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CollegeData - I'd Like More Financial Aid, Please

I'd Like More Financial Aid, Please

What if your financial aid package just isn't enough? Don't give up. You've got options.

Before you abandon the college of your dreams, consider having a discussion with a financial aid officer at the college. Here are some guidelines for making an appeal for more aid.

Take Action as Soon as Possible

By the time admission letters go out, most colleges have used up their financial aid, especially grants and scholarships. So, timing is crucial. If you think you have a good case to present, contact the financial aid office immediately upon getting your aid offer.

Correct Any FAFSA or PROFILE Errors

You can make corrections to your FAFSA on the FAFSA website. Your FAFSA provides a "snapshot" of your financial situation on the date you originally signed it, so your corrections must be valid as of that date, not afterwards. Corrections due to a change in circumstances after filing the FAFSA are done through the college (see below).

If you submitted the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE, you cannot submit changes online. You must update a hard copy of your Acknowledgement Report and send copies of it to all the colleges on your list. Be sure to contact the financial aid offices at your prospective colleges to let them know you have submitted corrections.

Report Financial Changes and New Information to the College

To report changes in circumstances or to provide information not included on aid applications, you must appeal directly to the college. Check with the college to verify its procedure for submitting and documenting this information. Financial aid offices are likely to consider the following circumstances:

Life changes

Financial changes

Ask for More Gift Aid

The aid that reduces college cost is gift aid (scholarships and grants). Aid officers may be open to discussing an increase in gift aid if you are a desirable candidate for admission, have a strong case, and make your appeal early.

Ask for a Change to Your Cost of Attendance

The standard cost of attendance used in your aid calculation may not take into account costs that apply to your situation. For example, you might have higher transportation expenses if you live far from the college; purchases may be required for your major, such as a computer; or there may be costs to accommodate a disability. The financial aid office has the authority to increase the COA for your situation, which increases your financial need. If the college has aid available, they might increase your aid package.

Tips for Working with the College

What's Next?

Note: Financial information provided on this site is of a general nature and may not apply to your situation. Contact a financial or tax advisor before acting on such information.