July 15, 2020 Last updated July 15th, 2020 1,682 Reads share

How to Write a Great Financial Aid Appeal Letter

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Financial aid is a great solution when finances hinder you from accomplishing your goals. For instance, for some college students, education is expensive. If such students receive financial aid, they are able to access education and realize their goals. So, most students request for financial aid and they are given.

But, it isn’t a guarantee that when you apply for financial aid you will get it. Sometimes, your request can be denied. Other times you may be offered less support than you needed. There are several reasons for this.

First, your parents may be earning more money. This may be considered enough to cater to your expenses. Second, your grades may be too low. Third, you may have broken laws.

But, regardless of the reason, being denied financial aid can be such a blow. Good news! This is not the end. An appeal letter can help reverse the decision. Through a financial aid appeal letter, you can be given financial aid.

This letter involves communicating formally to the school to review the decision to deny or limit your financial aid. While the letter is not a guarantee you will get the aid, it may help. You may give the school enough reasons to reverse their decision.

Tips on How To Write a Financial Aid Appeal Letter

  • Explain Your Situation

College finance offices deal with thousands of issues every day. So, they don’t have a lot of time to go through every letter. Therefore, get straight to the point. Just explain your situation clearly and quickly. Explain the reason why you are appealing. For example, maybe your parent just lost a job. Or maybe the family income has dropped significantly. Just state the reason immediately and clearly.

If the reason is a bit complicated, explain it as it is. For instance, maybe sickness leads to the missing of coursework which led to poor grades. Explain it as clearly as possible. Note, you don’t have to get emotional. Just give a simple explanation.

  • When Necessary, Take Responsibility

Sometimes, you did something that leads to the denial of financial aid. When writing the appeal letter, take responsibility. For instance, maybe you started a fight that led to the breaking of the law – admit it. Or maybe you failed to pay attention in class, which led to poor grades, admit it too. In short, admit your mistake. Then, express regret and explain your plan to avoid the mistake.

  • Practice professionalism

When writing the financial aid appeal letter, practice professionalism. Demanding for the aid will not guarantee you anything. In fact, demanding should not even cross your mind. Being professional may help the school to reverse its decision.

  • Edit and Proofread

It is very important that you write a clear, brief, and professional appeal letter. Check for any grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. Such mistakes would make your case worse. So, take the time to edit and proofread the letter. You may even get help with reviewing from online services. Look for a reliable person to go through your appeal letter. This will help submit a clear letter which shows that you have taken your situation seriously.

What to Include

The appeal letter should be formal just as your original application. Include the following;

  1. Your address and the address of the receiver.
  2. Start by explaining yourself. Also, include how thankful and excited you are for being accepted in the school.
  3. Explain what the letter is about. In this case, the letter is about financial aid. This will ensure that your letter gets the attention it needs.
  4. Explain briefly why you need financial aid. Do it in a direct manner. Don’t forget to be respectful.
  5. Explain your financial situation. Obviously, you did this while writing the original application. Still, give the details again. Be specific. In short, give actual numbers. For example, give real numbers on what your parent is earning. This will help the school to see whether you have enough money or not.
  6. Provide supporting details that show you are a hardworking person.
  7. Just keep the letter short and direct to the point. Remember to close it respectfully after you are done with the writing.

Your Financial Aid Appeal Letter May Take the Following Format:

  • Your address
  • Date
  • Recipient’s address
  • Salutation (‘Dear Mrs. Hawk’)
  • Subject: Financial aid appeal letter
  • First Paragraph {Explain who you are and why you are writing the letter}
  • Second paragraph {Explain why you need the financial aid}
  • The third paragraph {Explain your financial situation. Remember to give actual numbers}
  • The fourth paragraph {Conclude the letter. Include any details about supporting documents attached}
  • Close the letter respectfully.
  • { Sincerely,
  •    signature
  •    your name}


Seek Help When Necessary

If the going gets rough, consider seeking help. For instance, hiring a consultant in financial aid can be helpful. The consultant may help you navigate the appeal process. But, this may cost you some money. This will show your school that you have enough resources. We all know how this will end. They are more likely to deny you financial aid.

6 Steps to Take

Before Writing Your Financial Aid Appeal Letter, Consider the Following Steps:

  1. Consult with the financial aid office to know about the appeal process.
  2. Identify the person to address the appeal letter to.
  3. Determine the amount of help you need
  4. Look for supporting documents.
  5. Write the letter
  6. Submit your letter.

What If Your Appeal for Financial Aid Is Still Denied?

For the same or different reasons, your appeal for financial aid may still be denied. In this case, what do you do? Well, all is not lost. There is still some hope. You still have some options. First, you may consider applying for private grants and scholarships. All you need is to do research about them. They have their own criteria, process, and deadline. Look for the ones you qualify for.

Second, consider private student loans. This can be an option if free money is not available.

Third, consider a less expensive school. This may help reduce the debt burden.

Most importantly, compare all the available options and select the most favorable.

Bottom Line

It doesn’t hurt to send a financial aid appeal letter. If you badly need help, try the appeal if your original application was denied. Appealing doesn’t mean you will get the desired outcome. But, you never know. The decision may be reversed. However, if you are still denied financial aid, consider other financial options. Being denied financial aid should not put an end to your education dream.

DepositPhotos – student loans

Dharmendra Chahar

Dharmendra Chahar

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