Financial Aid Appeal Letter Recommendations

Jul 24, 2020 by

A crucial barrier in college access for most students from low-income families is financial. For them, the affordability landscape is dramatically different, and they are often priced out of quality college education. A recent study shows that as many as 95 percents of colleges are completely unaffordable to most students.

Even before sitting for SATs, their choices on where to acquire college education have already been limited. Although students can now access financial aid to help them pay for college, the amounts given are not always enough.

If you receive monetary aid that is less than what you had hoped for, don’t feel discouraged. It is still possible to get additional funds for college. However, you have to get out of your comfort zone and actively source for the funding. In this article, we examine how to effectively write a financial aid appeal letter.

Do Students Need Financial Aid?

While there are numerous barriers to college success and access, including lower levels of expectations, preparation, and information, the main challenge is cost. College education has become quite expensive, with learners having to use an average of US$98,417 throughout their degree. Without financial aid, the cost of a college education can be well beyond most families.

While the cost of tuition has been skyrocketing over the past few decades, the median family income has not kept pace. Given the high cost of tuition when compared to family incomes, at least some amount of monetary aid is needed for most families.

Of course, there are any other costs linked with higher education other than the direct costs of board, room, required fees, and tuition. Students are required to purchase books, take care of health needs, and find accommodation. The costs are high, although the conventional aid policy for undergraduates fails to address them.

Is Financial Aid Always Enough? What to Do

To understand the degree to which the aid system meets the financial needs of students, one must calculate the amount students have to spend on college education after financial aid. Although the costs that students have to should after financial aid are often much less, families still struggle particularly when the amount received is much less than what was desired.

If you feel that you don’t have enough money to pay for college, there are some important decisions you can make.

For instance, you need to document any possible source of income. Take note of any changes like job losses, death, divorce, or medical emergency that lowered your available income considerably. After documenting the changes, send the paperwork to the right financial aid offices. If you don’t have confidence in your writing skills, you can check out sample letters on the EssayEdge website.

Also, you can ask for another appraisal of your financial aid request. There is a possibility that a favored university may have a less favorable financial assistance package compared to other institutions. This could be a mistake or the result of school policy. There are some instances when figures can be miscalculated or misread.

You could politely ask for an explanation from the financial aid office. Be ready to support your request for a review with proper documentation. Remember, when making financial decisions, logic should be preferred over emotions.

When to Should One Write a Letter Petitioning Financial Aid?

If you feel that your word is less than enough and you would like to appeal, ascertain to send your letter as quickly as you can before the available funds run dry. First, reach out to the monetary aid office to obtain more info on the procedure of petitioning financial support awards. Seek information on who you need to contact as well as any exceptional requirements.

Specific situations that merit writing an appeal letter comprise:

  • When your family financial situations have altered suddenly since you sent the initial application;
  • If you made a mistake when submitting your FAFSA that could have impacted your award;
  • If you have received a superior aid proposition from a different college and you are requesting the college to improve on its funding.

Please note that the sum of the financial support requested should depend on the disparity you wish to fill. If you just require a little more money, then appealing could be sufficient. However, if the gap is much larger (more than 10,000 USD), then you should consider applying for loans and other options. Check out the financial aid appeal letter sample included here for an idea of how to create your document.

Tips for Composing the Appeal Letter?

Depending on your school’s procedure, you can deliver the letter in person or submit it through email. Make sure to address your letter to a precise individual by locating the contact in the office. This is much better than using a generic salutation. Make your request clear and explain why you would like the aid reconsidered. Also, make sure to offer details of any specific occurrences that warrant the review. Remember to attach appropriate documentation.

Also, incorporate the following:

  • A precise figure you wish to get;
  • A contending offer if you have received one;
  • Inquiry about the next phases of the process of appeal;
  • Start and conclude the letter with gratitude.

Make sure your letter is concise, clear, and polite.

