Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Hobart and William Smith Colleges


Hobart and William Smith Colleges are selective, residential, liberal arts colleges defined by a longstanding focus on educating across academic disciplines and the close work of research and creativity that connects faculty and students. With a strong commitment to diversity, the Colleges have a distinguished history of interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship, curricular innovation and exceptional outcomes. Sixty percent of HWS students study abroad and all participate in community service activities. Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes region in Geneva, N.Y., Hobart and William Smith enjoy a 320 acre campus on the shore of Seneca Lake. With a population of 13,000, Geneva was recently named an All-America City. Originally founded as two separate colleges (Hobart for men in 1822 and William Smith for women in 1908), Hobart and William Smith students share the same campus, faculty, administration and curriculum. Each College maintains its own traditions, deans, student government and athletic department, providing students with a contemporary, 21st century construct to interrogate gender and difference.

Programs Supporting First-Generation College Students

Open House, Fly-in, Visit Admissions and Open Houses

Specialized programming, provided by the Office of Admissions, allows students to dive deep into topics that interest them most. Prospective students and families hear from current students and faculty, tour campus facilities, and learn more about the HWS community, student outcomes and life on campus. Our Diversity in Admissions Program is designed for prospective students from underrepresented populations. A Day in the Life at HWS is designed for prospective students to get a glimpse of what their life will be like as an HWS student. Attendees sit in on classes, meet with members of the HWS community and eat lunch in our dining hall. Prospective students and families also have the option to hear from student and faculty panels, go on a campus tour and complete an admissions interview. Learn more about Admissions and Open Houses

Scholarship & Financial Aid Scholarships and Financial Aid

At Hobart and William Smith, we have a unique approach to financial aid, one rooted in collaboration and partnership. We understand that higher education is an expensive endeavor and that navigating the financial aid process can be complicated. That’s why our Financial Aid staff works one-on-one with each accepted student and his or her family to create a total financial aid package that makes sense. Our professionals assess each financial situation individually with a goal of ensuring that an HWS education is within reach. Learn more about Scholarships and Financial Aid

Scholarship & Financial Aid Posse

In 2012, HWS established a partnership with Posse, one of the most successful college access and youth leadership development programs in the country. Ten students go to college together to act as a support system for one another, bolstering collegiate success and graduation rates. The Colleges have three Posse cohorts on campus, all from Los Angeles. Learn more about Posse

Academic Advising & Support Higher Education Opportunity Program

Academic Opportunity Programs, which includes HEOP and the HWS AOP program, is an access and academic support program that by nature is fluid in its operation by creating a web of support for first generation and traditionally underrepresented populations in higher education. Our program population is made up of HEOP (75%) and HWS AOP students (25%) totaling approximately 90. The Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) is funded by the New York State Department of Education and Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Program students now enjoy an 90% or higher graduation and retention rate. HEOP is regarded as one of the most successful academic access and support programs of its type in the nation based upon student achievement and graduation rates according to the Teagel Foundation. Learn more about Higher Education Opportunity Program

Student Life & Support Office of Intercultural Affairs

The Intercultural Center is a place that creates an environment where students find support, challenges, and grounding for their personal growth, academic success and the development of their leadership skills. Students are encouraged to become leaders, mentors and to excel academically. Programs are available that promote cross-cultural opportunities as well as that support students and other campus community members. Learn more about Office of Intercultural Affairs

Student Life & Support First Generation Initiative

Currently, our first-generation students are offered the opportunity to have a faculty or staff mentor to provide advice and guidance throughout their undergraduate career; this is in addition to the academic advisor that is assigned by the Colleges. There are also a number of information sessions for first-generation students that are specific to financial aid, career and internship opportunities, study abroad, residential education, etc. Each fall semester there is an annual mixer for students, faculty, and staff to get together and discuss their experiences about being first-generation with one another. This year we have expand the program and have already (i) had a meet and greet with new students and their families at Orientation, (ii) had a mixer during Homecoming and Family weekend, (iii) developed a Facebook page which highlights "trivia Tuesdays" and "First Generation Fridays", and (iv) had our annual mixer. We also have plans to include a dinner with the President, a graduation ceremony, and an event during Alumni weekend in June. At HWS, our goal is to ensure that, to the extent individually desired by our FG students, they: 1) are well-prepared to engage in many aspects of campus life—i.e., social and co-curricular, as well as academic; 2) as a group, have visibility on campus; 3) successfully persist to graduation; and 4) fully avail themselves of the resources and opportunities that HWS offers, both during and after their undergraduate years. Learn more about First Generation Initiative

Student Diversity

  • 2,262
  • 50/50
  • 15%
    First-generation college students
  • <1%
    American Indian or Alaskan Native
  • 4%
  • 6%
    Black or African American
  • 5%
  • <1%
    Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 72%
  • <1%
    Two or more races
  • 6%
    Race and/or ethnicity unknown
  • 7%

Student Success

  • 85%
    First-to-second year retention
  • 77%
    Six-year graduation
  • n/a
    Six-year graduation for underrepresented minority groups
  • 100%
    Freshmen who live on campus
  • 85%
    Undergraduates who live on campus
  • 221
    Full-time faculty
  • 38
    Full-time minority faculty
  • 11:1
    Student–faculty ratio
  • Top 5 Majors

    Economics, Media and Society, Political Science, Environmental Studies, Psychology, Biology

  • Multicultural Student Clubs and Organizations

    Latin American Organization, Asian Student Union, Sankofa, Caribbean Student Association, International Student Association, Pride Alliance, French and Francophone Club, Hillel, Project NUR, Women's Collective


Cost of Attendance

  • $50,432
  • n/a
    In-state Tuition
  • $1,127
    Required Fees
  • $13,050
    Room and Board

Financial Aid

  • $16,739,984
    Total institutional scholarships/grants
  • $36,297
    Average aid package
  • $25,127
    Average student loan debt upon graduation (of those who borrow)
  • 17%
    Pell Grant recipients among freshmen
  • 56%
    Students with financial need
  • 88%
    Students with need awarded financial aid
  • 56%
    Students with need awarded need-based scholarship or grant aid
  • 79%
    Students with need whose need was fully met


Applicant Academics

  • 4,614
    # of applicants
  • 60%
  • 3.47
    Average HS GPA
  • 27
    ACT Composite
  • 580—680
    SAT Critical Reading
  • 580—670
    SAT Math
  • 570—660
    SAT Writing
  • yes
    SAT/ACT optional


  • 2/01
    Regular application closing date
  • n/a
    Application Fee
  • n/a
    Application Fee (online)
  • yes
    Fee waiver for applicants with financial need
  • yes
    Early decision plan
  • 12/15 & 02/15
    Early decision application closing date
  • n/a
    Early action plan
  • n/a
    Early action application closing date