• All About Financial Aid
  • Getting the Best Financial Aid Awards

I'd Like More Financial Aid, Please

Young female student opening envelope looking stressed.

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

What Not to Say to a Financial Aid Officer

"Can you beat my other offer?" Confronting an aid officer won't work. Politely mentioning that you have received a better offer might help.

"I can't afford my EFC." Join the club. Some factors that may impact affordability, such as debt, are not counted in the EFC.

"Borrowing is not acceptable." You don't have to take a loan. But you won't get other aid instead.

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 afterward. Corrections due to a change in circumstances after filing the FAFSA are done through the college (see below).

If you submitted the CSS Profile, you cannot submit changes online. You must update a hard copy of your Acknowledgement Report or the CSS Profile Form you submitted, 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 confirm the process they would like you to follow and 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

What's Next?

If you have received your aid awards, use the Compare Awards tool to see your actual net prices.

If you want an estimate of your net prices at different colleges, use the Net Price Calculator.

Learn more about how outside scholarships impact aid awards.

Is financial aid still a mystery? Take a look at What Is Financial Aid?