When it comes to appealing for financial aid, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, remember that you are not alone. Many students find themselves in the same situation as you and appeal for financial aid every year.
The most important thing is to stay positive and persistent. Although the amounts indicated are usually satisfactory, there's a possibility a student will be dissatisfied. Fortunately, if it is less than you had anticipated, there are several compelling reasons for a financial aid appeal that may assist you to get a larger payment.
What are some good excuses for financial aid appeal?
If you want to figure out how to get more money for college, you're in luck. This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need to know about how to appeal for financial aid.
There are a few things to keep in mind when appealing for financial aid. First and foremost, remember that you are not alone. Many students find themselves in the same situation as you and appeal for financial aid every year. The most important thing is to stay positive and persistent.
Although the amounts indicated are usually satisfactory, there's a possibility a student will be dissatisfied. Fortunately, if it is less than you had anticipated, there are several compelling reasons for a financial aid appeal that may assist you to get a larger payment. Some common reasons for appealing financial aid awards include the following.
- You had a change in family circumstances such as a loss of income or additional dependents:
When you file the FAFSA, you are required to provide information about your family's financial situation. However, if there has been a change in your family circumstances since you filed the FAFSA, you may be eligible for more financial aid. For example, if your family has experienced a loss of income or has taken on additional dependents, you may be able to receive more financial aid.
- The school's cost of attendance has increased since you filed your FAFSA:
Sometimes, the cost of attendance at a school can increase after you have filed your FAFSA. If this happens, you may be able to receive additional financial aid to cover the increased costs.
- You're receiving less aid than you expected based on your need as determined by the FAFSA:
In case you feel that you're not receiving enough aid based on the information you submitted on your FAFSA, it is possible to appeal for more aid. You may need to provide additional documentation to support your case, but it is worth appeals if you feel you are not receiving enough aid. It is OK because schools usually keep some extra money set aside for students who appeal. This is quite a good excuse.
- You're an independent student but were mistakenly classified as a dependent student on your FAFSA:
If you are an independent student but were mistakenly classified as a dependent student on your FAFSA, you may be able to receive more financial aid. This is because independent students typically have a higher need for financial aid than dependent students. To appeal this classification, you will need to provide documentation proving your independence.
- You're enrolled in an expensive program not covered by your initial financial aid package:
There are always students who are surprised to find out their program of choice is not covered by their financial aid package. If this happens to you and you cannot afford to pay for the program out-of-pocket, you may be able to appeal for additional financial aid. You will need to provide documentation of the cost of the program as well as your current financial aid package.
- You have another school that offered more:
A good excuse would be if you got a better aid package from another school. The college will usually try to match the other school's aid offer. All you have to do is send them a copy of the other school's aid letter.
If you have extenuating circumstances that have impacted your ability to pay for college, be sure to mention them in your appeal. Common examples include a death in the family, a divorce, or a medical emergency. You will need to provide documentation to support your claims, so be sure to gather any relevant paperwork before starting the appeals process.
Appealing to financial aid can be a daunting task, but it's important to remember that you are not alone. Many students find themselves in the same situation as you and appeal for financial aid every year. The most important thing is to stay positive and persistent. With a little effort, you will be on your way to getting the money you need to pay for college.
How should you appeal?
The preparations for appeal before giving even good excuses for financial aid appeal are important. You need to include some important points. Your FAFSA is the only form used to determine your eligibility for federal and state financial aid, as well as need-based scholarships and grants. Be sure to complete and submit your FAFSA as early as possible after October 1st.
If you have been selected for verification, you will be required to submit additional documentation to the financial aid office at your school. This may include tax returns, W-2 forms, or other documentation of income. Be sure to submit all required documentation as soon as possible to avoid delays in processing your aid.
You should contact the financial aid office at your school if you have any questions about the appeals process or what documentation you will need to provide. They will be able to guide you through the process and ensure that you have everything you need to submit a successful appeal.
When writing your appeal letter, be sure to include all relevant information about your situation. This may include a description of your extenuating circumstances, your current financial situation, and your expected family contribution (EFC). Be sure to explain how these factors have impacted your ability to pay for college.
