Have you experienced a bad semester at school and are now facing the possibility of getting your financial aid suspended? If your grades are suffering due to extenuating circumstances beyond your control, you may qualify to appeal the organization’s decision and still get financial aid in the future. Based on the specific reasons why you failed to meet the required academic standards and your unique circumstances, it may in your best interest to write a financial aid appeal letter in order to maintain your funding for school. There are certain things your letter needs to point out and you’ll also need to provide evidence of your claims as well.
A well-written financial aid appeal should contain the following aspects for best results:
1. Opening Paragraph
Start off your letter by clearly explaining why you believe your financial aid is getting suspended, as stated to you according to the letter your financial aid counselor sent you. If you’re not really sure why you’re being denied financial aid, immediately contact your school’s financial aid office to find out the details surrounding your financial aid suspension before you write and submit your appeal letter.
First, explain why you were unable to meet your academic goals, which is reflecting in your grades. Keep in mind that simply not liking the class or the professor is not a good excuse. Suitable circumstances that will likely be considered may involve more personal issues such as a serious accident, severe family problems, work-related issues, divorce, or severe physical or mental problems.
2. Back Up Your Claims
After justifying the reasons why you haven’t met your academic standards, you’ll likely need to provide all the necessary documentation and relevant information in order to support your position. If your reasons are due to an injury or illness, provide the accident report or medical records from the proper sources. In the case of a divorce or a death in the family, submit a copy of the divorce decree or death certificate for proof. If your job was very demanding in terms of working too many hours and you felt this was part of the reason why you fell behind in your grades, attach copies of your work schedule and/or pay stubs to support your claim.
3. Develop a Good Plan
Once you clearly justify why your grades have declined and provide the appropriate documentation to prove it, you need to demonstrate to the appeals committee that you have a strong course of action to improve your GPA in order to get back on track. This plan may involve reducing how many credit hours you intend to enroll in every semester, enlisting the services of a tutor, or changing your major. You can help build your case by asking your professors to write letters on your behalf to offer proof that you’re very serious about your academic studies and grades.
Lastly, end your letter by stating how upset you are about failing to meet the standard requirements along with the reasons why you weren’t able to achieve the minimum GPA. Assure your school’s financial aid appeal committee that you have a good and solid plan to follow that will lead to success and put you back in their good graces.
Make sure you thank the committee for their consideration and time as well. Counselors are people too and they know that sometimes life just happens, even to the very best students. Therefore, if you are totally honest and upfront concerning your situation and are 100 percent committed to your plan to redeem yourself, chances are the committee will seriously consider your financial aid appeal and your funding will be reinstated in the end.
Here are samples of a valid financial aid appeal letter:
Sample 1 - Financial Aid Appeal Letter
January 16, 2015
876536219 (student ID)
RE: SAP Appeal Explanation
To whom it may concern:
On November 2, 2014, I was involved in a very serious car accident that left me with two broken ribs and a fractured leg. I was in the hospital for a total of 15 days to recover and then performed physical therapy for seven weeks every day following my release from the hospital. As you can imagine, this strongly inhibited my ability to attend all my classes and fulfill my academic obligation for the fall 2014 semester.
My present condition:
As of today, both my ribs and leg are almost completely healed and I feel great. I am also sure that I can continue with my studies as originally intended and continue to improve my overall academic progress as well. I plan to re-register and repeat the classes that I failed in due to my accident. I also intend to take the workshop class that’s offered by the Academic Success Center. I am going to use the library’s virtual assignment planner to help me keep on track and achieve all my academic goals.
I have enclosed a copy of all my medical records relative to my accident as well as the accident report.
Thank you very much for your consideration and time. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
(sign your name here)
Sample 2 - Financial Aid Appeal Letter
May 1, 2015
West Virginia State University
Attention: Mr. Don Snyder
P.O. Box 1000
Institute Drive, WV 25112
Dear Mr. Snyder,
I want to thank West Virginia State for their generous offer of $25,000 in financial aid for the 2012-2013 school year. Though your offer was more than gracious, it is not sufficient for my financial needs. I would like to formally request additional funds so that I may attend West Virginia State. Without additional funding, I will be unable to attend college, as I had planned.
While my financial aid application shows me as being able to pay a substantial amount of money on my own, it did not paint an accurate picture. I have outstanding medical bills that total more than $250 a month, as well as a car payment that is $350. This is in addition to my normal living expenses that I incur on a monthly basis.
The assistance offered is helpful, but I will need at least an additional $15,000 in assistance to be able to attend college at WVU. Since my parents were both graduates of your university, I am hopeful that I can get the funding I need and can follow in their footsteps. Thank you for your time and your consideration.
By Andre Bradley