About Appealing Aid Awards

(Is that alliteration or what?)

Did you get an aid award that’s not what you’re hoping for? Recently the New York Times wrote about appealing financial aid awards. For the article, Ron Lieber sent a questionnaire to aid officers at some of the priciest private schools asking about their appeals process. Occidental College’s completed questionnaire is extremely helpful for understanding how and why a college might grant an appeal, and it’s available here.

Some highlights that are probably relevant to the appeals– or application– process at any school:

  • Private colleges using institutional funds have more latitude to make changes than do public schools using federal funds.
  • Your appeal should discuss why you can’t afford to send your student to the school, not why your student wants to attend the school. If they’ve already been admitted, the school already likes them.
  • Families with the means to do so need to save for college. It’s a big expense and one that you can plan for because you know college is expensive and you know when you will incur the cost. Your current economic hardship is more understandable and sympathetic if you saved before the hardship came about.

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