An In-Depth Guide to Writing a Convincing Financial Aid Appeal Letter

iEditorial Note: These blog posts represent the opinion of DoNotPay’s Writers, but each person’s situation and circumstances vary greatly. As a result, you should make sure to do your own independent research. Because everyone is unique, our self-help tools are never guaranteed to help with any specific situation. DoNotPay is not a law firm, is not licensed to practice law, and is not equivalent to the services of a licensed lawyer. DoNotPay provides a platform for legal information and self-help, and does not offer legal services. Third party news articles mentioned on our website do not necessarily reflect the views of the company, or the current services that we offer.

Create a Compelling Financial Aid Appeal Letter

Applying for financial aid is one way to cover costly college attendance. Unfortunately, not all applicants will get the award or the exact amount necessary to pay for their education.

If that’s the case with you, don’t despair—by appealing the college’s decision, you have a realistic shot at getting the aid you need.

In most cases, a well-written appeal letter is the way to get your financial needs met. DoNotPay will give you the instructions on what a financial aid appeal letter should contain and even write one for you if needed!

Financial Aid—Key Points

Financial aid is the money from federal, state, or institutional sources aimed at helping prospective college students pay for their education. Both undergrad and grad students can typically choose between the following options:

  1. Grants
  2. Scholarships
  3. Loans
  4. Employment programs

The first two options are the most practical and sought-after forms of financial aid since they don’t have to be repaid. Students who take out a loan have to repay it after graduation, typically with low-interest rates and a repayment grace period following graduation. Work-study programs offer students part-time jobs to help them pay for attending college.

Most schools require their students to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to determine their eligibility for financial aid. If you’ve been denied financial aid altogether or have received a smaller amount than expected, you should:

  1. Explore the reasons why that happened
  2. Define the cause for needing (higher) award

When Should You Write an Appeal Letter for Financial Aid?

There are numerous reasons why you should consider writing an appeal letter and ask for more (or any) financial aid. The most common are:

  • Changes in your circumstances—An unexpected change in your economic situation since you first filed your FAFSA can be a cause for needing higher financial aid. Possible reasons include:
    • Unemployment
    • Death of a caregiver
    • Medical emergency
    • Divorce
  • Mistake on your FAFSA form—You might have made an error on your FAFSA that has possibly affected your award. The inaccurate data can also be the consequence of a sudden change in circumstances
  • Higher award offer from another college—If you’ve been offered a higher award from a backup college, you can ask another school to match their offer

One of the eligibility requirements for getting financial aid is maintaining suitable academic progress. Students who have been denied the award due to poor grades can appeal if they have experienced a traumatic event, such as:

  • Death of a family member
  • Homelessness
  • Difficult pregnancy
  • Newly diagnosed illness

How To Write a Financial Aid Appeal Letter

To write a professional appeal letter, you have to follow specific guidelines. A detailed description of what to include in your financial aid appeal letter is in the table below:

Address the letter to a particular personContact the financial aid office to find out to whom you should address the letter. If you don’t know, you can address it with “Dear Sir/Madam”
Be specific about the reasons you need (more) financial aidAsk the office to reconsider the offer and clearly state the reason you need more money
Provide details of any special circumstancesExplain the changes in your circumstances in a clear and honest way and ask the office to take them into consideration
Add appropriate documentationProvide any documents that support your claim and refer to them in the letter. If the financial aid office asks for additional forms, provide those as well
State the exact amountInclude a realistic amount that will help you cover the costs of college. If you need help to pay for specific items (such as travel costs or supplies), name them
Add a competing offer (if applicable)If another college offered you more aid, include the offer in your letter and ask the school to match it
Aks for further instructionsRequest instructions on how to approach the following stages of the appeal process
State your gratitudeMake sure to start and end the letter with a thank you

Letter of Appeal for Financial Aid—Expert Tips

While there’s no guarantee your appeal will bear fruit, you can use certified tricks to elevate your chances of getting the desired results. When creating an appeal letter, you should make sure to:

  1. Write in first person—having your parent write the letter on your behalf will not be well received
  2. Use the appropriate tone—you should find the perfect middle ground between humble and assertive. Also, be careful about your word choices
  3. Be concise—the letter shouldn’t be longer than one page
  4. Check for errors—you can ask somebody you trust to read the letter before submission and point to potential grammar and spelling errors

Note that the success of your appeal depends on how well you present your case. If you don’t feel confident enough to write it yourself, and let us create the letter for you!

Need a Bullet-Proof Financial Aid Appeal Letter? DoNotPay Is the Way to Go!

Getting a grant is the best way to finish your studies debt-free. If you got rejected the first time, you shouldn’t risk getting denied once again.

Our app can provide a top-notch appeal letter according to all the guidelines we described above. All you have to do is provide specific details about your situation—we will use them to generate a letter bound to bring results!

You won’t have to wait more than a few minutes to get the letter if you from any web browser and:

  1. Click on our Appeal for More Financial Aid product
  2. Answer questions that will help us customize the letter

We will not only draw up but also send the letter to your desired college!

If you access our learning center, you will discover more useful info about financial aid, such as when it is best to apply and for how many years you can get financial aid.

As additional help, the table below presents details about financial aid packages in the most renowned U.S. colleges:

University of California San Diego Financial AidRutgers University Financial AidStanford University Financial Aid
New York University Financial AidUniversity of California, Los Angeles Financial AidUniversity of California, Davis Financial Aid
Cornell University Financial AidPrinceton Financial AidUniversity of California, Santa Cruz Financial Aid
MIT Financial AidUniversity of California, Berkeley Financial AidColumbia University Financial Aid
Harvard University Financial AidPurdue University Financial AidYale University Financial Aid

Get an Extra Buck or Two With DoNotPay

Besides being able to assist you with almost any issue, DoNotPay can also help you get some extra money! We can cancel any unused memberships and prevent you from being charged after free trial periods are over with our virtual credit card.

Can’t claim a warranty or get cash back for a gift card? Subscribe for DoNotPay and consider it done! We can also help you return items to almost any company or even help you get a refund in a few clicks!

Helping you jump the customer service queues is also not a biggie for us, as well as taking the company that wronged you to small claims court!

No Problem Is Unsolvable for DoNotPay

By subscribing to our platform, you get access to a plethora of handy features that can help you with:

Want your issue solved now?