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Early Decision and Financial Aid

CPUscientist3000CPUscientist3000 Registered User Posts: 5,450 Senior Member
edited July 2011 in Smith College
If you apply ED, does Smith give you an estimated financial aid package in December (or January if EDII)? Would I need to fill out the FAFSA and CSS profile before the deadline to receive an estimate?

Also, does Smith have "Non-Custodial Parent Waiver Forms"? Or do I get that from the collegeboard website?

Are decisions by mail or online?

One last question *phew* are ED applicants notified if they receive the STRIDE or Zolman (Zollman?) scholarship when they receive an admissions decision (an acceptance)?
Post edited by CPUscientist3000 on

Replies to: Early Decision and Financial Aid

  • Danielle2400Danielle2400 Registered User Posts: 228 Junior Member
    In answer to CPUscientest's post about ED admissions and financial aid I believe the following applies:

    For EDI and EDII applicants you must complete both the CSS Profile, and where applicable the Non-Custodial Parent Profile by the deadline and also submit prior year tax returns for both custodial and non-custodial parent with the W-2's. After January 1, and prior to the deadline you must submit FAFSA using custodial parent's financial information together with current tax year's returns and W-2's for both custodial and non- custodial parent.

    If you are admitted EDI or EDII you will receive with your admission letter an Estimated Financial Aid Award letter. The finalized award letter will be received in late June and will reflect adjustments based on results of FAFSA filing and current year tax returns for both parents.

    As to waiver of non-custodial parent submission of CSS Profile ,tax returns and W-2's a petition is filed with Smith College Office of Student Financial Services (SFS). Be aware that such petitions are not usually granted. If the non-custodial parent's location is known, they will almost always have to participate, even though they do not provide support or have not been involved in your life. Each case is different so if you feel you have those type of unusual circumstances file a waiver petition, but prepare yourself for the likelihood that such information will need to be submitted.

    As to the EDI and EDII admitted students receiving Zollman or STRIDE Sscholarship's although it may have happened in a few cases, from what other posters have indicated, it is not generally made available to ED applicants. The Zollman Scholarship is limited to 10 or less per year and the STRIDE about 50 or so per year, and are given to the top regular decision applicants as a financial enticement to choose Smith College over other peer schools or Ivy's where their GPA, test scores, EC's and other attributes would make them competitive candidates. Remember if accepted ED you are locked in to attending, subject to receiving sufficient financial aid to make attendance possible. Therefore, the need to offer merit aid has limited leverage benefit for the college.
  • CPUscientist3000CPUscientist3000 Registered User Posts: 5,450 Senior Member
    That's not fair (about STRIDE)...
    I thought that since someone is applying ED, a school would want to make it as feasible as possible for them to attend.


    Thanks for the info, I'll contact to SFS office (I have a notarized letter from the State saying even they cannot locate my non-custodial parent.)


    Thanks a lot Danielle2400!
  • TheDadTheDad Registered User, ! Posts: 10,225 Senior Member
    "feasible to attend" = meeting your need as determined by their formula

    STRIDE/ZOLLMAN = bonus beyond that.

    Good points were made in an earlier thread that if you think you're a STRIDE/ZOLLMAN contender, don't apply ED. Both statements are true: it's not the end of the world if you don't get it, but it's a really nice cherry atop the cake if you do and the non-$$$ benefits imho outweigh the $$$.
  • CrewDadCrewDad Registered User Posts: 1,721 Senior Member
    I thought that since someone is applying ED, a school would want to make it as feasible as possible for them to attend.

    CPU, merit awards cannot be added on top of a student's federally determined need. The STRIDE award will not affect the total amount of aid packages for students receiving more than $15,000 in financial aid.

    The Zollman Scholarship is limited to 10 or less per year and the STRIDE about 50 or so per year,

    The more or less 10 Zollman and 50 STRIDES are the number of students who accept the award. Four to five times those figures are awarded.
  • SmithieandProudSmithieandProud Registered User Posts: 3,038 Senior Member
    Smith provides aid to cover 100% of your financial need as they calculate it. STRIDE doesn't have anything to do with financial need. Indeed, it's sometimes given to kids who don't get any need-based financial aid at all. It's a merit based award. And they usually use it to attract students who have lots of good offers from lots of good colleges, to encourage them to choose Smith. SOME ED students do get offered STRIDE or Zollman or one of the other scholarships, but it's more likely that you'll be offered it if you apply RD.

    For your financial need based aid, it doesn't matter when you apply. However, Smith says that their financial aid offers are usually within $2000 of its peer institutions. If $2000 a year isn't going to make a big difference to your family, then you lose nothing by applying ED. If it is going to make a big difference it's a very good idea to apply RD so you'll at least have the option of comparing multiple offers. You may even be able to negotiate a slightly better deal based on the offers you've received.

