Overall Rating Bronze - expired
Overall Score 38.98
Liaison Ann Drevno
Submission Date Aug. 11, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Saint Mary's College of California
PA-8: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.71 / 4.00 Jane Camarillo
Vice Provost for Student Life
Student Life
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have policies and programs in place to make it accessible and affordable to low-income students?:

A brief description of any policies and programs to minimize the cost of attendance for low-income students:

Serving students of all means, especially those who need assistance, is a key element of Saint Mary's Lasallian tradition. The College offers a range of advising services, scholarships, grants, and loans for both undergraduate and graduate students of low and moderate income. More than 80 percent of Saint Mary's students receive some form of financial aid.

A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:

Campus of Difference Workshops are required of all staff and faculty and provides local examples, drawing on campus experiences in helping to train and discuss the needs of underrepresented students.

A brief description of any programs to prepare students from low-income backgrounds for higher education:

The High Potential Program (HPP) was started in 1973 to increase minority enrollment by providing support for first-generation and low-income college students. The anchor of HPP is the Summer Bridge Program, a two-week residential program to prepare students for the fall, getting them familiar with the campus and meeting with “peer mentors” (upperclassmen who are also first-generation students) for advice and support, with whom they continue to work throughout their freshman year. They also meet in monthly advising meetings with HPP staff, as well as their faculty academic advisor, during the first year.

Related URL

A brief description of the institution's scholarships for low-income students:

Saint Mary’s College provides aid to students based on their need, high school GPA and Test scores (ACT & SAT). All available federal, state and institutional aid is coordinated comprehensively for student award packages. SMC does not, however, provide full need for students as it is the institution's expectation that students be responsible for some portion of their finances, availing themselves of federal, parent and private loans to help with some portion of need.

Additionally, students are encouraged to seek and apply for outside scholarships. One-on-one counseling for students and their families is provided so that the full costs of a college education at SMC is clearly understood by all parties.

A brief description of any programs to guide parents of low-income students through the higher education experience:

First generation, low income students and parents receive letters from the Admissions Office to assist them with matriculation and coordinating their financial aid requirements. Admissions also provides information about resources on campus for first generation and low income students like the High Potential Summer Bridge program and available bilingual staff in multiple offices.

Admissions hosts Cultural Receptions (e.g. Latino Reception) for Admitted Students and parents of a particular affinity and who have generally been under-represented in the class. The receptions provide relevant information regarding the student experience and bilingual staff and students appropriate for that particular reception.

First Generation students and parents receive letters and emails from Admissions to assist in matriculate into the institution and provide a contact for any additional questions that remain for incoming students.

The New Student and Family Programs Office hosts a Spanish language parent orientation for parents and families for whom Spanish is the primary language. The orientation reviews the resources at the college for students and families, the academic curriculum and practical information related to financial aid and communicating with the College about their student.

A brief description of any targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:

The Admissions Office sends out recruitment letters to first generation students discussing the resources on campus including bilingual staff, bilingual campus tours and assistance with completing things like the FAFSA and providing access to current students to provide student to student information. Admissions staff also participate in Spring College Tours to provide information specifically for first generation and low income students about the resources at the College for student success.

A brief description of other admissions policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

The Board of Trustees defines as one of its metrics that 25% of the admitted students must be Pell eligible, which connects concretely to the College's mission to be of service to the poor.

A brief description of other financial aid policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:

The College takes advantage of the following aid resources to support low income students and make a Saint Mary's education more accessible:

Provides need based aid to complete a financial aid package include access to Cal grants, SEOG, Perkins and Parent Loans, Federal Work Study. Lastly, the College has established the President's Emergency, which was developed to address unanticipated financial need, particularly for a graduating senior, so that a low income student can address a short fall either through an emergency grant or loan.

A brief description of other policies and programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students not covered above:

No additional programs.

Does the institution have policies and programs in place to support non-traditional students?:

A brief description of any scholarships provided specifically for part-time students:


A brief description of any onsite child care facilities, partnerships with local facilities, and/or subsidies or financial support to help meet the child care needs of students:


A brief description of other policies and programs to support non-traditional students:

See prior entry on High Potential program

Does the institution wish to pursue Part 2 of this credit (accessibility and affordability indicators)?:

Indicators that the institution is accessible and affordable to low-income students::
Percentage (0-100)
The percentage of entering students that are low-income 29
The graduation/success rate for low-income students ---
The percentage of student financial need met, on average 67
The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt 25

The percentage of students that participate in or directly benefit from the institution’s policies and programs to support low-income and non-traditional students:

The website URL where information about the institution's affordability and access programs is available:

Note re: percentage of student financial need met:
For Freshmen- 67% , for all Undergraduate students 61%

The College as of 2014 has developed an MOU with KIPP for future recruitment.

Additionally, The College was awarded an NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) program for $613,477 over five years to help support full-tuition scholarships and robust student support and mentoring services. The program will help recruit and enroll 24 academically talented, financially needy students into undergraduate programs in chemistry, biochemistry, physics and mathematics.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.