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Please give feedback on my financial aid appeal letter!

agarrardagarrard Posts: 5Registered User New Member
Dear Ms. [removed by mod]:

My name is [name removed by mod] and I’m writing to appeal my suspension of financial aid. I would like to explain what happened but before I do so, please know that I’m not trying to place blame elsewhere; I accept full responsibility for my actions that led to me neglecting my studies.

My transcript shows that I had difficulty working and attending college both full-time. After attempting two semesters I realized that I wasn’t able to handle it. The next two semesters I enrolled half-time and did great. I got over confident and attempted to work and attend college both full-time again and failed (see enclosure 1). At the end of 2002 I moved in with my mother and grandmother so that I could save money and try to finish college. I enrolled full-time in Spring 2003 since I wasn’t planning on working full- time. Unfortunately, in February 2003 my grandmother’s health got bad. The doctor didn’t know what was wrong. She was missing work due to her health and taking on new expenses so I made a choice to seek a full-time job so I could help (see enclosure 2). I later quit attending classes because I couldn’t keep up. After six grueling months we finally found out what was ailing her. In August 2003 she was being evaluated for reflux when they found that she had atrial fibrillation. A chest x-ray was obtained and that’s when they found a mass in her left lung and she was diagnosed with unresectable lung cancer (see enclosure 3). In Spring 2004 I completed a class and planned on taking one class a semester until I could get my financial aid back but in August 2004 my grandmother passed away, then in October 2004 I found out I was pregnant. I put my college education on hold until now. I recently filed for divorce and I’m starting over.

My goal is to finish my college education. I will take the following steps to help complete my goal:
1. I have been approved for education leave at my place of employment and can leave during work hours and attend class while keeping my full-time pay.
2. I will not enroll more than half-time.
3. I will manage my time wisely so that I can balance my family and studies together.

College has always been important to me but more so now that I’m a single parent. I’m not financially capable of paying on my own. I have been denied for private student loans (see enclosure 4). I would be very grateful for another opportunity.
Post edited by agarrard on

Replies to: Please give feedback on my financial aid appeal letter!

  • msmayormsmayor Posts: 317Registered User Member
    I'll admit, when I first saw the title of your post I expected an appeal for the loss of 2008-2009 continuing aid, not aid that was granted over 5 years ago.

    Have you already applied for aid for the current year, or are you asking them to reinstate whatever aid you were given way back when?
  • agarrardagarrard Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    I was instructed by the Financial Aid Office to fill out the FAFSA again before I submitted my appeal letter so I filled out the FAFSA for the current year today.
  • scottaascottaa Posts: 1,037Registered User Senior Member
    I'd recommend waiting to see what kind of FA offer they come back with before formulating any kind of appeal.
  • msmayormsmayor Posts: 317Registered User Member
    I'm with scottaa. I'd be willing to bet that the ship has sailed on any and all prior financial aid packages simply because of the big gap of time between when you left school and now. You most likely need to start 'fresh' with a newly calculated aid package.

    If, when you hear back about your package you feel it needs to be appealed, then you can explain your CURRENT circumstances and why you feel you should get more.
  • somemomsomemom Posts: 9,123Registered User Senior Member
    I am guessing that based on unsuccessful prior work the aid may be unavailable and that is why she is asking for an appeal. Normally a student receiving aid must make progress in the number of units earned and a minimum GPA

    Can you search this board and Google for reinstatement of aid after disqualification?
  • sk8rmomsk8rmom Posts: 5,746Registered User Senior Member
    Unfortunately, in February 2003 my grandmother’s health got bad. The doctor didn’t know what was wrong. She was missing work due to her health and taking on new expenses so I made a choice to seek a full-time job so I could help (see enclosure 2). I later quit attending classes because I couldn’t keep up. After six grueling months we finally found out what was ailing her. In August 2003 she was being evaluated for reflux when they found that she had atrial fibrillation. A chest x-ray was obtained and that’s when they found a mass in her left lung and she was diagnosed with unresectable lung cancer (see enclosure 3).

    Imho, too much detailed medical info is given here - and it is not relevant. If you have to appeal and mention your grandmother, simply state that you had to return to work to help support your grandmother, who was living with you, during a terminal illness. That will suffice or they will ask for additional documentation if they need it.

    Other than that, you must also be meeting the school's standard for satisfactory academic progress and be enrolled at least half-time, I think 6 credit hours is standard, to receive federal aid. Or are you appealing for institutional aid? Anyway, you can always try but maybe you should be prepared to pay for a few classes you'll have to retake by yourself in order to meet the SAP standard and requalify for aid.

    Sounds like you're going to be working full time but with some leave for daytime classes, attending school half time, and raising a 5 year old. It will be hectic, though plenty of folks have done it and I'm sure you can too. Good luck!
  • agarrardagarrard Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    I am guessing that based on unsuccessful prior work the aid may be unavailable and that is why she is asking for an appeal. Normally a student receiving aid must make progress in the number of units earned and a minimum GPA

    You are correct, that is why I'm appealing. I have to prove extenuating circumstances and provide documentation for why I did so poorly that semester in 2003.
  • agarrardagarrard Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    Reinstatement of Students disqualified from financial aid eligibility may regain eligibility by:

    Continuing their enrollment without financial aid, meeting the institutional academic standards, and the financial aid progress standards. After meeting the above requirements, financial aid eligibility will be reinstated the following enrollment period.

    or...

    Completing a successful appeal to the Financial Aid Appeals committee if exceptional circumstances lead to the lack of satisfactory completion of academic progress standards.
  • dntw8updntw8up Posts: 1,594Registered User Senior Member
    This letter would not convince me to grant your appeal. I understand the family health problems contributing to your lack of academic success, but since you are presently undergoing a divorce and have a small child, I would imagine you will be at least as burdened and distracted by these factors as you were by family health problems a few years ago. Your letter doesn't convince me that you are presently in a position to be academically successful, so I would deny your appeal. Fortunately you don't have to convince me, so I wish you luck!
  • agarrardagarrard Posts: 5Registered User New Member
    dntw8up, would you suggest that I should omit that I'm going through a divorce and raising a small child to increase my chances of getting an approval?
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