Eliminating loans from financial aid packages represents a next step in equalizing the experience for students, regardless of family resources

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Eliminating loans from financial aid packages represents a next step in equalizing the experience for students, regardless of family resources

  • Launch Grants
  • Financial Aid Implications
  • Especially for Alums


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How is Smith’s financial aid support changing? Smith College has announced an ambitious initiative to financially support students by 1) eliminating loans from its financial aid packages, 2) providing low-income entering students with one-time start-up grants, and 3) providing students receiving institutional need-based grants graduating in 2022 with one-time launch grants. This initiative advances the college’s goal of ensuring that the college experience is equitable for all students, regardless of family finances.

Why is Smith expanding student support? From its inception, Smith College has embodied the principle of education access and equity. Sophia Smith envisioned a college where women would receive an outstanding education, the kind that was, in her time, available only to men. Over the course of our history, we have aspired to enroll the world’s best students, regardless of means, as well as to ensure that students can participate equitably in all that Smith has to offer. Smith provides more than $80 million annually in institutional financial aid, and we have been leaders in enrolling Pell Grant-eligible students. The generosity of alums and donors, as well as prudent management of our finances-especially our endowment-allows us to make this investment at this time.

No-Loan Eligibility

Who is eligible for no-loan financial aid packages? All undergraduate students receiving institutional grant aid-including international students and undocumented students-who meet established deadlines.

Does this program apply to international students? Yes-all undergraduate students, including those attending Smith with a student visa and those with permanent resident status, are eligible.

Are undocumented students eligible for the program? Yes-all undergraduate students, including undocumented students and students with DACA status, are eligible.

Does this apply to students who entered Smith as transfer students or Ada Comstock Scholars? Yes-all undergraduate students will be eligible for this benefit.

Start-up Grants

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What are the one-time start-up grants? Start-up grants are intended to help low-income students with expenses associated with the beginning of their college experience. They will be available to students whose expected family contribution (as determined by Smith) is less than $7,000.

Who will qualify for a start-up grant? Any new, entering high-need student whose Expected Family Contribution (as determined by Smith) is less than $7,000 will be eligible beginning in fall 2022.

How many students will receive start-up grants? On average, approximately 20 percent of Smith’s incoming students would be eligible for start-up grants.

Why is Smith offering start-up grants to low-income students? We know that starting college can include expenses that are not fully planned for and that, for some students, those unexpected expenses can make college more difficult. The start-up grants are designed to help ease the pressures of everyday expenses, such as furnishing a dorm room, participating in social activities and local excursions, and meeting the personal needs of daily life. Smith already covers costs associated with books, tuition, room and board, and travel at designated breaks.

When/how will entering students receive their start-up grant payment? We are determining how and when students will receive this grant and will update eligible students prior to enrollment.

Launch Grants

What are launch grants? Launch grants are intended to help undergraduate students transition payday loans Montana into life after college. Students receiving need-based institutional grants and graduating in 2022 (either in January or May) will be issued a grant.

How many students will receive launch grants? Any graduating senior who has received Smith College need-based grant assistance in the 202122 academic year will receive a launch grant. The plan is to process these payments around the same time as graduation (including January graduates).