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A Culture of Care

Read Smith’s plans for the fall 2021 semester.
Current Operating Mode: GREEN

Smith Students’ Aid Society

Three students sitting on the Campus Center lawn on a fall day

The Smith Students’ Aid Society (SSAS) provides assistance to Smith College students with grants and emergency funds to enhance the quality of their educational experiences. The society provides funds for such opportunities as interterm and spring break trips and summer study, as well as for supplies, such as textbooks and art materials, that allow students to participate fully in the range of possibilities available at Smith. The Smith Students’ Aid Society also offers emergency and medical grants, as well as funding for certain financial needs beyond Smith. 

 
Important COVID-19 Information

Please see the tabs below for specific application instructions for each type of grant. Applications need to be submitted to the appropriate office for the grant for which you are applying. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, SSAS grants will not be awarded to support domestic and international travel at this time. In addition, funds cannot be awarded as a supplement to Praxis funding. For additional information regarding SSAS funds for summer study for 2021, please see the class deans website. For Beyond Smith and emergency medical needs grants, applications should be emailed to Anne White.

Assisting Smith Students

The Smith Students’ Aid Society (SSAS) was founded to help Smith students in financial need with small grants that could bridge the gap between needing to leave for financial reasons and remaining at Smith to complete their degree and graduate. Today, the SSAS provides grants to enhance students’ experiences: funds for interterm and spring break trips, summer study, supplies and textbooks, and emergency/medical grants, including uninsured dental, medical and eye care needs. Grants also cover emergency living expenses and travel home in cases of family illness or loss. Financial support for unexpected expenses can relieve stress and help students focus on their academic work during difficult circumstances.

SSAS Beyond Smith grants help seniors in financial need with costs associated with life after graduation, such as graduate school application fees and interview clothing and travel.

History of the Society

SSAS has been in existence since 1897, when it loaned $50 to Otelia Cromwell 1900 to help pay for living expenses. At the beginning and for many years, SSAS was a membership organization comprising alumnae and others who wished to help current students facing need. SSAS is now incorporated [nonprofit 501(c)(3)] and governed by a board of directors composed of alumnae.

In 2001, SSAS received a generous bequest and is now able to fund more students and at higher dollar amounts than in the past. To help ensure that grant categories remain relevant to current needs, the SSAS board consults actively with the faculty and staff advisory groups, and with students themselves. Each February, SSAS invites all grant recipients to meet and talk with directors at a luncheon, where they are encouraged to give their views on the program.


Available Grants

Smith Students’ Aid Society grants are available to any student at Smith experiencing financial need. The grants are subsidies meant to help with a need, and each category has specific guidelines that must be followed when making a request. SSAS strives to help as many students as possible; however, funds are limited and not all requests can be approved. Priority is given to those who have not previously received a grant in that category.

Eligible Expenses

Smith expects students to budget for their textbooks. If costs exceed budgeted allowance or an emergency situation has impacted a student's available funds, they may apply for aid from SSAS.

Selection

Application deadline is the end of the second week of classes. Review of applications typically begins two weeks before the start of the semester. Student may apply only once per academic year.

 

Application Instructions

Textbook grants are coordinated with Susan Zachary, executive assistant to the dean of the college. Funds are given in the form of credits to Grécourt Bookshop.

Students may receive funding only once per academic year.

To apply for textbook funding, please fill out the academic funding application located on the Smith Social Network. 

Eligible Expenses

Eligible expenses for medical emergency funds include unreimbursed emergency costs, such as medical and dental expenses, travel, eyeglasses, emergency housing and food provided on campus over breaks, emergency childcare and winter clothes. These funds are available for partial reimbursement of emergency expenses, with a limit of $400 towards eye care.

Application Instructions

Bills for all expenses must accompany the application unless special permission is given by SSAS; please send an email to Anne White at awhite@smith.edu.

Submit Application

Please fill out the emergency funding application located on the Smith Social Network. 

Eligible Expenses

Fine arts supplies grants apply to all Smith students in financial need and enrolled in a qualifying fine arts course (art, dance, music or theater).

Application Instructions

The instructor’s signature is required on the application as proof of registration. The deadline to apply is the last day on which a student may enroll in a fine arts class each semester. Late requests are not considered.

Submit Application

To apply for fine arts funding, please fill out the fine arts funding request form located on the Smith Social Network.

Eligible Expenses

Grants for noncredit and credit-bearing travel and programs are available to all Smith undergraduate students in financial need.

Eligible expenses include:

  • unreimbursed fees or costs associated with trips
  • programs for credit-bearing courses offered or accepted for credit by Smith and not covered by financial aid

Please note: Funds cannot be awarded for athletic trips.

International Students

Fourteen to 30 percent of grant total is withheld for tax purposes. Awards cannot be adjusted to cover this. You need to pay the difference. Make sure you file a tax return for possible refund.

