Resources for Students from Underrepresented Populations

Whether it is for support in the application process, affording your education, or guiding your academic choices, each of our campuses has resources for students of color, first-generation students, students from lower-income backgrounds, and other students from underrepresented populations. 

Amherst College

Resources for Prospective Students

As part of Amherst College's commitment to a diversity of perspectives and life experiences, the Office of Admission hosts Access to Amherst (A2A) in the fall to introduce prospective applicants to Amherst's campus, student body, faculty, and classes. A2A is available to all prospective rising high school seniors who reside in the U.S., regardless of citizenship or background (non-US citizens who reside in the US, including undocumented students, are welcome to apply).

Diversity Outreach Interns are current Amherst students who work with the Office of Admission to reach out to prospective students, including those from different cultural, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds.

In hopes of creating a dynamic and robust Native American community at Amherst College, the Office of Admission invites rising high school seniors who reside in the U.S. to participate in additional programming designed to introduce prospective applicants to the Native community in our region and at Amherst College.

Amherst accepts the general application fee waivers issued by the Common Application or Apply Coalition Powered by Scoir, and we also have our own institutional fee waiver option – Quick Pass – that allows even broader criteria as the basis for an application fee waiver for Amherst.

Campus Resources for Students

The Amherst College Textbook Solution (ACTS) will provide all enrolled students with the necessary textbooks and course materials required for classes. This campus-wide program will serve the needs of faculty and students and create greater educational equity, as well as ensuring that the cost of course materials is never a barrier to taking a class. ACTS will start in the 2024–25 academic year.

One of six resource centers of the Office of Identity and Cultural Resources, the CARC grounds its purpose in the experiences of first-generation, low-income, transfer, and military-affiliated/ veteran students and provides education, advocacy, support, and community-building opportunities for them.

The goal of the Meiklejohn Fellows Program is to advance equal opportunity for post-graduate success by providing robust career resources and support to Amherst College students from families with low incomes, and to those who are the first in their families to attend college.  This goal is achieved through a combination of dedicated advising, programming, peer-to-peer support, and summer internship funding.


A new cohort program designed to support and train students who are underrepresented in STEM disciplines, including Black, Latinx, Indigenous, first-generation and low-income students. The program introduces students to current research topics in chemistry, biology and statistics; teaches and develops fundamental research skills; builds relationships between students and the campus community; and enables students to be creative in their problem-solving.

An invitation-only summer program that empowers FLI (First-Generation and/or Low-Income) students to navigate the educational opportunities at Amherst College. In addition to taking ownership over their academic journey, participants will benefit from opportunities to build an enduring intellectual and social community with one another, to make connections with faculty and staff, and to engage in conversations about the benefits and challenges of being FLI at Amherst.

Hampshire College

Resources for Prospective Students

The James Baldwin Scholars Program provides scholarships to college applicants who show academic promise, exhibit strong leadership within their communities, and display a commitment to social justice and equity. The program seeks students from communities historically underrepresented in higher education and who are typically first-generation college students.


Direct Admissions: Hampshire College participates in the Common App’s Direct Admissions Program. Common App Direct Admissions is a program that offers college admission to qualified students. Participating colleges set a minimum, qualifying GPA for students in their home state. Common App then identifies students who meet those requirements using their Common App responses. If you choose to apply with this non-binding admissions offer, there's no application fee and applying does not mean that you have to enroll.


Commitment to Diversity: The Hampshire College admissions staff is committed to creating a safe, supportive, and diverse academic community. We demonstrate this through active recruitment of talented students from underrepresented communities, especially underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.The admissions committee seeks to create a diverse incoming class of students each year. Hampshire's selection process is highly individualized and evaluates applicants in the context of their families, communities, and educational opportunities.


Test Free Policy: Hampshire was among the first schools in the country to be test optional, a policy the College has followed since opening in 1970. While Hampshire has never required SATs or ACTs, in the past we would review these scores if a student wished to submit them as part of an application. As of 2014, we haven't even accepted them; we are entirely test free in our admissions process.

Campus Resources for Students

Lebrón-Wiggins-Pran Cultural Center: To serve better and retain students of color and international students, the Lebrón-Wiggins-Pran Cultural Center provides a range of programs and resources to support and promote the success of students of color and international students at Hampshire College. Additionally, the center provides programs and resources to the larger campus community for engagement in issues related to race, culture, and under-representation, with the underlying goal to effect social change.


Center for Feminisms: The Center for Feminisms (CFF) strives to work towards an actively anti-sexist campus. The CFF prioritizes anti-sexist programming on campus, in accordance with our mission, and also provides programs that deal with other forms of oppression. The CFF strongly supports student-initiated programming.



