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Investing In You SWE ET B RI AR CO LLEGE

in•vest•ment noun

1: the action or process of investing money for profit or material result 2: a thing that is worth buying because it may be profitable or useful in the future 3: an act of devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result

We invest in you

Sweet Briar is unique when it comes to financial aid. It’s about a caring academic community that is focused around your individual success. We understand that a family’s financial situation doesn’t fit into neat categories. That’s why we work with families one on one, providing thoughtful advice and personal assistance as you move through the financial aid process. In short, from the very beginning, we invest in you and that’s our long-term commitment.



Big question: Can I afford Sweet Briar? The short answer is yes.

We look forward to working with you and your family in identifying the opportunities that will help make Sweet Briar your best choice. We’re committed to that. Each year, we give more than $15 million to students through various scholarships and need-based assistance. We provide assistance based on demonstrated financial need and academic achievement, and many students receive a combination of both. At Sweet Briar there is no separate application to be considered for most merit scholarships. Simply complete your application for admission by Feb. 1 and we'll include notification of any merit scholarship with your admission letter.

{ Table of Contents } Questions you might have Defining need-based aid Community service scholarships For Virginia residents Merit scholarships up to $15,000 A network and a legacy Scholarship highlights Steps to take Fees and expenses

5 10 10 12 14 15 17 19 19


QUESTIONS you might have What are the numbers? Before financial aid, here’s where the numbers start for 2011-12: • Tuition: $30,620 • Room and board: $11,100 • Student life fee: $475 Total: $42,195 Can I find out if Sweet Briar is affordable for me now? Yes. You don’t have to apply to Sweet Briar to find out if you may qualify for need-based financial assistance. Simply download and complete the Early Estimator form and send us unofficial copies of your high school transcript and test scores. We’ll review your information and send a written response about need-based aid and different types of assistance you may be eligible to receive. What are the priority filing deadlines for Sweet Briar financial aid applicants? Freshmen applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by Feb. 15. It’s available online at Sweet Briar’s FAFSA number is 003742.


{ QUESTIONS you might have }

Will the award components change from year to year? The ratio of grants, loans and work study remains relatively consistent from year to year, although the student loans will increase gradually, usually not more than $2,000 per year. What do I need to submit to apply for financial aid at Sweet Briar? Assuming your admittance to Sweet Briar, the FAFSA is the only application you need to submit. Is the ability of my family to pay for Sweet Briar considered in the admissions process? No. Sweet Briar is need-blind in admissions and makes decisions independent of a family's ability to pay.

How do you decide whether we’re eligible for need-based assistance? If your calculated family contribution is less than Sweet Briar’s tuition, room and board for that year, you are eligible for needbased aid. We will offer you a financial aid award to help make up the difference. Will I receive the same financial aid award for all four years? The total dollar amount of financial aid awards is based on demonstrated financial need. Significant changes in family circumstances, such as, but not limited to, an increase or decrease in parents’ or student’s income, assets, family size, or the number of family members attending college, may affect eligibility for financial aid. If the family’s circumstances do not change significantly over the four years, the financial aid package should remain relatively consistent from year to year.


What is the average need-based scholarship awarded to first-year students? Of the freshmen who enrolled in the fall of 2011 and demonstrated financial need, the average amount of scholarship awarded was approximately $9,800. Does Sweet Briar offer athletic scholarships? No. We’re a member of NCAA Division III, which doesn’t permit athletic scholarships. What percent of Sweet Briar students receive financial aid? Students receiving institutional financial assistance: 93 percent. The total scholarships and grants awarded: $11,781,971. Total from Sweet Briar funds: $9,664,921 Can I receive financial aid if I board my horse? Yes. If you board your own horse at Sweet Briar you are eligible for merit scholarships but not for needbased aid. How does Sweet Briar treat outside scholarships in relation to its own financial assistance? If you receive need-based aid you can add the outside scholarship amount to your aid package, up to the amount of that unmet need, or use it to reduce the loan portion of your assistance. Does Sweet Briar offer scholarships based on leadership or community involvement? Yes. Community service is an important part of shaping a life. We offer scholarships for involvement in Girl Scouts and in leadership roles during high school. (See page 10 for more information.)

If you have additional questions, we're here to help. Contact us at (800) 381-6156 or 7

{ QUESTIONS you might have }

Is there special aid available for Virginia students? Yes. We offer the Sweet Briar College Virginia Grant, a $7,500 grant to undergraduate students entering in the 2012-2013 academic year who are legal residents of the commonwealth of Virginia and deemed eligible for the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG), regardless of qualifying for need-based assistance. (See page 12 for more information) When can I expect to hear about my award? Admitted first-year students who meet the Feb. 15 financial aid priority deadline for filing the FAFSA should receive notification of financial aid eligibility in early March. Should I consider a work-study job? Absolutely. National studies show that students who work part time can benefit greatly from the experience. Aside from the financial benefit, jobs can help develop an organized daily schedule and add to your work experience. What is the billing process? We mail fall semester bills early in July with a payment date of Aug. 1. Spring semester bills are mailed in December with a due date of Jan. 5. Grants and scholarships are applied directly to each semester bill (50 percent each semester). Loans will also appear as a credit on the semester’s bill (also 50 percent each semester), but must be signed for by the student before being applied to the bill. What types of payment plans are available? We have two payment plan providers that allow comprehensive fees to be paid in equal installments during the academic year. Visit for more information. What kinds of students receive merit scholarships at Sweet Briar? Merit scholarships range from $1,000 to $15,000. Students should average a 3.4 GPA and have an appropriate SAT I or ACT score to be considered. (See page 14 for more information.)



