How to Get More Financial Aid

Post by: COYD Staff

paying for collegeASK… Many students and parents believe that the financial aid package that the university first presents them is final. That is definitely not the case. If you got into your #1 pick, you have accomplished an incredible feat. Do not let money stand in the way of attending that university. File an appeal with the financial aid office. Remember, the first offer is not always the final offer; however, there are a few things to remember when filing that appeal:

1. Get exact instructions on how to file an appeal: Every university is different. Some have financial review forms that they include in their initial package, others just require you to write a letter and fax the request to the financial aid office. Make sure you call the financial aid office and get the exact instructions on how to file an appeal and then after you send in the letter, make sure to confirm the receipt of your documents.

2. Clearly explain your financial situation: Be honest and specific about your situation. Create a full story so that the financial aid advisor can really empathize with your situation. This is not a time for you to hold back or be vague because you are embarrassed.

3. Be tactful when showing competing offers: Talk about competing offers in the same conversation in which you are describing your financial situation as well as your strong desire to attend their university. For example, “Your university is my #1 choice; however, the financial aid package is not enough for me to be able to attend your university because of XYZ reason and I might have to attend my #3 choice because they are offering me $____ amount of financial aid.”

3. Compare apples to apples when showing competing offers: If one school gave you a good financial aid package based on merit, make sure that the university that you are “negotiating” with also gives money based on merit. If they don’t, showing that competing offer will not be effective. Also, if you can, try to show competing private school offers when negotiating with private schools and competing public school offers when negotiating with public schools.

If an appeal doesn’t work, there is still hope in paying for college. There are private scholarships out there and pubilc loans that will help you get the money you need to pay for college. Below are a few resources that can help:

1. For Scholarships
FastWeb is an excellent scholarship site because it chooses scholarships based off your qualifications. The Fastweb database also contains 1.3 million scholarships worth over $3.1 billion. Find free money for college or an advanced degree. Search now!

2. For Loans is good FREE tool to help students find student loans. The website makes it easier for parents and students to navigate through the whole loan process. Let SimpleTuition find the right student loan for you.


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