degree and graduate.
SSAS provides grants to enhance a student's experience at Smith. The funds for interterm and spring break trips, summer study, fine arts supplies and textbooks allow students to participate fully in the exciting opportunities and the range of academic possibilities available during their time at Smith.
Along with enhancing a student's experience at Smith, the Smith Students' Aid Society offers emergency/medical grants. We give grants for uninsured dental, medical, and eye care needs. These grants also cover emergency living expenses and travel home in cases family illness or loss. Financial support for these unexpected expenses can relieve stress and help students to focus on their academic work during difficult circumstances.
SSAS Beyond Smith grants help seniors in financial need with costs associated with life after graduation such as graduate school application fees and interview clothing and travel. These grants help seniors to turn their hard work and academic achievements at Smith into success in their pursuits beyond Smith.
History of the Society
SSAS has been in existence since 1897, when it loaned $50 to Otelia Cromwell class of 1900 to help pay for living expenses.At the beginning and for many years, SSAS was a membership organization composed of alumnae and others who wished to help currenct students facing need. SSAS is now incorporated [nonprofit 501(c)(3)] and governed by a Board of Directors composed of alumae.
In 2001, SSAS received a generous bequest and is now able to fund more students and at higher dollar amounts than in the past. To help ensure that grant categories remain relevant to current needs, the SSAS Board consults actively with the faculty and staff advisory groups, and with students themselves. Each February, SSAS invites all grant recipients to meet and talk with Directors at a Pizza Luncheon, where they are encouraged to give their views on the program.