How to Appeal for More Financial Aid If COVID-19 Affected Your Family Income

Did you know you can appeal for more financial aid? Appeals are often done due to major life event that affected an individual’s or family’s income. Since FAFSA and other financial aid offers tend to be based on federal taxes from two years ago, recent applications may not truly reflect the reality of your current finances and hardships. It’s expected that financial aid appeals will continue to rise over the next year as a result of COVID-19.

If your family’s income was impacted by COVID-19 over the past year and a half, whether by loss of a job, medical expenses, or something else, and you didn’t quite get enough financial aid for your education, it may be possible to appeal for more. Here are some tips for appealing and increasing your chances of getting more money for college.

Student thinking about appealing his award letter

Get Your Ducks in a Row

First off, before you file an appeal, it’s essential to get your ducks in a row. This means having all the documentation including bank statements, recent taxes, supporting details and documents pertaining to your current finances, and the expected amount you will need to afford college. You should research the appeals process with your college as they may request certain documents or information alongside your appeal letter.

Appealing For More Financial Aid

Whether you’re appealing to a school’s financial aid office or to the federal government in response to FAFSA offers, you will need to write a letter. You should address this to a specific individual in the agency or financial aid office – you may need to call to get this information – and include all the necessary information for your appeal. In addition to asking the agency or office to reconsider the amount granted, you should also

  • Clearly explain why you need additional money
  • Detail the circumstances and hardships your family experienced as a result of COVID-19
  • Include the documentation you gathered before
  • Thank the individual, school, or agency for their time and reconsideration

These letters should be honest, to the point, and grammatically correct. You should always be polite, never threatening or angry.

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More Schools are Saying “Yes” to Appeals

As a result of COVID-19, many colleges are saying “yes” to the appeals they’re receiving from students. Schools understand the various hardships that students and their families were put through during the pandemic and they can be very receptive to these letters and details from their potential students.

And – it doesn’t hurt to try. The school’s response might make college more affordable for you.

You can appeal for more financial aid for a variety of reasons. Most usually involve a major life event that affects your finances. That doesn’t always have to be the case, though. Even if COVID-19 did not directly affect you doesn’t mean you can’t appeal. Try and get as much financial aid as you can!


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