Updated: May 12, 2023
Imagine getting into your dream school, only to discover that even with your financial aid award package, tuition is going to be a stretch.
Your award letter outlines:
If you get accepted to multiple schools, comparing your award letters side by side can help you better understand your financial responsibility. But if there’s been a change in your family’s financial circumstances since you’ve completed the FAFSA® (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), you may be able to appeal your financial aid award. Just keep in mind that an appeal may not be granted, or the revised financial aid package may not meet your needs. But even if a school denies your appeal, they will not deny your admissions decision if you ask for more money.
Your reason for appealing your financial aid award will need to be more substantive than “I want more money.” But there are many legitimate reasons why your information may deserve another look by the financial aid office.
The FAFSA uses your tax returns from two years prior to help determine your aid eligibility. A lot can change in two years. If your family’s financial situation has changed considerably since then, you may need more financial aid than you’ve been offered. There are many reasons why that might happen, such as:
If you’re going to write an appeal letter for financial aid, time is of the essence. Some forms of federal financial aid are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. Dragging your feet on your appeal letter could mean missing out on additional aid. What’s more, if you let it go for too long, there’s also a chance your school may postpone reviewing it until the following academic year. So it’s best to submit it as soon as possible to prevent any delays.
Drafting an effective appeal letter for financial aid doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are five simple steps for appealing:
The best case scenario is that the financial aid office agrees to increase your aid amount. But if they don’t, you still have options.
FAFSA® is a registered trademark of the US Department of Education and is not affiliated with Discover® Student Loans.