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The 2019 Complete Guide To Aid Appeal

How to Pay for College > For Parents > Financial Aid > The 2019 Complete Guide To Aid Appeal

It can be frustrating to go through the FAFSA® process only to get your financial aid award letter and find out it’s not enough to cover what you need for school. 

If you’ve found yourself in this situation, and you’re experiencing financial hardships or a major life event, there is an option. You can consider appealing your financial aid offer to get more aid from your college or university. 

With that in mind, let’s walk through the aid appeal process step-by-step. 

A Step by Step Guide to Aid Appeal

This guide will help you to understand exactly how the aid appeal process works. Here are the steps you need to take to file.

Click the links for instructions on how to complete each step:

  1. How to know if you can negotiate your aid
  2. Writing your Aid Appeal Letter
  3. Submitting your Aid Appeal Letter
  4. What not to do in the Aid Appeal process
  5. Getting your Aid Appeal decision

Keep in mind that each school has their own process and due dates. Please contact your financial aid office to help you understand what their process is. 

Step 1 –  How to know if you can negotiate your aid?

The checklist below highlights the situations that typically merit aid appeal. Take a look through and check those that apply to your current situation.


If you checked one or more options on the above checklist, you’re likely to qualify for aid appeal. Here’s a bit more information about each of the above options to give you a better idea of what colleges are looking for when it comes to your aid appeal submission.

    • Merit: GPA of 3.5 or higher, National Honor Society or Honor Roll, community involvement, clubs, sports, awards, extracurricular activities. These are good to mention regardless of category as they show what a great asset the student will be to the university.
    • Multiple Offers: