How to negotiate a maximum financial aid offer for an undergraduate

💡 The Frank Takeaways:

Suppose your child received their aid award letter, and it wasn’t enough to cover their financial needs. In that case, there is a way to negotiate a maximum financial aid offer for an undergraduate student. Your first step towards securing more aid is to start the aid appeal process.

Let’s look at what the process looks like and how it can help your undergraduate student.

How to negotiate a maximum financial aid offer for undergraduate students

Aid appeal is a process students go through to negotiate their aid package. It involves writing a letter to the school outlining your qualifying factors and pleading your case for additional aid. 

The First Step is Aid Appeal

Most families and students that use the aid appeal process can showcase they’ve experienced significant income loss or financial hardship over the last year. Since the FAFSA® uses tax information from two years prior, there’s always a chance it doesn’t reflect the student’s current financial situation. That’s why aid appeal exists.

Many colleges and universities hold back aid money, assuming that a certain number of students may need additional resources. However, many students don’t realize that aid appeal is an option, and therefore, those financial reserves go unused.

That’s why it’s essential to start the aid appeal process as soon as you realize you don’t have enough financial aid.

Be Prepared to Meet the Qualifying Factors

To qualify for aid appeal, you’ll need to meet some qualifying factors that showcase your need. That includes being a victim of a natural disaster, experiencing a death in the family, significant loss of income, medical bills, or outstanding merits as a student.

To understand what could qualify you for aid appeal, check out our guide here.

Ask Your University for More Money

Every aid appeal must be submitted with a letter from the student, and the letter should be short and sweet and submitted with qualifying documents. A qualifying document includes school transcripts, recent tax returns, medical bills, or death certificates. 

Upon completion, you’ll submit your letter alongside your documents to the school you’re negotiating with. 

The aid appeal process is fast and pretty straightforward. You can read a step-by-step breakdown of how to do it here.

If you have any questions, reach out to the financial experts here at Frank. They can help you determine which documents to include and how to navigate the aid appeal process. Reach us at