Student Advocacy Board: The Student Advocacy Board (SAB) is the new major representative body made up of 21 students and 7 main sections: Student Life, Campus Environment, Academic, Affinity Group, the Five Colleges Student Representative, the Communications Manager, and the Treasurer. SAB representatives advocate for the needs and concerns of the student body, communicate with faculty and staff, and organize spaces for students to share their ideas for campus, among other things.


Hampshire First Network: FIRST is a network of faculty and staff that aims to support the holistic well-being of first generation college students at Hampshire College by fostering a sense of belonging in community. The network provides access to information, guidance, mentorship, and academic, social, and career support. FIRST intends to promote awareness and support to first generation college students from the moment they choose Hampshire as their home institution to the moment they can call themselves Hampshire alumni. At its core, FIRST functions to identify barriers that first generation college students face and works to remove the challenges that prevent the students from maximizing their full potential.

Queer Community Alliance Center: The Queer Community Alliance Center (QCAC), located in Prescott, began as a student group, and in 1992 became an institutionalized part of the College. The QCAC is overseen by Hampshire College Queer Services, and strives to support a vibrant and intentional LGBTQ+ community by offering support and affirmation around gender, sexuality, and intersecting identities.

SPARC BIPOC Resources: A list of identity-centered resources provided by SPARC (Supporting your Purpose through Actions, Resources, and Connections).

Mount Holyoke College

Resources for Prospective Students

At Mount Holyoke, we’re ourselves, together. Here we celebrate people for who they are. Our community welcomes people from around the world and of many backgrounds, cultures, beliefs and identities. Building and nurturing a diverse, equitable and inclusive community is a priority for us as a college, a community and an admission department. As a women’s college that is gender diverse, we welcome applications from female, transgender and nonbinary students. During the admission process, we seek deeply curious students – because both the pursuit of big ideas and a passion for taking bold actions that make the world a better place energize everything our students do. We’re excited to hear your story and how we can be a part of it as you extend your knowledge and expand possibilities for yourself, your communities and the world.


Are you the kind of student we’d find at the front of a march? Or moving forward with inclusivity initiatives in your school or community? Or speaking out against global injustice? You might feel right at home at Mount Holyoke and we hope you'll apply to our fully funded fly-in multiday program called Mosaic. Here at Mount Holyoke, we know that a mosaic refers to more than just a piece of art. Each of us has our own unique story and as we come together to form a community, we create artwork at the intersections and parallels of our lived experiences. We hope students will apply and be excited to share their stories in hopes of being part of the mosaic at Mount Holyoke College.

The Belonging and Equity Liaisons (BEL) work alongside the Access and Inclusion Team of the Mount Holyoke College Office of Admission to recruit and yield prospective and newly admitted students from historically underrepresented backgrounds.  With intentional and personal outreach, and with the goal to enroll a more diverse student body within the MHC community, BELs serve as a bridge between on-campus resources and the Admission office.  BELs will cultivate community and belonging for underrepresented students by providing personal outreach, intentional programming,  and initiating connections to current students who are also from historically underrepresented backgrounds before matriculation and enrollment to Mount Holyoke College.

Campus Resources for Students

Using an intersectional lens, Community and Belonging fosters a sense of belonging and connectedness for all students by providing services that promote social justice, liberatory consciousness, and identity exploration.


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Mission:  Mount Holyoke is relentlessly working to create a more just and equitable future. As a community, we are committed to this goal, and to the challenging conversations and bold actions required to realize it. This means respecting context and reflecting community; listening with intent and responding with care. And most importantly, it means taking whatever path we must — or making new ones — to build a safer and freer world for us all.


Cultural Centers: Connect with your identity and experience new perspectives through our cultural and community centers. The centers serve as programming and community spaces where you can learn, network, seek and give support. As we work together to create an equitable and inclusive community at Mount Holyoke, each center plays an important role in promoting greater cultural awareness, dialogue and interconnectedness.


Smith College

Resources for Prospective Students

Women of Distinction Fly-In Program:Intended for high school seniors, this annual event will highlight opportunities offered by Smith College for African American, Asian American, Latin American, Native American, and first generation college students. Housing, meals, and transportation to and from campus is included. Participants will have the chance to connect with current Smith students, faculty, and other community members. Additional programming will include a series of panels and workshops on academics and student life.

Summer Bridge Program: Bridge provides opportunities for finding mentors, friends, resources and a community—all during the first semester at Smith. Through a variety of interactive student-led seminars and group activities, participants share their perspectives and listen to those of their peers to better understand and appreciate their similarities and differences.


