17 Mar Need More College Financial Aid? Just Ask!
As a high school senior, you may have set your heart on attending a particular college. You have visited the school, like its feel, met with students and faculty, and really think it would be a great fit for you. But when you receive your financial aid award letter from the school, you might be disappointed to find out that the amount of aid offered does not cover all the expenses and you cannot afford to pay the difference. You may decide to attend another college, but here are a few steps you can take to get more college financial aid from the school of your dreams:
• Extenuating Circumstances: Tell the school about any extenuating circumstances that may have occurred since you submitted your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You should speak to the financial aid office if there will be a significant change in income due to job loss, disability, divorce, major illness or death. A catastrophe such as a house fire or a natural disaster could affect your family’s ability to pay for tuition or other expenses.
• State Your Case: Provide any supporting documentation you might have and explain why the lower amount of financial aid could cause a hardship to you or your family.
• Show Your Interest: Don’t make the college reconsider your application unless you are sincerely interested in attending. Tell them what you especially liked during your visit and what you think you will bring to their college community.
• Just Ask: Don’t be afraid to ask what else you can do to be able to attend this college. They might not be able to offer you anything else, or they might just be able to find a work-study program, grant or scholarship that could make the difference in whether you can attend.
Be Tactful in Asking for More College Financial Aid
If there is a substantial difference in the amount of financial aid you are offered from your preferred college and others to which you have applied, it might be possible that your school made a mistake or is missing some information. Contact the financial aid office and ask if it would be possible to review your application. Ask about the criteria that was used to determine the amount of financial aid you were offered. Find out if there is any further documentation or information you can provide that might help sway their opinion.
You might decide that you need help in asking for more college financial aid. In that case, contact College Financial Aid Advisors (CFAA) as soon as possible and we will help you contact the school and put together your case for increasing the amount of financial aid you will receive. We can also help you search for scholarships that might be able to fill any financial aid gap. If you need professional insights on any other component of the financial aid process, contact CFAA now for a FREE financial aid strategy session.