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This section is for prospective students applying for admission. If you are a current student, please go to the Student Financial Services website for financial aid deadlines and policies.
Smith College seeks to provide educational opportunity for qualified students, knowing that many of you will require financial assistance. Our need-based aid program begins with a consistent, yet personalized, assessment of each applicant's ability to pay for college expenses. Smith meets the full documented need, as determined by college policy, of all admitted students who apply for aid by the published deadlines.
You must not wait until you have been accepted to Smith to apply for aid. Any student who may need institutional financial assistance during her tenure at Smith should apply for aid by the financial aid deadlines. For applicants who meet the published deadlines, award notifications are sent with admission decisions.
Students from the United States who do not apply for financial aid by the published financial aid deadlines will be required to complete 64 credits earned at Smith before they are eligible to apply for institutional financial aid. This means that a student would be eligible to receive only federal, state, and outside aid for her first two years at Smith; no Smith grant aid would be available before that period.
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. Remember to complete your admission application, since only accepted students can receive a financial aid decision.
Three steps are used in documenting your level of financial need:
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.
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.
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.
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.
There is a grant reduction if you live with relatives. Please contact us for the amount of the reduction if you are considering living at home or with relatives in the area.
We assume all awards are accepted as offered unless we receive notification otherwise in writing. You may decrease or decline the loan (or any other part of the award) by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or noting your decision on your financial aid award letter and returning it to the Office of Student Financial Services. Be sure to keep a copy for your records.