Good Excuses for Financial Aid Appeal

Did you receive a financial aid offer that was less than you expected? Or have financial circumstances changed where the financial aid you received doesn’t reach what you need to attend college? You need good excuses for financial aid appeal, but it is possible. Meaning, you need to have an acceptable reason in order to be approved for a change in the offer.

What Are Good Excuses for Financial Aid Appeal?

There are a few different reasons you could appeal your financial aid offer, including

Loss of Income

If income has drastically changed recently in your family, you could have a qualified excuse for filing a financial aid offer appeal. This could be due to someone losing a job, reduction in pay at an existing job, or another financial burden relating to how much income you or your family receive.

Unexpected or Change in Expenses 

Similar to a loss of income, if you or your family has had a sudden change in expenses, as long as they are expenses out of the family’s control, it could qualify as a good excuse for approval for your financial aid appeal. This could be things such as

  • Taking care of an elderly relative
  • Birth of a child
  • A sibling has also enrolled in college
  • Parents divorce or separate
  • Damage from a natural disaster
  • Medical expenses

Things that don’t qualify – buying a house, car, or other expensive item. These are considered “planned for” expenses and are not extenuating circumstances.

Death of a Parent

Sadly, another reason that could qualify as a good reason to file a financial aid appeal is the death of a parent.

How Do You File a Financial Aid Appeal?

Students who meet one of the qualifying factors for a financial aid appeal should reach out to their college’s financial aid office. They will give you the paperwork and direction needed to file an appeal through their office. Every school is different, so be sure to read the instructions carefully. You will need proof of your extenuating circumstances (such as hospital bills, death certificates, or other pieces of information) as well as your family’s most recent tax return.

When you submit documentation or proof, you should always keep a running record. Keep copies of each item you submit in a safe place. Document contact with the financial aid office and any other institutions that could have an impact on your appeal. This means writing down dates and times of the conversation, but also what was talked about.

However, even if you have all your ducks in a row from day one, you will not hear back from the financial aid office the following day. The process can take several weeks, so it’s important to get the ball rolling quickly if you need to file an appeal for financial aid.

Financial aid offers can be confusing, and sometimes it’s difficult to tell which school is offering you the best deal. We fully suggest taking advantage of our Financial Aid Offer Comparison tool to help you make better sense of the money you’re eligible for and understand which offer is best for your financial and educational future.



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