Application Instructions

The signature of your adviser or instructor is required on the application for credit-bearing programs and travel.

In addition, you must include:

  • a complete budget, including your own contribution towards the activity for which you are requesting aid
  • a complete description of the activity

Submit Application

Please return applications to the Class Deans Office, College Hall 101.

The application deadlines are November 15 (interterm) and February 15 (spring break). Decisions will be made within 2 weeks after the deadline.

Eligible Expenses

Grants for noncredit and credit-bearing travel and programs are available to all Smith undergraduate students in financial need.

Eligible expenses include:

  • unreimbursed fees or costs associated with trips
  • programs for credit-bearing courses offered or accepted for credit by Smith and not covered by financial aid

Please note: Funds cannot be awarded as a supplement to Praxis funding.

Selection

Students with credit shortages get preference in funding for summer school unless that shortage is the result of an acceleration plan.

International Students

Fourteen to 30 percent of grant total is withheld for tax purposes. Awards cannot be adjusted to cover this. You need to pay the difference. Make sure you file a tax return for possible refund.

Application Instructions

The signature of your adviser or instructor is required on the application for credit-bearing programs and travel.

In addition, you must include:

  • a complete budget, including your own contribution towards the activity for which you are requesting aid
  • a complete description of the activity

Submit Application

Please return applications to the Class Deans Office, College Hall 101.

Deadline

The application deadline is April 15. Decision will be made within two weeks of the deadline.

Eligible Expenses

Smith seniors in financial need are eligible for one-time grants of up to $400 to assist with unreimbursed costs and fees for interview travel and clothing, graduate and professional school applications, required entrance exams, the Alumnae Consortium Program and fine arts portfolios.

Application Instructions

Documentation (receipts, email confirmation, estimate of costs, etc.) is required and must accompany the application or be submitted after approval.

A brief explanation of financial need must be included with the application. Grants are awarded on a rolling basis, so it is advantageous to apply early.

Submit Application

To apply for Beyond Smith funding, please fill out the academic funding application located on the Smith Social Network. 


Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need to be on financial aid to get SSAS funding?
No, the Smith Students' Aid Society recognizes that with the high cost of tuition many families are stretching to afford higher education. Therefore, we understand that many students who did not receive financial aid could be under financial stress.

Are receipts required with applications for grants?
The answer depends on the grant for which you are applying. In the case of emergency medical funding, SSAS can often pay the provider directly. In an emergency, the student will receive an approval email from Anne White indicating the grant total. The student must bring a copy of the email and a W-9 form to their appointment and the invoice will need to be sent to SSAS. If the student has paid the medical bill, a receipt should be included with the application. With Beyond Smith grants, students are permitted to supply receipts after approval if they cannot afford to make the purchase without the grant money.

Can seniors apply to Beyond Smith after graduation?
No, all applications for Beyond Smith funding need to be submitted by seniors before they graduate from Smith.

Where should students send thank-you notes for the funding that they have received from SSAS?
Students can send thank-you notes and cards to the attention of Anne White or SSAS at the Helen Hills Hills Chapel. Notes can be addressed to the SSAS Board of Directors. You may also send thank you messages by email to awhite@smith.edu. All thank-you notes are shared with the board at its regular meetings throughout the academic year.


Five Students standing together outside on lawn
 

Sophia Smith’s vision—an education for women equal to any available to men—is now being transformed to meet the challenges of the 21st century. As in the past, a Smith education is and should be open to women of talent regardless of their financial circumstances.

The Smith Students’ Aid Society (SSAS) plays a crucial role when a student has a need that isn’t being met by other sources. Please support SSAS as generously as possible. With your help, SSAS can play its role in effectively educating the global women leaders of tomorrow. On behalf of the current student body and the SSAS Board, thank you. 

—Smith Students’ Aid Society Board President

Ways to Give

A gift to SSAS is credited to your class, to the same extent as a gift directly to the college is credited. You may divide your gift over several areas, including a portion to the SSAS.

  • Phone the Smith Fund, toll free, at 800-241-2056, option 1. Be sure to say your gift is for SSAS.
  • Online using Smith’s secure form.
  • Mail the reply envelope that came with a Smith Fund appeal and write “SSAS” in the note space on your check.

What Students Say

“SSAS continues to ensure that no dream or opportunity is out of reach.”

 

“You saved me once again! Thank you so much for helping me with all those medical bills.”

 

“Because of your generosity, I will be attending NYU to earn my master’s degree in music education.”

Contact

Smith Students’ Aid Society
Email: awhite@smith.edu

Anne White has been the administrator of the Smith Students’ Aid Society since 1999. The best way to reach Anne is by email. Please feel free to contact her regarding your needs, concerns and questions.