Finally, remember to proofread your letter before sending it off. A well-written and error-free letter will make a good impression on the financial aid office and increase your chances of getting the money you need.
Tips on how to review the school appeal process
As a student, you may wonder how the Review Process works. Schools use this process to make sure that their award decisions are made correctly and that no one falls through the cracks.
The Review Process generally happens in two parts. First, your school reviews your FAFSA and financial aid application to make sure that you have reported all of your income and assets accurately. If there are any discrepancies, your school will contact you for clarification. Next, your school will review your eligibility for need-based aid. This includes grants, scholarships, and work-study. If you are not eligible for need-based aid, your appeal will likely be unsuccessful.
To increase your chances of success, be sure to submit all required documentation with your appeal letter. This may include tax returns, W-2 forms, or other documentation of income. Be sure to explain how your extenuating circumstances have impacted your ability to pay for college.
What documents will you need to gather?
Mostly, you would be asked to provide supportive documents that can prove the circumstances that caused the decrease in your ability to pay. Documents can be in the form of a letter from your employer on company letterhead documenting any change in income, tax returns, recent bank statements, or investment account statements. Any of these documents will have to be dated within a certain time frame to be considered by the school.
If you’re unsure of what documents to provide, it’s best to start with your FAFSA and the Student Aid Report (SAR) it generated. Your SAR will list any changes that need to be made to your FAFSA information. These could be things like untaxed income, household size, or number in college. If any of this information has changed since you filed your FAFSA, you’ll want to update your FAFSA and submit it again.
How to write the letter of appeal?
Another quite important step is to reach out to the financial aid office of your college and explain your current situation. The staff can help you understand the process and what documentation you will need to provide. When writing the appeal letter to financial aid, be sure to:
- Include your full name, address, phone number, and student ID number
- Clearly state the reason for your appeal
- Provide any documentation that supports your case
- Keep a positive attitude
- Be professional
- Have someone proofread your letter before sending it off!
Here are some examples of how can you start your letter to sound more professional:
- "I am writing to appeal the decision to deny my financial aid."
- "I am writing to request an appeal for my financial aid award."
- "I am writing in regards to my recent denial of financial aid and requesting an opportunity to have my case reconsidered."
The body of your letter should be informative and still quite short. Pay attention to the following key points:
- The reason you are appealing
- New or changed information since your last aid application
- Any unique circumstances that you feel have not been taken into consideration
- A clear and concise explanation of why you need the financial aid in question
Some people like to end on a positive note, thanking the staff for their time in reading and considering the appeal. Others prefer to simply restate their request for reconsideration. Regardless, be sure to sign the letter before sending it off!
Here is an example of a full appeal letter to financial aid with a good excuse:
Dear Financial Aid Officer,
I am writing to appeal the decision to deny my financial aid. Since my family's recent income change, I have experienced extreme financial hardship. My father lost his job last month and my mother has been working overtime to make ends meet. I have had to take on a part-time job in addition to going to school full time, and I am struggling to keep up with my expenses.
I understand that my family's income is above the limit for receiving financial aid, but our current situation is only temporary. My father is actively looking for new employment and we are confident that he will be back to work soon. In the meantime, any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated.
Your phone number
Your student ID number
How long should you wait for the answer?
After your appeal letter has been sent off, all you can do is wait for a response. The financial aid office will review your case and make a decision. This process can take a few weeks, so try to be patient. In the meantime, you can reach out to the office to check on the status of your appeal.
If you are denied again, don't lose hope! You can always appeal the decision one more time. Be sure to include any new information or changed circumstances in your second letter. You may also want to consider meeting with the financial aid officer in person to discuss your options.
Other alternative variants:
- If you have already tried to appeal the decision and been denied, you may want to consider meeting with the financial aid officer in person to discuss your options.
- If you are struggling to pay for college, there are a number of other options available to help you cover the costs. You can search for scholarships, apply for student loans, or look into grants and work-study programs.
- You can also check with your college's financial aid office to see if they offer any type of payment plan. This would allow you to spread out your tuition costs over the course of the semester or year.
No matter what route you decide to take, remember that there is always a way to finance your education!