Financial aid is something all college-going students look forward to. For some, it makes it possible to pursue their dream of a higher education, and for others, it allows them to attend a college of their choice. Unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned. Not all students receive the full extent of financial aid that they were hoping for, but this does not mean it is the end of the road. You still have an option available.
If the college of your choice has awarded you less assistance than you hoped for, you can appeal the offer letter. Of course, you cannot appeal just because you want to receive more money. You must have a valid reason that convinces the financial aid office to increase your award.
And no, you don’t have to worry about the college rescinding the admission. The financial aid office and admissions departments aren’t connected to each other, so sending an appeal will not impact your admissions in any way.
Here are some things you need to keep in mind if you intend to appeal an offer letter:
You Must Have a Valid Reason for Appealing Your Offer Letter
Having a valid reason is absolutely crucial. The reason must justify your appeal. Appealing because you think you deserve the financial aid or because your parents have refused to pay for your college education are not valid reasons and will get your appeal letter rejected.
These are some of the reasons a college may consider valid:
- A parent has lost their job or has had to take a salary reduction
- The earning parent’s income varies from year to year
- Recent death, institutionalization, disability, or incarceration of the student’s parent
- The family has suffered a financial disaster
- An immediate family member is critically ill
- The parents of the student are incurring high dependent care expenses due to elderly grandparents or a special needs sibling
- The family believes it will not be able to make the contribution that the college has penned down
- The student has reached the age of majority and is not entitled to Social Security benefits and/or child support
- The previous year’s income is not reflective of the family’s actual income and ability to pay for college
- The family has been a victim of a natural disaster
Things to Keep in Mind When Writing Your Appeal Letter
Before you write the letter and send all the supporting documentation, keep the following in mind.
- Adhere to the college’s rules. Call the school’s finance department and ask them about the right procedure to appeal an offer letter. Follow all instructions.
- During the phone call, let the student financial aid officer know your concerns in a polite, friendly, and sincere manner. Let the officer suggest how to proceed further.
- Work quickly and make sure your appeal is submitted well in time so it reaches before the deadline mentioned on your awards letter.
Not all colleges have spare funds. Those colleges that have reserve funds should be happy to oblige to make it possible for you to join their program. If they don’t have reserve funds, they will inform you so you can make other arrangements. Either way, it’s definitely worth a shot to appeal.
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