In the next section, we look at some financial aid appeal letter example texts to point your documents.

Example of an Appeal Letter 1

Dear Mrs. Agnew,

I am Brian Adams, an incoming freshman, who is highly looking forward to attending XYZ College. Thank for the detailed financial support package; it will go a long way towards helping me pay for my education. However, after my application was accepted, there have been some significant setbacks in my family’s financial situation.

Just one day after I received the aid award information, my father lost his job as a security guard. After 20 years of service, he was unexpectedly fired. Since he has been and remains our main incomed provider, the development places the entire family in a precarious situation. My mother still remains unemployed, although she works at a local store part-time earning minimum wage. As a result, we are suddenly incapable of getting additional funds to offset outstanding tuition, books, and other expenses.

I really wish to attend college this fall, and your institution appeals to me on various levels. It has been my dream to pursue my undergraduate degree at an institution that supports research and I am impressed by your facilities. I am a passionate and dedicated student who can greatly benefit from your institution’s longstanding history of supporting research and development.

However, without your help, that may not be possible. The financial predicaments that I have faced over the recent past have placed me in a precarious position. As such, I am asking for a review of my award in consideration of these changed circumstances. This will allow me to better afford the kind of quality education that I really desire.

I appreciate that you probably receive tons of aid applications from students, some equally deserving. I also appreciate that you have already considered me for aid and presented an appealing offer. I only hope that you can take time the time to consider my plea and review my case.

I will be really grateful for your help. I look forward to hearing from you regarding the status of my appeal. You could also advise me on the next step to take on my appeal process. Thank you for finding time to review my appeal.

I have also attached confirmation of my father’s work termination. I have also included the necessary appeal form. Please, do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything else that I should provide or questions I ought to answer. I will be willing to respond promptly and honestly.


Brian Adams

1234 My Street


Sample Letter for Financial Aid Appeal 2

Dear Mr. John Hopkins,

I was pleased to receive admission to study Applied Biology, which is my dream course. I am also very grateful for your gracious scholarship award of $XX,XXX. ABC is my preferred college for my undergraduate degree, given its incredible investments in education and long-standing reputation as a center of academic excellence. While I am appreciative and please about the gracious offer, it still leaves me with an insurmountable financial gap. As such, I would like to formally submit my request for a review of the information on my application file and be considered for additional funds, if possible.

As at present, I have received acceptances and financial offers from colleges HCV, DPY, and SDN. They stand as then next three best options, and their offers bring my net balance to less than half of my EFC. Although their offers are ideal, I still prefer to attend ABC as it appeals to my beliefs and offers the marketability that I desire in an academic institution. I believe that with some improvement in your aid offer, I will be in a better position to join your prestigious institution and pursue my dreams.

My financial aid application to ABC, which indicated that I have the ability to pay a considerable amount of money, is not an accurate reflection of my financial situation. After I sent the application, some events have occurred that have drastically shifted the ability of my family to handle its monetary obligations. My mother was involved in a road accident, and the accruing medical bills have had significant pressure. There is also a current job loss due to the accident, from which my family is still trying to recover.

The assistance offered by your office is helpful and much appreciated. However, I would need additional funding to enable me to attend ABC and pursue my studies. I understand that I am privileged to have already received an aid offer from you and that funds may be limited. However, I am stuck and will appreciate consideration for aid increase. The situations that alter my financial position are beyond my control and there does not seem to be a solution on the horizon.

I will be on campus on mm/dd to attend the Accepted Student’s Luncheon and welcome the chance to meet someone from your office to elaborate on issues. I have attached some documents indicating how my financial situation has changed since my initial aid application, which you have on file.


Jane Doe


Cell: 123-456-7890

Final Thoughts

The college financial aid appeal letter sample provided here works because the author offers appreciation for the support while recognizing changing monetary circumstances. Both sample letters are also short and concise. Thus, use the pieces of advice and examples to write the winning letter yourself. Good luck!

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