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Financial Aid

Applicants & Prospective Students

This section is for prospective students applying for admission. If you are a current student, please go to the Student Financial Services website for information.

Smith College seeks to provide educational opportunity for qualified students, knowing that many of you will require financial assistance. Our need-based aid program begins with a consistent, yet personalized, assessment of each applicant's ability to pay for college expenses. Smith meets the full documented need, as determined by college policy, of all admitted students who apply for aid by the published deadlines.

Smith College awards need-based aid to non-U.S. citizens, both first-year and September transfer applicants. The pool of international students is highly competitive and the level of support provided from the college ranges widely, depending on particular family circumstances. Aid is determined based on the information provided by the family on the Financial Aid Application, along with tax or income statements.

A non-U.S. citizen will have her expected family contribution remain the same each year she attends Smith. The self-help portion of the award (loan and on-campus work) will increase each year to partially offset increases in our billed costs. The Smith Grant will also be adjusted so that the total family contribution remains stable. Cost increases not covered by aid increases are the responsibility of the student and her family.


When to Apply for Aid

Apply for financial aid by the deadlines to qualify; do not wait to be admitted to the college before applying for aid.

Transfer Students

International transfer students who are applying for need-based aid may not apply for January entrance.

Ada Comstock Scholars

If you are an international student applying for the Ada Comstock Scholar program, please see the forms and deadlines in our Ada Comstock Scholar financial aid section.


Applying for Aid After Deadlines

International students who do not apply for aid prior to admission are not eligible to receive institutional aid at Smith at any time.


How We Determine Need

Each financial aid application file is personally reviewed by experienced staff in the Office of Student Financial Services. In addition to submitting the required documentation, you are welcome to include any information that you feel will help us understand your family's financial status. Remember to complete your admission application, since only accepted students can receive a financial aid decision.

Three steps are used in documenting your level of financial need:

1. Calculating the family contribution

The Office of Student Financial Services evaluates each student's application using federal and institutional methodologies to assess a family's financial resources. During the review, attention is given to individual family circumstances. Standard factors involved in the review include income, assets, family size, the number of family members in college, unreimbursed medical expenses, taxes paid and tuition for siblings in elementary or secondary school. Staff will determine what each family is expected to contribute toward the student's annual educational expenses following the appropriate federal and college policies.

2. Determining the cost of attendance

An educational expense budget is calculated for each student. Tuition, fees, room and board, and standard allowances for books, supplies, personal expenses and travel are included.

3. Financial need

The difference between the cost of attendance and the calculated family contribution is the student's documented financial need.

Smith College recognizes the diversity of the modern family and requires the submission of information regarding both parents, as well as spouses and domestic partners of each parent. Exceptions to this policy are made on a case-by-case basis.


Declining Aid

We assume all awards are accepted as offered unless we receive notification otherwise in writing. You may decrease or decline the loan (or any other part of the award) by sending an email to loanhelp@smith.edu or noting your decision on your financial aid award letter and returning it to the Office of Student Financial Services. Be sure to keep a copy for your records.