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Williams College Introduces Student Exploration Initiative
12:48PM / Tuesday, November 09, 2021
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. Starting this summer, Williams College will be among the first schools in the country to entirely eliminate students' summer earnings requirement for all four years. 
Williams' Summer Exploration Initiative augments the college's need-based financial aid policies and is part of a larger commitment to what it is calling "True Affordability" to help ensure that all students can experience the totality of a Williams education.
Traditionally, financial aid packages at Williams and most other colleges have included a  "summer earnings contribution," an expectation that students will contribute a sizable portion of what they earn during the summer towards the cost of attendance. As a result, students receiving financial aid are often forced to bypass opportunities to explore unpaid internships, research fellowships, service programs, or travel experiences so that their families aren't faced with a greater financial burden.   
The college's Summer Exploration Initiative eliminates the summer contribution for all years of enrollment, thus reducing the average total cost to aided students and their families by $6,000. It frees students to commit to year-round learning that connects ideas in the classroom with practical impact in the world and enhances their potential for post-Williams success. 
Students are further supported by the college's '68 Center for Career Exploration, Center for Learning in Action, and Fellowships Office, each of which sponsors numerous experiential learning opportunities.
"I am thrilled about this change," said President Maud S. Mandel. "I consider a Williams education to be a 12-month experience, with summers offering prime opportunities to learn, grow and explore career options to the fullest." 
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