As parents of college-bound students, you know that higher education comes with not just academic…
Award letters will soon appear in your mailbox. But, what’s next? Do you accept the offer? Do you appeal? Do you think it over for another month?
Below are important things to consider before attempting to appeal your award letter:
Have your circumstances changed since you filled out the FAFSA?
Have you had any unexpected medical expenses, a sudden divorce, or a layoff? The Covid-19 pandemic has made this the case for many families. If there has been a sudden change in your ability to pay for college for any reason, you may be able to win an appeal.
Which school has given you a better offer?
You likely have a ranked list of schools you’d like to attend. If your top-choice school is not offering the same award as schools lower on your list, you might be able to negotiate. If the schools have a similar ranking, you might be able to convince the schools at the top of your list to match better offers. However, if the schools are not academically comparable, you likely won’t get very far negotiating this way.
Can you justify your appeal with documentation?
Whatever the reason for your appeal, you won’t have a chance winning it without the documentation to back up everything. Show them the facts!
What if you simply don’t have sufficient savings to pay for everything?
Even if the only way to educate your children will require that you borrow $20,000 a year for the next twelve years, your sob story is not going to win an appeal. You can, however, still ask the college if there are any other scholarship opportunities to pursue. Academic departments, various campus clubs, alumni groups, and local businesses often offer scholarships. Your student can also ask if there are any work-study funds still available.
Take the time to understand how the appeals process works.
It is critical that you have an understanding of how the appeals process works. Take the time to understand the process so you can navigate negotiation like a pro.
If you would like some help in discerning the appeal process for you, contact us at My College Planning Team. Good luck!