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Your Emergency Assistance Grant Under the Federal CARES Act, June 3, 2020

Your Emergency Assistance Grant Under the Federal CARES Act, June 3, 2020

Dear student,

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.

We have reviewed the guidance set forward by the federal government and will be sending you a grant of $630. These funds will be issued via direct deposit to those with their bank account information on file in Workday. Otherwise, a check will be mailed to the address we have for you on file.

We would like to explain how we arrived at this figure. The college determined that a broad, need-based decision should be made that centered both equity and expedience; that is, we wanted to ensure that the money was sent as quickly as possible to those most in need.

In order to meet this goal, the college is issuing an equal amount of funding to every student (including undergraduate and graduate students) who was continuously enrolled at Smith College for the spring 2020 semester:

  • Who filed a valid FAFSA demonstrating eligibility for Title IV funds and
  • Whose estimated family contribution did not exceed $75,000

Under federal guidelines, these funds can only be used to offset expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to coronavirus, such as transportation, food, housing, course materials, technology, health care and child-care expenses. If your additional expenses in these categories did not exceed the funding provided, then you must decline the funds in excess of your expenses and return the unused portion to Smith College by contacting

Notably, federal law only permits the use of CARES act funding for domestic students. In accordance with Smith’s commitment to equity, the college will use its own funds to provide equal assistance to every international or undocumented student currently recieving institutional aid.

Please do not hesitate to contact the office of student financial services at with any questions. We wish you health and wellness in what we know are difficult times.


Audrey Smith
Vice President for Enrollment