Ph.D. Merit Aid

Smith SSW has several specific types of merit aid that are determined at the time of admission. In general, consideration for merit scholarships is given to those applicants awarded grant aid so a FAFSA is required. Separate application requirements may be necessary. Please review the details for each.

In general, merit scholarships are awarded on a two-year basis. Please review our aid policies for important information.

Dean's Merit Scholarship

Recipients will possess intellectual curiosity and a passion for social work as evidenced in extracurricular activities, volunteer/community efforts and/or work experience. They will demonstrate an exceptional commitment to social work and social work values including a commitment to diversity and will have excelled academically in previous coursework.

Amount: Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000 per year.

Length of Award: Two-year commitment.

Application: No separate application is required.

Dean's Award for Social Justice

The Dean's Award for Social Justice recognizes extensive experience that demonstrates an extraordinary capacity and commitment to serve communities of color and social justice.

Amount: Awards range from $1,000 to $4,500 per year.

Length of Award: Two-year commitment.

Application: No separate application is required.

Supervision Support

Recipients who qualify for need-based aid will qualify for a $2,000 Supervision Award at the time of their admission; they may apply for additional Supervision support each fall. Based on data submitted, these awards range from an additional $1,000 to $4,000.

Batliwalla Scholarship Fund for the Visually Impaired

The Batliwalla Scholarship Fund in support of visually impaired students.

Amount: The scholarship will cover the full cost of tuition, housing and food plan (during the summer residential period) over the full 27-month period of the Ph.D. program and offer a generous internship stipend. To qualify, students must submit all required Ph.D. program application materials and qualify for admission.

Length of Award: This prestigious award is renewable each academic year provided the award recipient remains in good standing academically and in their internship.

Application: Separate from application materials, applicants interested in being considered for this scholarship must submit a doctor’s letter including a statement addressing the applicant’s  visual impairment. This official letter must be sent via mail to:

Smith College SSW
Lilly Hall
Office of Admission
Northampton, MA 01063

For more details on this scholarship and how to apply, contact the Office of Graduate Enrollment at or (413) 585-7960.

Head Resident Grant

Each summer a returning SSW student is selected from a pool of applicants as a Head Resident (HR). The HR is a member of the administrative staff of the College. The HR is expected to act as a liaison between the residents of the house and the various service departments of the College and be regularly available to students as a source of information, advice and help. The HR receives a grant in the amount of the housing and food plan charge for the summer. If a student has already borrowed up to the full cost of attendance when the HR award is made, the amount of HR grant will reduce the amount of loan borrowed.

Yellow Ribbon Program

The Smith College School for Social Work is proud to be a sponsor of the Yellow Ribbon Program for our nation's Veterans. The program was created as part of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Act of 2008. Students seeking a master's degree can apply for assistance through this program. Students must complete a Yellow Ribbon Benefits Request Form to be considered. Funding is limited and will be issued on a first come, first served basis. Awarding will be determined by the date and time this form is returned to the appropriate office. Any student applying for this benefit is encouraged to fax or email the completed form. This program is only open to those Veterans who have met the necessary qualifications for enrollment in this program. Eligibility criteria can be viewed on the GI Bill Website.

Any student awarded funding through the Yellow Ribbon Program will continue to receive this benefit as long as they remain in good academic standing and Smith continues to participate in the program. Students must also have a remaining entitlement through the Veteran's Administration (VA). Yearly funding levels will depend on the amount Smith commits to this program.

2017-2018 Yellow Ribbon Funding Level
Graduate School for Social Work: One student up to $5,000
The funding levels above will be matched by a direct contribution from the VA. Eligible students meeting the application criteria will be awarded the benefit regardless of whether they qualify for need-based assistance. This benefit will replace need-based grant assistance on a dollar for dollar basis, per our outside aid policy. Students accepted into Smith's Yellow Ribbon program will be required to present their VA Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to a School Certifying Official.