Is Smith still a women’s college?
Yes. Smith College’s mission—to educate women of promise for lives of distinction—remains unchanged. The board’s decision reaffirms this mission in light of society’s evolving understanding of female identity.
Are trans women eligible for admission to Smith?
Applicants who were assigned male at birth but identify as women are eligible for admission.
Are trans men eligible for admission?
Smith does not accept applications from men. Those assigned female at birth but who now identify as male are not eligible for admission.
Under this newly clarified policy, what is required of applicants to be considered for admission?
Smith’s policy is one of self-identification. To be considered for admission, applicants must select ‘female’ on the Common Application.
Are applicants who identify as genderqueer or gender non-binary eligible for admission?
Our focus on women’s education means that we consider for admission applicants who identify as women and who seek entrance into a community dedicated to women’s education.
What is the impact of this decision on students who transition during their time at Smith?
The admission policy does not affect students who transition during their time at Smith. Once admitted, every student has the full support of the college and this includes trans men. And any student who completes the college’s graduation requirements will be awarded a Smith degree and welcomed into the Alumnae Association of Smith College.
How were the opinions of the Smith community taken into consideration in making this decision?
In its commitment to a review process that was both deliberative and inclusive, the Admission Policy Study Group held a number of small-group meetings with students, faculty and staff representing a range of views on the topic of transgender admissions at Smith. In addition, the group hosted four “town hall” calls with alumnae around the world and offered an online comment option on its website. More than 1,800 comments were received through that site, from students, faculty, staff, alumnae, parents and friends.
How will Smith address matters such as rooming, athletics participation, and other elements of campus life?
President Kathleen McCartney is establishing a working group to develop a comprehensive approach to supporting transgender and gender non-binary students at Smith. The group will extend the expertise that departments across the college, including Residence Life and Athletics, already have in meeting the needs of trans students and ensuring a healthy, welcoming environment for all. In addition, there are already a number of student organizations for transgender students and allies. Further, the NCAA has very clear regulations around eligibility of transgender students to compete in intercollegiate athletics.
When will Smith implement the clarified policy?
The policy affirmed by the Board of Trustees will pertain to any student applying in the fall of 2015 and thereafter.