Leading Women’s College Eliminates Loans From Its Undergraduate Financial Aid Packages

Smith College, the highly rated liberal arts educational institution for women in Northampton, Massachusetts, has announced that it will eliminate loans from its undergraduate financial aid packages, beginning in fall 2022, replacing them with grants from the college.

The college’s financial aid program will make a new annual investment of $7 million, projected to bring the college’s total aid awarded next year to more than $90 million. All students receiving need-based institutional aid, which represents more than 60 percent of the student body, will receive an increase in their grant from the college.

In addition to providing financial aid, Smith will award one-time “start-up grants” of $1,000 to entering students with an expected family contribution of less than $7,000. The start-up grants are intended to help students from families with fewer economic resources afford the everyday expenses associated with starting college.

And for seniors graduating in 2022 with need-based institutional grants, Smith will offer one-time “launch grants” of $2,000 to help with the cost of transitioning to life after college.

Announcing the program, Smith College President Kathleen McCartney noted that “eliminating loans from financial aid packages will enable Smith to recruit and enroll the best students, regardless of family resources, and enable future alums to begin their careers or continue their studies with their debts greatly reduced or eliminated.”

President McCartney added that “eliminating loans from our aid packages also aligns strongly with our institutional commitment to racial justice and equity, given that Black and Latina/o students — at Smith and across the nation — graduate on average with more student debt than their peers.”


Filed Under: Women's Colleges


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