Smith expands EDII-focused financial aid options

Posted on October 25, 2021

Kingston, Ont. – Smith has established three new undergraduate admissions awards in support of its ongoing commitment to improve access to business education for under-represented communities.

In alignment with the business school’s Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Indigenization (EDII) Strategy and Action Plan, the Development and Alumni Engagement team launched a focused giving effort to increase the amount of available need-based and merit-based financial aid available to students from under-represented groups, and encourage increased diversity within the Commerce program.

Thanks to the generosity and support of Smith donors, the following awards are now available to eligible undergraduate students at Smith:

Wright Family Award

Established in February 2021 by Susan and Jay Wright, BCom'81, this award was created with the goal of increasing the representation of Indigenous business leaders in corporate Canada. The award is given on the basis of demonstrated financial need and academic achievement to students entering their first year of the Commerce program. First preference is given to Indigenous students, followed by Canadians who self-identify as Black or racialized students. The award is renewable for three subsequent years provided a satisfactory academic average is maintained each year and financial need remains evident. 

Commerce Oportunidad Award

This award was established in September 2021 by an anonymous donor – a Latin American immigrant to Canada whose life was changed through education, and who has had a long career in the finance industry. It is awarded on the basis of financial need and academic achievement to students entering their first year of the Commerce program. Preference is given to students who self-identify as being Latin American. The award is renewable for three subsequent years provided a satisfactory academic average is maintained and financial need remains evident.

Darren N. Costen Award

Established in September 2021 by Smith’s new Dean, Wanda Costen, and named in honour of her son, this award aims to help address the under-representation of Black students within the Commerce program at Smith, and to alleviate the economic strain faced by students who are the first generation in their family to attend university. It is awarded on the basis of financial need and academic achievement to students entering their first year of the Commerce program. First preference is given Canadians who self-identify as Black, followed by students who are the first generation in their families to attend post-secondary.

As part of its EDII Strategic Action Plan, Smith aims to raise $10 million in new gifts for student financial aid by 2023.