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A Culture of Care

Read Smith’s UPDATED plans as of August 5, 2020,
for an entirely remote fall 2020 semester.

Smith College A Culture of Care

Student Life

Student Life

Co-curricular spaces provide important enrichment and are a central component of the student experience. Adapting this experience in light of public health guidance as we respond to COVID-19 requires significant changes that necessitate a reliance on virtual communities and engagement to maintain, wherever possible, Smith’s unique community strengths.

Remote Support Resources Available

At a time when Smith students can’t be together on campus, Smith is committed to providing equitable, inclusive, dynamic services. Please visit the Remote Support Resources website for information on remote academic and personal support.

Student Aid & Tuition

In recognition of the financial burdens that COVID-19 has imposed on students and families, we have taken two key actions. We have increased financial aid to help offset the impacts of the pandemic, and we have rolled back our planned tuition increase. Further, we have prorated fall room and board charges to reflect a shorter fall semester on campus. We remain committed to meeting every Smith student’s full demonstrated financial need and to reviewing each student’s financial aid award if their financial circumstances have changed. For more information, please see Tuition & Aid

Quick Facts

  • The planned 2020-21 tuition increase has been rolled back.
  • Room and board charges will be prorated and only charged to those students living in Smith-provided housing.
  • For students on financial aid, personal expense allowances will be increased by $2,000, and work-study expectations for first-year and sophomore students have been eliminated and replaced by grants. Work-study expectations for juniors and seniors have been reduced by 50% under the current plan to invite juniors and seniors to be in residence for the spring 2021 semester. Should the spring semester be moved to all-remote, the college will adjust its financial aid accordingly.
  • The additional Interterm course offerings are included in the fall tuition. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How will this decision affect graduate and post-bacc students?
All graduate courses will be taught remotely. Graduate students currently living in campus housing may remain on campus and will be subject to the on-campus screening requirements and community health standards. No additional campus housing assignments will be made after August 5. Further information on graduate programs will be forthcoming.

Will the college be remote-only in the spring?
The college has not yet made a decision regarding the spring semester. If the college is able to have students in residence, seniors will be given priority. 

How does this impact international students?
Under federal law, new students will not be able to obtain an F-1 visa since Smith’s academic program will be fully remote. International students may begin their Smith education remotely or request a deferral by contacting the dean of admission at admission@smith.edu by August 17. Returning international students currently in the United States may remain in the country and study remotely. Any international student who takes a leave of absence must leave the United States.

Will co-curricular activities continue virtually?
Yes, the college will have a robust virtual engagement program for the fall semester. More information will be announced soon.

Will Mountain Day happen for the fall semester?
Yes!

Will there be clubs? Big Sibs/Little Sibs?
Yes. In consultation with student leaders, Student Life will be developing guidance on how students can gather virtually.

Will Smith’s student activities fee be the same?
The student activities fee is determined by Smith’s Student Government Association (SGA). The SGA will address fall fees shortly.

Will my mail be forwarded?
Mail Services is requesting that all students verify their current mailing address. If changes need to be made, please email registrar@smith.edu. This will ensure that all First-Class Mail can be forwarded to the correct address if you are not on campus. Please review the guidelines on the Smith College Mail Services website for additional information. https://www.smith.edu/about-smith/mail-services/for-students

Can students in residence travel outside of Northampton?
Students in residence are limited to a travel radius of 10 miles from campus for essential travel only. Urgent travel needs outside this radius should be brought to the attention of reslife@smith.edu.

Will any students be invited to live on campus? Can students apply/appeal to be on campus?
All permissions for students approved to live on campus for fall semester have been rescinded. An extraordinarily small number of students—those who demonstrate a complete inability to meet academic and learning outcomes in their home environments and those whose legal residence is Smith College—may apply to be in residence. An application will be made available on August 10. Students currently on campus were contacted by residence life on August 6 regarding housing permissions. For those students approved to be in residence, including Ada Comstock Scholars, a limited dining option will be available.

How will this decision affect Ada Comstock Scholars using campus housing?
If an Ada has already been assigned housing on campus, that housing assignment will remain. No additional Adas will be assigned housing after August 5.

Will students living locally or approved to be in residence have access to campus learning resources?
No. All academic engagement will occur remotely, and all campus resources will be available through remote access only. Outdoor areas of the campus and the botanic garden remain open to the public. Campus buildings will remain open only to authorized faculty, staff and students.

