Financial aid package is a great facilitation, provided by state. Having obtained such help you have a unique opportunity to cover your educational expenses and charges. People submit Free Application for Federal Student Aid, expecting to receive at least the minimal help with such expensive undertaking as college studying.
We are pleased to inform you that there are possible ways to find the solution and to ask for a better financial aid package. Administrators, who assign the aid, have the authority for adjustment. This adjustment is possible only in case of providing corresponding conditions that suit the FAFSA. The very procedure of the appeal is called “professional judgment” and being able to go through it, you need to get to know how to negotiate it in the right way.
Provide the correct reasoning in a letter
The letter is the initial step for the Judgment review to begin. The two cases for this can be needs-based or merit-based. The first option means that the inherent financial aid is not sufficient to cover your expenses. The second one presupposes that you got a higher offer from some other institution or a remarkable personal achievement from the time you submitted FAFSA. And it should be stated that in case of the needs-based appeal, the aid authorities will try to recognize the factors that impact your financial condition in a negative way.
Attach supportive documents
When initiating the request for the financial aid, it should be confirmed and supported by the corresponding documentation. When the authorities from the Education department review the appeals, they look through such documents to see the whole picture of them. If no such papers are provided from the school responsible, the aid administrator can hold the aid to be provided.
Here are the examples of such documents for needs-based appeals:
- Termination letters
- Receipts and bills
- Bank statements
And the following are the papers for the merit-based ones:
- Awards, achievements and grades
- Recommendation letters
- Copies of offers from other schools
Use mail for your appeal and follow it up
It is important that you are sure you contact the appropriate school by mailing. Depending on the kind of the appeal, it can be financial office or admissions office (for merit based). State clearly that you wish to initiate a Professional Judgment Review or in some cases Special Circumstances Review. Using of phone call in such a case can be only for additional purposes, not for the very appeal. And, of course, it is very important to stay updated in regard to the status of your appeal. You should be totally sure it is accepted and to control it on all the stages to its realization.
Advices that help to negotiate financial aid
To succeed in obtaining better financial aid package, one should pay attention to following things:
- Keep your letter short and distinct, no unnecessary things should be in it – only the sooth.
- Specify figures, to make it clear that the provided sum is not enough for your needs
- When applying for financial package improvement, do not ask for a certain amount
- Do not appeal just to appeal without any supportive background. Be ready to provide evidence of your needs and additional documentation
- Formulate you appeal in the business manner without bargaining
How is it possible to estimate your chances for obtaining the positive result? It is hard to say. Following of the above mentioned tips make your chances distinctively higher, but there are no guarantees. Your success within this affair depends on your situation and school. Some schools are more open for negotiation; others do not negotiate at all or do it very exceptionally. Anyway, it is worth trying; only those, who make attempts, receive the results and eventually can enjoy all the peculiarities of the school file: exams, papers, essays…