When financial aid is configured, it goes off of the eligibility to repay the loan using a standard formula. Regrettably, that formulation frequently does not show a true picture of your capability to pay for college. Furthermore, these formulas don’t take into consideration extenuating circumstances. Few people know that when their college of choice doesn’t offer the amount of financial aid that is needed, you have the right to appeal. Frequently, when this decision is appealed, it is met with good results.
The appeal letter is the key to letting the school know what your needs are. You need to make sure to address your letter to the person in charge. If you don’t know who to address the appeal letter to, call the school to find out. It is important to speak directly to the person who will make the decision. "Dear Mr. Snyder," will get their attention faster than a generic letter with “To Whom It May Concern” on the title. Make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. The last thing you want is to ask for more money for college with a letter full of errors. Show that you are a student worthy of an additional funding.
Always be courteous and be sure to thank the college for the financial aid they did offer, even if it is not nearly what is needed, this should be included in your opening sentence. Let them know that the assistance is helpful, but is not enough for you to be able to attend school and pay for expenses. If you cannot make up the difference and it will financially strap you, say so. Being honest is the key to getting additional funding.
Making the case to the person in charge is critical. Make sure to use actual numbers and also state how important college is to you. If your parents went to college or even this college, be sure to tug on the heartstrings a bit and show a drive to succeed. Some students have to go off of the parent’s income and if this be the case, state how your parents simply cannot afford the financial burden of college.
State the amount of money your parents need to have and how this would strap them financially. If there are a great deal of bills, like mortgages, car payments and outstanding medical bills, be sure to include these figures in the letter. It’s important to state your case and to also make sure there is documentation to back up what you are saying. These clerks hear a great deal of sob stories, but making yours verifiable gives you an advantage.
Let the person you’re writing know that you simply cannot attend their school without more money. Be sure to make the wording polite but allow them to feel your sense of urgency. It would be good to say something like, "While I really appreciate your substantial offer, I'm troubled I will be not capable of attending college unless my financial aid offer is considerably increased." Make sure to keep the letter humble and not come off demanding. A committee will review your letter and make the choice to approve or decline your offer. If there are funds available, you have a good chance of getting what you need.
Sample 1 - Appeal Letter for Financial Aid
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 [YEAR - YEAR] 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.
(sign your name here)
List of Enclosures
Sample 2 - Appeal Letter for Financial Aid
876536219 (student ID)
RE: SAP Appeal Explanation
To whom it may concern:
On [DATE], 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 [YEAR] 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)
List of Enclosures
By Andre Bradley