Current Smithie Chat: Informal chats with current students on Zoom. Ask your questions about life at Smith or just listen to the conversation!

No Loans Policy & Start Up Grant: Smith College does not include student loans in its undergraduate financial aid packages for students receiving need-based institutional grants—instead, we replace the loan amount with grants from the college, meaning students don’t graduate under a mountain of debt.

We know that starting college can include expenses that are not fully planned for and that, for some students, those unexpected expenses can make college more difficult. The start-up grants are designed to help ease the pressures of everyday expenses, such as furnishing a dorm room, participating in social activities and local excursions, and meeting the personal needs of daily life. Smith already covers costs associated with books, tuition, room and board, and travel at designated breaks.

Campus Resources for Students

Office for Equity and Inclusion: Hearts. Minds. Systems. Accountability. That’s what we get to work on in the Office for Equity and Inclusion. Through individual and community engagement, we reach hearts. Through inclusive education and programming, we nourish minds. Through institutional change and collaborations across the college, we realign systems. Through prevention and response, we hold community members accountable. All of this is in the service of improving and enriching the educational and work experience of everyone at Smith—students, staff, and faculty.


The Office of Multicultural Affairs is committed to shaping a strong community among students of color while promoting an understanding of cultural diversity for the Smith community. The office emphasizes the interests and needs of those who identify as students of color, beginning with the first-year pre-orientation program, Bridge. The Office of Multicultural Affairs staff is committed to providing guidance and advocacy for students of color navigating their Smith experience.


Unity Organizations: The cultural organizations that make up the Unity umbrella serve as a network of support for their members.  Unity organizations share meeting and workroom space in Unity House and the Mwangi Cultural Center. Throughout the academic year, Unity organizations sponsor fine arts forums, conferences, cultural celebrations, workshops and other activities, just to name a few,  such as Mehndi Night, Rhythm Nations, Asian Tea House, Five College Pa’lante, Pan-African Conference, Kwanzaa Celebration, Chinese Moon Festival, Taste of Latin America and Unity Fall Festival.


Cultural Spaces: The Mwangi Cultural Center is an important cornerstone on campus, providing a physical space for cultural organizations and students of color to engage in holistic programming, host intellectually enriching discussions and effectively build community. Students can look forward to innovative programming, expanded resources and a “platform for possibility.”

Unity House is the headquarters of the alliance of 11 cultural organizations known as Unity.


The Jandon Center for Community Engagement engages faculty, students and community partners on social-change projects that tackle community-driven goals. Through experiential learning and scholarship, students build essential capacities in critical thinking while providing significant leadership on urgent, complex issues facing communities and society.

Cromwell Day provides dedicated time and space for reflection and education about diversity, racism and inclusion. Through the work of the Office for Equity & Inclusion (OEI), together with campus partners, the college seeks to take individual and community responsibility for our behavior with an awareness of how that behavior furthers and disrupts patterns of structural oppression.

UMass Amherst

Resources for Prospective Students

Diversity at UMass:UMass Amherst Undergraduate Admissions is committed to the responsibility of providing access and opportunities for all, while actively upholding diversity as a priority, demonstrating our commitment to inclusion of historically underrepresented communities.

URep UMass is a series of events and programming, hosted by the Undergraduate Office of Admission, geared toward students of color and first-generation-to-college students.

The Admission Diversity Fellows are a team of undergraduate students who work for the UMass Amherst Undergraduate Admissions Office, and assist the team with the goal to increase the number of underrepresented students on our campus, and support them while they are here. The Diversity Fellows serve as mentors for prospective students applying to college, and newly admitted students deciding on a college home.


Student Bridges is a non-profit, student run agency that works to improve access and success for underrepresented students on the university campus and in our neighboring communities by building partnerships at UMass, with local schools and community organizations, offering college awareness, preparation and success activities, and advocating for enhanced institutional and public policies and practices.


Campus Resources for Students

Campus Life / Social Resources: The programs and organizations at UMass Amherst work hard to enrich students’ time outside of the classroom by providing speakers, events, support groups, and a sense of community.


The Center for Multicultural Advancement & Student Success provides academic support, cultural enrichment, student development as well as support for institutional diversity on the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus.


Defined Residential Communities (DRCs) are communities in residence halls where students can live with hall mates who share similar interests, backgrounds, and identities. 


Student Success for First-Generation Students: This unit offers programming, services, and resources designed to cultivate academic and co-curricular success. Support for first-generation students is a shared mission across our campus and Student Success collaborates extensively with the academic colleges and departments as well as Student Affairs & Campus Life.

Check out UMass Amherst’s scholarship search board that allows current and prospective students to search available scholarships for both university and a wide range of outside sources.