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 Return to Smith
If you apply for Return to Smith you must complete your financial aid application by August 15 for fall or January 4 for spring. If you are applying for financial aid but do not complete the application by the deadline, your Return to Smith application may be denied or any prior approval revoked. Review information available on the registrar's website for details on the Return to Smith process.
Housing & Aid
Residential Life Student Staff
Students working as part of the Residential Life Student Staff will receive a stipend for the work performed. This stipend will be paid in equal amounts throughout the semester(s). The actual stipend will be determined by Residential Life and will be based upon longevity within that department.
Financial Aid Impact – For those students who currently have work study in their financial aid award, a revision will be made to replace the work study allocation with the Res Life Stipend. The award revision will only show a dollar for dollar replacement of work study amount with a Res Life Stipend in order to reduce any confusion related to the award revision. The full amount of the stipend will be paid through the Payroll Office.
Types of Aid
The student employment component of a financial aid award represents the opportunity to have a job on campus or through one of our off-campus employment partners. You are responsible for finding a position that aligns with your preferences and schedule, and are encouraged to apply early for the best selection of jobs.
First-year students on work-study may work all over campus and off campus in a wide variety of jobs, including but not limited to jobs in Dining Services, academic offices, groundskeeping, the library systems, and America Reads tutoring program. Incoming first year students may find it convenient to obtain their desired hours in the many shifts Dining Services has available as the largest employer on campus. They will offer incoming students the opportunity to sign up for shifts upon arrival on campus which will free first years up to concentrate on the many aspects of settling in on campus and beginning their academic schedule.
You may work to earn money for books and supplies, to put towards your tuition accounts, or for personal spending money. There is no obligation to work all or any of the hours awarded, though income not earned is not replaced with other aid.
For information about work-study at Smith College, see Student Employment.
If you receive any assistance from an organization outside of the college, this aid must be taken into consideration in calculating your financial aid award. You are required to report all outside aid to the Student Financial Services office.
Once you notify us of any aid which is expected to be sent directly to the college, we will add the anticipated amount to the student account as a pending credit, reducing the amount due. If the aid is expected to be late, please notify us so we can extend the pending credit. Any amounts expected but not received are the responsibility of the student.
Outside aid, based on either student merit or parent employment (e.g.: employee tuition benefits), will first reduce or replace the self-help portion of your award (federal work-study). If outside aid is in excess of self-help, we will allow it to go toward the cost of the Smith health insurance plan or a one-time computer purchase. Any amount of outside aid in excess of self-help and these costs will reduce Smith Grant dollar for dollar.
Please send all outside aid checks to:
Student Financial Services
Northampton, MA 01063
Be sure to note your name and ID on all checks.
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.
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.
Each student has the right to request a review of their financial aid award any time there has been a significant change in family circumstances, or if the information on the original application was inaccurate. Examples of special circumstances include changes to family income, assets, etc., recent unemployment, and changes to family living situation. Please use the Request for Review form below.
Reviews are conducted by the Student Financial Services Review Committee. In most cases, the decision of the committee is final.
When an issue under review requires an exception to a policy, such as the 64 credit rule, a student may request that it be reviewed by the Financial Aid Appeals Committee.
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.
Students must present appeals in writing. The committee will consider the appeal as soon as possible. It generally takes one to two weeks for the committee to convene and review the appeal. A decision will be given to the student in writing within 48 hours after the appeal is heard. The decision of the appeals committee is final in all cases.
Federal regulations assume that the family has primary responsibility for meeting the educational costs of students. If you are considered a dependent student according to the financial aid definition, your aid eligibility is determined by using parent income and asset information in addition to your own. To be considered for financial aid, dependent students are required by law to provide parental information and signatures. If dramatic circumstances exist between you and your parent(s) that have disrupted the parent/child relationship and have forced you to become financially independent of your parent(s), you may be granted an exception by Student Financial Services. You must be able to document these circumstances. A statement from parents indicating their unwillingness to assist with your college costs is NOT considered an adequate reason for granting an exception. Examples may include parental abandonment or incarceration; unable to contact parents or contact with parents poses a risk to student.
If you are petitioning for Smith College to make an exception to be considered an independent student please email Student Financial Services to request the Dependency Status Appeal Form. Once a completed appeal request has been received, a determination will be made by the Student Financial Services Review Committee and the outcome conveyed to the student.