Defining need-based aid 2/3 of students receive some grant assistance (or dollars that do not need to be repaid).

Student loans

You usually begin repaying these six or nine months after graduation at a low percentage rate.

Work study

There are many opportunities to work in a campus job, which provides up to $1,000 to help cover your personal monthly expenses during the academic year.

Community service scholarships

Sweet Briar offers scholarships for student leaders. For example, have you earned your Silver or Gold Girl Scout award? Were you in a leadership role for your school club or community organization? We have scholarships designed for you.


For Virginia residents The Sweet Briar College Virginia Grant provides $7,500 for undergraduate students entering in the 2012-2013 academic year who are legal residents of the commonwealth of Virginia and deemed eligible for the Virginia Tuition Assistance Grant (VTAG), regardless of qualifying for need-based assistance. Sweet Briar’s grant is combined with the estimated VTAG $2,650 to total $10,150. Students must be enrolled at Sweet Briar as full-time, degree-seeking students. For Virginia students who qualify for a merit scholarship, the Sweet Briar College Virginia Grant becomes part of that scholarship. The two awards cannot be added together. The VTAG is available to any student who is a legal resident of Virginia and attends a Virginia private college as a full-time, degree-seeking student, regardless of eligibility for need-based assistance. The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) estimates that the amount of the 2012-2013 VTAG will be $2,650; the actual amount is dependent on funds appropriated by the Virginia General Assembly and, therefore, may differ from this estimate. A link to the VTAG Application is available on our website. This $10,150 tuition grant significantly reduces the difference in the cost of tuition between Sweet Briar and Virginia’s public universities.



Merit scholarships up to $15,000 Sweet Briar’s competitive merit scholarships are worth up to $15,000. There’s no need to submit a separate application. You’ll be considered automatically when you apply for admission by Feb. 1. Generally you need a 3.4 average GPA or higher and an appropriate SAT I or ACT score for serious consideration. Your grade point average should be based on a 4.0 scale and should be reflective of collegeprep subjects (English, mathematics, natural sciences, social sciences and foreign languages). The combination of your GPA and your standardized test score is used in determining merit scholarship awards. If you receive a merit award we'll include the name, amount and terms of renewal of the scholarship in your acceptance letter. Amounts range from $1,000 to $15,000. Want to know something earlier? You can submit your high school transcript, SAT I or ACT score and your school’s grading scale when you send in your Early Estimator at the beginning of the process. That way, we can let you know early on whether you’ll qualify for a merit scholarship.


A network and a legacy A women’s college means a network of alumnae who create potential opportunities when you graduate. It means your association as a Sweet Briar graduate counts long after your four years are completed. Alumnae also have a legacy of assisting in scholarships to ensure your experience is well worth it.



Scholarship highlights

As an accepted applicant, you are eligible for these and other scholarships. There is no additional form or essay to complete. 17

The Founders’ and Prothro scholarships, the most prestigious offered by the College, are awarded to the most academically qualified candidates. The awards, worth up to $15,000, are renewable annually upon review, provided the student maintains a 3.3 GPA and remains in good academic standing. The Commonwealth Scholarship reaffirms Sweet Briar’s commitment to the best Virginia students by ensuring that they have access to private as well as public education. The awards, worth up to $15,000, are renewable annually upon review, provided the student maintains a 3.3 GPA and remains in good academic standing. The Betty Bean Black Scholarship provides up to $13,000 to students of outstanding academic ability. The scholarships are renewable annually upon review, provided the student maintains a 3.0 GPA and remains in good academic standing. The Sweet Briar Scholarship is given to students presenting an excellent overall academic record, as well as special talents or extracurricular activities that indicate they will be strong contributors to the Sweet Briar community. The awards, which are worth up to $9,000, are renewable annually upon review, provided the student maintains a “B” average and remains in good academic standing. The Fletcher Awards are given to students who demonstrate strong academic preparation and ability, and whose extracurricular involvement indicates that they will be strong contributors to the Sweet Briar community. The amount of the award is worth up to $6,000, and is renewable annually provided the student remains in good academic standing and continues to contribute to the Sweet Briar community.


Steps to take As early as September 1 Apply for admission to Sweet Briar. By January 1 Send a copy of your high school transcript and test scores along with the Early Estimator (online) to the admissions office. By February 1 Apply for admission to Sweet Briar. By February 15 Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid ( By May 1 Make Sweet Briar your choice. Contact information Sweet Briar Admissions Office (800) 381-6142 Financial Aid Office (800) 381-6156

Fees and expenses 2011-2012

Tuition: $30,620 Room and board: $11,100 Student life fee: $475 Total: $42,195 Other estimated expenses Books: $1,100


OFFICE OF ADMISSIONS P.O. Box 1052, Sweet Briar, Virginia 24595 800.381.6142 434.381.6142 •

Investing in you  
Investing in you