Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 49.89
Liaison Ann Drevno
Submission Date Jan. 25, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

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

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.96 / 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?:
Yes

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

1). TRIO Student Support Services Program, which supports higher education efforts that motivate and prepare underrepresented students on college campuses for academic success and graduation. This program is structured to help low-income and first generation students build on their personal assets and strengths and use them to succeed academically. Saint Mary’s provides up to $300,000 a year of need based aid to low-income students who participate in this program.

2). 90% of institutional aid for the 2014 undergraduate cohort awarded was applied toward need-based aid, which includes non-need- based aid used to meet need (Source: Common Data Set).
3). Students are allowed to take an additional course (5th course) for free each year in order to help them persist and graduate on time. This policy allows students to complete their degree on time and take on less debt.
4). The Board of Trustees defines as one of its metrics that 20% of the admitted students must be Pell eligible, which connects concretely to the College's mission to be of service to the poor.
5). The MAPS program provides a full-tuition scholarship program to high-achieving students with financial need interested in studying Math, Physics, Chemistry or Biochemistry.
6). Saint Mary’s students can benefit from an intentional and robust financial aid literacy program in partnership with SALT a non-profit organization. This program provides resources and tools for students to better manage their personal and student debt.


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 (HP) Program provides individualized support services to first-generation college and low-income students. The HP program admits an average of 40 students to participate in the Summer Bridge program and an average of 90 students for the HP First Year Advising Cohort. HP students receive intensive support services in the first year at Saint Mary’s College and ongoing support throughout students' sophomore, junior and senior years.


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

1. 89% of institutional aid for the 2014 undergraduate cohort awarded was applied toward need-based aid, which includes non-need- based aid used to meet need (Source: Common Data Set).
2. $300,000 of scholarship per year for TRIO Student Support Services Program provided by SMC. These scholarships are awarded to qualified low-income students.
3. These need-based grants depend on student demonstrated financial need as determined by the FAFSA. Other endowed scholarships have additional criteria, such as geographic qualifications or ethnic heritage.
4. The Madden Book Fund is a lending library for Collegiate Seminar texts and a small group of other texts. More information is available by linking to the site.
5. The Author Curley Book Fund is a new resource for students that provide grants up to $500 to buy their textbooks.


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

During new student orientation each new student is encouraged to bring up to three family members to participate in the Parent and Family Program during New Student Orientation, which will allow families to learn about the various resources including financial aid resources available in the campus community for low income students, meet College staff, and connect with parents of other new students.


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

Saint Mary’s is an inclusive institution, which is intentional about recruiting students from a variety of social economic backgrounds. In fact, on average approximately 30% of the undergraduate population at SMC are Pell eligible students. Below are some of the tactics used to recruit low-income students:

1. Admission counselors recruit in socio-economic diverse geographic locations within our primary recruitment territories.
2. Admission application fee waivers are provided to low-income students upon request.
3. Financial aid counselors provide workshops regarding applying for financial and college affordability in socio-economic diverse areas.
4. Customized information is provided net price (cost of attendance) through the institution’s net price calculator and financial aid award packages.


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?:
Yes

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

1. The Kalmanovitz School of Education offers a reduced tuition program for teachers, counselors and administrators who have been employed full-time for the past year in a Catholic elementary or secondary school, or who have a contract for such service for the coming year. A 50% reduction in tuition is available for the first six KSOE units taken in the given year; the reduction does not apply to any other Saint Mary's course or programs.
2. SMC has a variety of scholarships for students pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.
3. Kalmanovitz School of Education scholarships, in relation to their financial need, academic standing and content of their application essay.
4. A number of scholarships are available to qualified students in the Graduate Business programs. Scholarships are awarded on various criteria usually reflecting the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award. These scholarships also help reducing student debts, a national issue, in the current economic situation. All applicants are highly encouraged to apply for a scholarship.


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:

None


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

Saint Mary’s part time students can benefit from an intentional and robust financial aid literacy program in partnership with SALT a non-profit organization. This program provides resources and tools for students to better manage their personal and student debt.


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

Indicators that the institution is accessible and affordable to low-income students::
Percentage (0-100)
The percentage of entering students that are low-income 30
The graduation/success rate for low-income students 58
The percentage of student financial need met, on average 85
The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt 23

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:
30

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

The data gathered on financial need and student loan debt (85% and 23% respectively) reflects students who have graduated, minus transfer students.

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

1. http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/admissions-aid/financial-aid/undergraduate
2. http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/admissions-aid/financial-aid/graduate
3. http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/supportresources
4. http://www.stmarys-ca.edu/admissions-aid/alt-financial-literacy-program

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 and complete the Data Inquiry Form.