How can students access items they left in storage?
Students can pick up their belongings by scheduling a date and time to access the trunk room via this form. You can also contract with Boomerang Moving and Storage who can either store your belongings for you or ship them to you.

Can students have visitors in on-campus housing?
Houses are open only to Smith College students in residence—no off-campus visitors are allowed under any circumstances. Guests who are Smith College students in residence are allowed in other students’ rooms so long as they are following physical distancing guidelines. A maximum of two guests are allowed in one room at a time. No overnight guests—including other Smith students—are allowed.

Can students in residence travel off campus?
Off-campus travel must be limited to a radius of 10 miles from campus and reserved for essential needs only. Urgent travel needs outside this radius should be brought to the attention of reslife@smith.edu. Please note that the City of Northampton, like Smith, requires that masks or approved face coverings be worn in public at all times.

What happens if I get sick? Will I stay in my own room?
In keeping with CDC guidelines, the college will follow a special protocol for ill students requiring isolation or quarantine in dedicated housing.

Is the college adjusting its pricing structure for 2020–21 in response to COVID-19?
In all decisions related to planning around the pandemic, Smith is prioritizing the health and safety of community members. The college has taken steps to address cost and pricing issues. Specifically, in recognition of the financial burdens that COVID-19 has imposed on students and families, we have taken two key actions: We have increased financial aid to help offset the impacts of the pandemic, and we have rolled back our planned tuition increase.

We remain committed to meeting every Smith student’s full demonstrated financial need and to reviewing each student’s award if their financial circumstances have changed. Students with questions about financial aid are encouraged to contact sfs@smith.edu.

Throughout 2020–21, whether working in person or remotely, our faculty and staff will continue to teach and support students with the dedication and individual attention that has long been a hallmark of the Smith experience. Our students will continue to graduate with a degree that retains its value and with the capacities and skills for lifelong success.

If I have already paid my bill, will I get a refund for my room and board?
Yes, a full refund will be processed shortly. Please visit the Student Financial Services website for more information.

Will my financial aid be adjusted after the August 5 pivot?
If you have been approved to live on campus, your financial aid award will be adjusted to reflect that you will no longer be charged for room and board. This may or may not have an impact on your estimated family contribution. The additional $2,000 increase to the personal expense allowance remains intact for the full academic year.

Will the college reimburse travel or housing expenses for students who were planning on traveling to Smith in August?
Unfortunately, the college is not able to reimburse personal expenses. We announced the change as soon as possible so that students and families could adjust their travel plans accordingly.

Are student bills still due August 10?
No. They are now due August 31.

How much will room and board cost for the fall? How much will tuition cost?
Our tuition, room and board are updated for first-year students on the admission page and for sophomores, juniors and seniors at Student Financial Services.

How are work-study expectations affected by the move to remote learning for the fall semester?
Work-study expectations for first-year and sophomore students have been eliminated and replaced by grants. Work-study expectations for juniors and seniors have been reduced by 50% under the current plan to invite juniors and seniors to be in residence for the spring 2021 semester. Should the spring semester be moved to all-remote, the college will adjust its financial aid accordingly.

Is there an additional charge for the interterm session?
No. Courses offered during interterm are included in the fall tuition.

What adjustments will be made to financial aid packages to reflect the change in the college’s operations?
For students on financial aid, we have made two important adjustments for 2020–21. We have increased the allowance for personal expenses by $2,000 per year, regardless of whether the student is residing on or near campus or at home, and we have reduced the work-study earnings expectation by 50 percent.

Where can I find details about Smith's participation in the CARES Act?
Detailed reporting is available here.

Was Smith able to access additional federal funding under the CARES Act?
Yes. In passing the CARES act, the federal government allotted each college and university funding to award directly to students whose lives and studies have been disrupted by COVID-19. Under the act, Smith College was awarded $1,059,948 to distribute to affected students.

Which students were eligible to receive CARES Act funds? 
Undergraduate and graduate students enrolled at Smith through the spring 2020 semester who had filed a valid FAFSA demonstrating eligibility for Title IV funds and whose estimated family contribution did not exceed $75,000 were eligible.

How much did eligible students receive in CARES Act funding?
Eligible students received a one-time payment of $630 via direct deposit or a check mailed to their address on file.
 
Since CARES Act funding only applied to domestic students, how did Smith support international and undocumented students? 

In accordance with Smith’s commitment to equity, the college used its own funds to provide equal assistance to every eligible international or undocumented student.