From Community College to Smith College
NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Smith College, the nation’s largest undergraduate women’s college, is launching a program that will make it possible for at least 60 women from community colleges to secure their bachelor’s degrees throughout the next decade.
The Smith Community Scholars program will provide first- and second-year tuition for selected community college students who transfer with associate’s degrees. Beginning in fall 2005, the program will fund the tuition for three junior students and, during each subsequent academic year, the tuition for three junior and three senior students.
Made possible by a $500,000 gift from Janet McKinley, a trustee and member of the Class of 1976, the Smith Community Scholars program will benefit community college transfer students who have demonstrated leadership and a commitment to community service and who have significant financial need.
“Now, when the need for a college education is greater than ever, the cost is increasingly out of reach,” said McKinley, who recently retired from her position as chairman of The Income Fund of America. Smith Community Scholars may be “students who did not envision themselves being eligible either financially or academically to go to Smith when they graduated from high school, but who have done well in community college and now seek to graduate from a highly respected four-year college.”
Smith will seek additional donors for the Community Scholars program in an effort to amplify its impact and ability to support transfer students. In the fall of 2004,
27 percent of Smith’s transfer students were from two-year colleges, and 73 percent of students in the Ada Comstock Scholars Program for women of non-traditional college age were from two-year colleges.
The transfer students entering through the Smith Community Scholars program will participate in a weeklong orientation program and will be paired with a faculty mentor and student mentor who also transferred into Smith from a community college.
Smith College enrolls 2,800 students from every state and 60 other countries and is consistently ranked among the nation’s foremost liberal arts colleges. The new program continues Smith’s history of reaching out to talented women who wish to complete their educations.
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