Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 56.23
Liaison Rachael Wein
Submission Date July 11, 2014
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.0

Smith College
PA-8: Affordability and Access

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.12 / 4.00 Audrey Smith
Vice President for Enrollment
Offices of Admission and Student Financial Services
"---" 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:
Smith has long been recognized as a leader in providing access to low income students. In 2013-14 Smith will provide over $60 million in financial aid to 64% of our undergraduate students. Twenty-two percent of Smith students receive federal Pell grants which go to the neediest students. An additional 160 international citizens (who are not elegible for Pell grants will be awarded institutional aid from Smith).

A brief description of any programs to equip the institution’s faculty and staff to better serve students from low-income backgrounds:
Smith offers a variety of learning and development courses throughout the year for faculty and staff of the college. One such course includes "Creating Workplace Respect", which focuses on how to be successful in working within a diverse and rapidly changing workforce. Learning objectives for the course include defining workplace respect, learning the barriers to understanding and respect, dealing with the barriers, understanding the assertiveness triangle, and learning strategies for workplace respect.

A brief description of any programs to prepare students from low-income backgrounds for higher education:
Smith hosts a variety of programs and makes resources available for students from low-income background to support student success at Smith. See: http://www.smith.edu/doc/funding.php As shown in the document above, some of the financial assistance programs are made available for textbook purchases, expenses to attend meeting and academic conferences, emergency travel home, emergency medical and dental, special studies work, graduation gown or ivy day dress, and fine arts supplies. These assistance programs are available to all Smith students. Other programs to support students from low-income background to succeed in higher education include: • Creation of AEMES – Achieving Excellence in Math, Engineering, and Science: team-based approach (with faculty and peer mentors) to supporting students with a commitment to promote greater participation in the sciences by students from traditionally underrepresented groups including first-generation college students (those for whom neither parent has earned a bachelor’s degree). • Creation of the Spinelli Center for Quantitative Learning to support students from diverse educational backgrounds to succeed in quantitative learning and research. The Spinelli Center supports students doing quantitative work all across the curriculum. The center offers tutoring, quantitative skills workshops, and class study sessions outside the regular classroom. • Development of Culture of Research Initiative to support access and success of all undergraduates with research experiences within learning communities, both within and beyond the classroom (including service learning groups) across the college • Continuing development and enhancement of Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program aimed at increasing the number of minority students, and others with a demonstrated commitment to eradicating racial disparities, who will pursue PhDs in core fields in the arts and sciences. * Orientation program for entering first-year, first-generation students. In addition, Smith providesa student employment guide that is available online for students who are on work study to help navigate the process and experience. The guide covers procedures, rules, and guidelines for both students and employers for on-campus work study programs.

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

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

A brief description of any targeted outreach to recruit students from low-income backgrounds:
Smith College aggressively participates in outreach programs in order to recruit students from low-income backgrounds. Because of Smith's commitment to access, the admissions office targets inner-city schools in recruitment efforts in order to attract students from low-income backgrounds. The admissions office is well aware that SAT scores are highly correlated with income, and therefore has made submission of SAT scores optional and put more weight on teacher recommendations, high-school performance, and other measures as criteria for admissions. Smith's outreach initiatives to recruit students from low-income and underrepresented backgrounds are made through programs such as: -Posse (first group will arrive in fall 2015) -Springfield/Holyoke Partnership (4 full-tuition scholarships) -College Horizons (pre-college workshops for Native students) -Alumnae Outreach -Women of Distinction fly-in program for targeted students -Discovery Weekend program for admitted students -Summer Science and Engineering Program (SSEP)-scholarships for low income students -Multicultural Recruitment Luncheons -Multicultural Recruitment Working Group These programs are not only meant to recruit students from low income backgrounds, but are also meant to help encourage and give access to opportunities resources for students who may not otherwise qualify without these programs.

A brief description of other admissions policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:
Smith's financial aid policy states that: "Smith College seeks to provide educational opportunity for qualified students, knowing that many of them 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. Some admission decisions may include an assessment of the student's level of need. These need-sensitive evaluations affect approximately 5 percent of all applicants".

A brief description of other financial aid policies or programs to make the institution accessible and affordable to low-income students:
For all aided students, the budget includes allowances for books and travel to campus. For very low-income students, additional grant aid may be available to cover health insurance, and other items.

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

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:
Smith's Ada Comstock program helps non-traditional women students -- who must be at least 24 years old -- complete college. Currently, Smith has over 100 Ada Comstock Scholars, some 4% of its 2,700 students. Unlike traditional students, who come directly from high school, these women are often already living on their own and are far more likely to be low income. 75% receive federal Pell Grants. Smith requires traditional age students to attend full-time, only Ada Comstock Scholars can attend part-time.

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:
Smith has a special scholarship for Ada Comstock Scholars with children under 18 years of age that replaces their student work expectation.

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

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
The graduation/success rate for low-income students
The percentage of student financial need met, on average
The percentage of students graduating with no interest-bearing student loan debt ---

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:
Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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.