    But in general: You get your financial aid offer at the time of your acceptance, regardless of when you apply. However, your FA decision is mailed, but you can check the admissions decision online. So you'll know if you're in to Smith or not a few days before your financial aid letter arrives, it depends on the speed of the mail.
  • CPUscientist3000CPUscientist3000 Registered User Posts: 5,450 Senior Member
    Thanks TheDad, CrewDad, and SmithieandProud.

    I keep forgetting that that is separate from need-based aid.

    I know it's not necessary to do research and such, but I want a "better" chance at getting a STRIDE (or Zollman.) Smith is my first choice, but I guess there's no need to apply ED, I just wanted to be "done."


    Hopefully I'll be a Smithie ;)
  • TheDadTheDad Registered User, ! Posts: 10,225 Senior Member
    CD, not to nitpick...oh, heck...yes, I am...but the STRIDE numbers offered/accepted you cite don't match up with what the Smith alumnae that serve as the admissions trackers have. E.g., somewhere around 30-40 STRIDES accept per year but not 90-150 offered.

    Long winded way of saying: citation? source?
  • CPUscientist3000CPUscientist3000 Registered User Posts: 5,450 Senior Member
    I interpreted that article as saying "10-12% of our high achieving applicants (that we were losing to Ivies, Moho, and State Us) were matriculating to Smith, but after STRIDE was implemented, 20-25% of our high achieving applicants (that we were losing to Ivies, Moho, and State Us) were matriculating."

    I could be wrong...
  • CrewDadCrewDad Registered User Posts: 1,721 Senior Member
    TheDad, fair question. My source is Audrey Smith, Dean of Enrollment, and Peter de Villiers, the faculty coordinator of the STRIDE program.

    CPU, I believe de Villiers is saying, due to the STRIDE, 20-25 percent of top-rated women accepted now enroll. One assumes all the top-rated women were offered a STRIDE
    It is an important part of our admissions strategies for attracting the academically strongest or best prepared students to come to the college," de Villiers said. "Ten to 12 percent of those top-rated students in the applicant pool used to say yes to Smith before the STRIDE program was implemented, and now 20 to 25 percent of that group say yes to the offer from Smith.
    We were concerned with the range of students we were losing," Smith said, explaining why the STRIDE award amount was increased. The college was losing academically promising students to Ivy League schools, state universities and other liberal arts colleges such as Mount Holyoke.
    Despite the award increase, STRIDE enrollment levels remained constant this year. The college was expecting to enroll 60 STRIDE students, but only received 51, one fewer than last year

    STRIDE award hike aims to grab more top studens - News - The Sophian

    With a 20-25 percent yield, and 51 women accepting the STRIDE award, as I said, I assume 4 to 5 times the 51 were offered a STRIDE. Or you could use the number 60 STRIDE students that Smith was expecting to enroll.
  • TheDadTheDad Registered User, ! Posts: 10,225 Senior Member
    Interesting & thanks. Not sure why but if my info is correct, we have a significantly higher percentage of STRIDE's accepting around here. I will query the next time I'm in contact.
  • minimini Registered User Posts: 26,431 Senior Member
    "For your financial need based aid, it doesn't matter when you apply. However, Smith says that their financial aid offers are usually within $2000 of its peer institutions. If $2000 a year isn't going to make a big difference to your family, then you lose nothing by applying ED."

    This wasn't our experience at all (which, of course, is seven years ago). We found that, from low to high, among need-based aid offered by schools guaranteeing 100% of need, the best (over 4 years) was well over $40k higher than the lowest. Or (back in those years) almost a full year's COA. And our FAFSA situation was very simple: no family businesses, no farms, only one kid in school, no huge mortgages, straightforward W2s.

    Based on our experience (high need), I would NEVER counsel a student who needed substantial aid to apply ED ANYWHERE.
  • SmithieandProudSmithieandProud Registered User Posts: 3,038 Senior Member
    Well, I'm just repeating what I have heard from Smith, hence the part where I say "Smith says". I agree that if you need substantial aid, it's probably not a good idea to apply ED because you don't get the chance to compare your offers.
  • CarolynBCarolynB Registered User Posts: 1,068 Senior Member
    TD, I think CC has a higher percentage of accepting STRIDEs because we persuasively share our strong endorsement of the program with real success stories of opportunities of internships, study abroad, grad school and jobs. It would be interesting to know the details if they were somehow available.
  • TheDadTheDad Registered User, ! Posts: 10,225 Senior Member
    Carolyn, by "around here" I meant "SoCal."

    Yes, here on CC the Smith Mafia does a very persuasive job. :) Now, where did I put m fedora....
This discussion has been closed.