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Please review our aid policies for important information.

Need-Based Grants

The grant amount is based on a student's financial need as determined by Smith College through the financial aid application process. Many Smith College SSW grants come from funds given for this purpose by alumni and friends of the School. Students may be asked to write to the donor of the fund if the grant is supplied by a named scholarship. Need-based grants range from $3,000-$15,000 per year. (Need-based grants for the final summer range from $230 to $1,500.) The School makes every effort to maintain the level of financial aid originally offered into a student's second year dependent upon the School's funding levels and the student's financial circumstances.

Living Stipends

Living stipends are grant aid provided to assist students in meeting their monthly personal expenses during the Winter term/Field assignment. The total stipend awarded for each academic year is divided by 8 months and this monthly amount is processed as a refund to the student in the third week of each month beginning in August and ending in March to support monthly expenses for September through April. Please see additional information regarding Living Stipends under our financial aid policy. Awarded as a two-year commitment; no separate application is required.


MSW Merit Aid

Dean's Merit Scholarship

The Dean's merit scholarship ranges from $1,000 to $6,000 per year as a two-year commitment. All applicants are considered for the Dean's merit scholarship; no separate application process is required.

Students selected will:

  • Have excelled academically in previous coursework
  • Possess intellectual curiosity and a passion for social work as evidenced in extracurricular activities, volunteer/community efforts and/or work experience
  • Demonstrate an exceptional commitment to social work and social work values, including a commitment to diversity

Dean's Award for Social Justice

In keeping with the School's Anti-Racism Commitment, the Dean's Award for Social Justice recognizes extensive experience that demonstrates an extrodinary capacity and commitment to serve communities of color and social justice. Awards range from $4,000 to $10,000 as a two-year commitment; no separate application process is required.

Five College Circle of Scholars (5CCS) Scholarship

The Five College Circle of Scholars Scholarship is awarded to an exceptional incoming MSW student who applies by the Five College Circle of Scholars deadline (November 30) and is a current student attending or graduate of one of the Five Colleges: Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, or the University of Massachusetts Amherst; one award is made to a student from each of the Five Colleges Awarded as a two-year commitment; no separate application is required.

Morningstar Scholarship

The Morningstar Scholarship recognizes a dedicated candidate committed to populations to whom social work is committed and has exceptional potential to contribute to the social work profession. The scholarship covers all tuition and on-campus room and board expenses over the full 27-month period of the MSW program. This prestigious award is renewable each academic year provided the award recipient remains in good standing in academic and field work. No separate application is required.

Reaching for Excellence Scholarship

A limited number of $3,000 to $10,000 Reaching for Excellence (REX) Scholarships will be awarded to members of each entering class who are graduates of the on-campus REX program as a two-year commitment; no separate application is required.


Salinger Scholarship

The Salinger Scholarship was established in memory of a 1952 alumna to provide financial support to a student who has demonstrated leadership abilities and shows exceptional promise for the profession. The scholarship covers all tuition expenses over the full 27 month period. This prestigious award is renewable each academic year provided the award recipient remains in good standing in academic and field work. No separate application is required.

Scholarship for Military Personnel

The Scholarship for Military Personnel is awarded annually to a member of the military or to a veteran who makes a commitment to work with the mental health issues of military personnel and their families upon graduation. The scholarship guarantees full tuition for the 27-month program, as well as on campus room and board while the student is on campus during the summer months.

The scholarship recipient will also be given preference in the assignment of the geographic location for their field placement (to be selected from the SSW listing of geographic options available).

It is important to note that for some military education benefits, we are required to report net tuition: tuition and fees less any tuition waiver, scholarship or grant aid. A "net zero" certification would still entitle a veteran to receive their applicable housing and book allowance, but not the education benefit.

Criteria for Consideration

  • Applicants must be either in active duty, a veteran or retired. Applicants may be affiliated with any branch of the military, including the Coast Guard, National Guard and Reserves.
  • Applicants must have completed their bachelor's degree.

To Apply, submit the following with your admissions application:

  • A one-page statement outlining your affiliation with the military and describing your professional goals upon graduation of serving the mental health needs of military personnel and their dependents.
  • A copy of your ID card or DD214.
  • All application materials are due by the Non-Binding Early Admission deadline date of January 5th.

More Information
For more information about this award, contact the SSW Office of Admission at


Yellow Ribbon Program

The Smith College School for Social Work is proud to be a sponsor of the Yellow Ribbon Program for our nation's veterans. The program was created as part of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Act of 2008. Students seeking a Master's degree can apply for assistance through this program. Students must complete a Yellow Ribbon Benefits Request Form to be considered. Funding is limited and will be issued on a first come, first served basis. Awarding will be determined by the date and time this form is returned to the appropriate office. Any student applying for this benefit is encouraged to fax or email the completed form. This program is only open to those veterans who have met the necessary qualifications for enrollment in this program. Eligibility criteria can be viewed on the GI Bill Website.

Any student awarded funding through the Yellow Ribbon Program will continue to receive this benefit as long as they remain in good academic standing and Smith continues to participate in the program. Students must also have a remaining entitlement through the Veteran's Administration (VA). Yearly funding levels will depend on the amount Smith commits to this program.

2014-2015 Yellow Ribbon Funding Level

Graduate School for Social Work: One student up to $7,500
The funding levels above will be matched by a direct contribution from the VA. Eligible students meeting the application criteria will be awarded the benefit regardless of whether they qualify for need-based assistance. This benefit will replace need-based grant assistance on a dollar for dollar basis, per our outside aid policy. Students accepted into Smith's Yellow Ribbon program will be required to present their VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to a School Certifying Official.


Field Stipends

Field Stipends are additional financial assistance provided by named endowment funds awarded to individual students assigned to particular field internship sites or working with specific populations; these stipends are awarded annually and are available only for the year of the qualifying field placement. In general, field stipends are disbursed in September and if a credit balance is created on the student account, a refund will be generated through the standard SFS refund process. No separate application is required.

Head Resident Grant

Each summer a returning SSW student is selected from a pool of applicants as a Head Resident (HR). The HR is a member of the administrative staff of the College. The HR is expected to act as a liaison between the residents of the house and the various service departments of the College and be regularly available to students as a source of information, advice, and help. The HR receives a grant in the amount of the Room and Board charge for the summer.  If a student has already borrowed up to the full cost of attendance when the HR award is made, the amount of HR grant will reduce the amount of loan borrowed.