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A Culture of Care

Read Smith’s plans for the spring 2021 semester.
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Traditional Students

Current & Enrolled Students

This section is for current students applying for aid. If you are a prospective student, please go to the Tuition & Financial Aid section for application deadlines and policies. You must apply for financial aid prior to admission.

Current Students Applying for Financial Aid

Changing Aid Consideration

If you are a current student who received only federal aid in the prior year, or did not apply for aid in the prior year but would like to be considered for institutional aid in the upcoming year,  you must notify the Student Financial Services in writing so that your requirements can be updated.

Applying for Readmission

If you apply for readmission to Smith College you must complete your financial aid application by August 15 for fall readmission or January 4 for spring readmission. If you are applying for financial aid but do not complete the application by the deadline, your readmission application may be denied or any prior approval revoked. Review information available on the registrar's website for  details on the readmission process.

Housing & Aid

Holding a position with the residence life office will impact your financial aid award. The aid adjustment will depend on the position. Please contact us to determine how your award would be affected by a residence life position.

Domestic and international Housing Coordinators (HCs) and House Community Advisers (HCAs) have their work-study award replaced with the HCA stipend. The stipend will be paid regularly during the academic year.

Head Residents (HRs) will receive the following remuneration for the 2020-21 academic year.

  • HR Stipend $5,090 - This will be paid to you directly during the normal payroll cycle throughout the academic year.
  • HR Grant $5,500 - This will be credited directly to your student account split evenly over the fall and spring semesters.

Financial Aid Recipients:

The $5,500 Head Resident Grant is meant to reduce the loan expectation for those receiving need-based financial aid.  However, should you still have loan eligibility, you may still see a loan offered in your financial aid award.  You are not obligated to accept the loan and will be able to decline any or all of the amount offered.

Grant Reduction - The HR Grant is not meant to reduce any existing need-based grant assistance already awarded.  However, it is possible that your Smith Grant may need to be reduced.  Grant reduction will only occur in cases where the addition of an HR grant to existing financial aid would cause total financial aid to exceed the total cost of attendance, or where the student receives non-Smith assistance (outside aid) and the combination conflicts with our Outside Aid policy.  We will do our best to minimize any potential grant reduction.  Please let us know if you have specific questions.

Nontraditional Housing Arrangements for Traditional Students

There is a grant reduction when a traditional student lives off campus, in a co-op or on-campus apartment, or with relatives. IMPORTANT – this requires approval from the Office of Residential Life.

Spring Semester 2021 - If you move off campus, you will not be charged by the college for room and board.

Reduction in billed fees (Spring only) $9,380
Smith Grant reduction $4,888
Net savings in billed fees* $4,492

*Net Savings in Billed Fees - This figure is designed to provide a "break even" point to help make the decision whether it is affordable for you to live in off-campus housing. If your costs for living off campus, including room, board, utilities, etc., are more than this figure, then it will be more expensive to live off campus than it would be to live in traditional Smith housing.

Living in a co-op (Tenney, Hopkins, Friedman) results in lower charges and a reduced Smith Grant (2020-21).

Charge for room $8,450
Smith Grant reduction $2,884
Net savings in billed fees* $5,566

Please note: You will be charged by Smith only for the room; the cost of food is your responsibility.

* Net Savings in Billed fees - This figure is designed to provide a "break even" point to help make the decision whether it is affordable for you to live in co-op housing.  If your estimated costs for food are in excess of the amount provided here, then it is important to understand that this housing option may be more expensive for you than living in traditional Smith housing.

Allowance for Others in College

The fees of undergraduate institutions attended by siblings of traditional students or children of Ada Comstock Scholars are considered in our aid calculations. The enrollment status of each person is verified in the fall. A change in institution or enrollment status may affect your grant aid. For future planning, contact us for the allowance amount used this year.

How We Determine Need

Each financial aid application file is personally reviewed by experienced staff in the Office of Student Financial Services. In addition to submitting the required documentation, you are welcome to include any information that you feel will help us understand your family's financial status.

Three steps are used in documenting your level of financial need:

1. Calculating the family contribution

The Office of Student Financial Services evaluates each student's application using federal and institutional methodologies to assess a family's financial resources. During the review, attention is given to individual family circumstances. Standard factors involved in the review include income, assets, family size, the number of family members in college, unreimbursed medical expenses, taxes paid and tuition for siblings in elementary or secondary school. Staff will determine what each family is expected to contribute toward the student's annual educational expenses following the appropriate federal and college policies.

2. Determining the cost of attendance

An educational expense budget is calculated for each student. Tuition, fees, room and board, and standard allowances for books, supplies, personal expenses and travel are included.

3. Financial need

The difference between the cost of attendance and the calculated family contribution is the student's documented financial need.

Smith College recognizes the diversity of the modern family and requires the submission of information regarding both parents, as well as spouses and domestic partners of each parent. Exceptions to this policy are made on a case-by-case basis.

Merit scholarships are considered a resource when determining eligibility for need-based financial aid.  For example, if a student has $22,000 of calculated need and receives the Zollman Scholarship for $25,000, this student would not receive need-based aid since the scholarship exceeds the need. Students who have need-based aid eligibility above and beyond the amount of merit scholarships will receive need-based aid to cover the difference. Merit aid is not awarded on top of need-based aid, but is also considered to meet a family's financial need.