Applicants may request a review by submitting a Request for Review form with all required documentation describing their special circumstances. Examples include changes to family income, assets, etc., recent unemployment, and changes to family living situation.
- must reapply for financial aid each year and is automatically reviewed on an annual basis.
- may request a review if she feels that the aid awarded does not enable her to attend Smith College.
- may request a review any time there has been a significant change in family circumstances, or if the information on the original application was inaccurate.
Reviews are conducted by the Student Financial Services Review Committee. In most cases, the decision of the committee is final.
Exceptions to Policy
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.
The Appeal Process
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.
Noncustodial Parent Waiver Petitions
It is Smith College policy to calculate institutional financial aid eligibility for all applicants and students on their complete households and on all parental figures regardless of whether the parents live together or are legally recognized. The standard practice at Smith College is that we consider each parent in our calculations. In the case of same-sex couples, Smith College considers that when a couple welcomes a child into their home to create a family, each adult person becomes a parent. This definition is separate from any policy by a federal or state government regarding the legality of marriage, legal custody, or whether a second person was able to be listed on a birth certificate or adoption paperwork.
Smith College requires noncustodial parent financial aid application material based on the student's response on the CSS Profile to the Biological/Adoptive Parents Marital Status question and other financial aid application information.
If you are petitioning for Smith College to make an exception to the requirement that your non-custodial parent submit financial aid application material, you must submit the College Board Noncustodial Parent Waiver Petition.
Dependency Override Petition or Unusual Circumstances
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.