3 Things You Need to Know When Appealing Your Financial Aid Packages
So the easy part's over: you've applied for college and got accepted. Congratulations are in order! You've managed to secure your future.
However, before you start jumping for joy about the prospect of a college education, there may be one thing hanging over your head, and that's how you're going to pay for college. If you're like many students, you probably have gotten financial aid to help pay your way through school, and that's great.
But circumstances change, right? Maybe you or your parent lost a job, there was a death in the family, or some other unforeseen circumstance made an appearance. Now you don't know if your financial aid will be enough.
While financial aid packages can be tough to renegotiate, it is possible to appeal your package to get some more money to help you pay for school.
We're listing three important tips here for you to make the process go a little easier.
1. Be Honest About Your Circumstances
Special circumstances are nearly always heard by financial aid officers.
The FASFA does try hard to paint a complete picture of your financial needs, it can't tell the future, right? And the agency is more than willing to discuss your package if something happens before or during your college years.
The best way to approach the appeals process is to be open and honest about your circumstances.
Be forthcoming with evidence of your circumstance, be it the death of a parent or the loss of a job, because the more proof you provide, the more willing your financial aid officer will be to help you get some more money for your education.
2. Contact Your School's Financial Aid Office
If you're already in school and something happens, we recommend personally contacting your school's financial aid office. It doesn't matter when this unfortunate event happens, you can always appeal your financial aid package. And when we say contact your school, we don't mean email them: either write them a letter or call to set up an appointment.
Remember that this is a personal circumstance and that you want to appeal to the financial aid officer's compassion. Meet with them in person and explain, in detail, the change in your financial needs.
3. Be Willing to Compromise
You must remember that financial aid officers are your allies, not your enemies. They are there to help you pay for your education. And like anyone else, they like to be treated with respect and honesty.
So when you do speak to your financial aid office, remember to be open about your circumstances. Provide evidence for your financial woes, like unpaid bills, unemployment benefits paperwork, or whatever you can offer that shows you need more aid.
Above all, be willing to compromise with your financial aid officer.
They can't work miracles, but if you show them that you need the help and are courteous, they will certainly try to move mountains for you. Good luck.