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Review and advice for my appeal letter (posted here)

zelda002zelda002 Posts: 12Registered User New Member
This is a rough draft of my financial aid appeal letter. How does it sound to you? Is it professional? Would it qualify? Any comments would be much appreciated. Thanks, guys.

---

Dear Academic Progress Appeals Committee,

I am writing to appeal the hold on my 2009-2010 financial aid package. During the fall 2009 school year, my grades fell below not only the committee’s standards but my own.

That semester saw me demonstrating poor time management in a personal financial crisis. Faced with a looming tuition due date, I chose to work to pay off my remaining balance of $1,505. My Federal Direct Subsidized Loan did not cover the entire tuition cost. I worked nightly closing shifts after attending class in the mornings and afternoons (Note: Please see attached letter for recorded work hours).

These late-night and weekend shifts – combined with a maxed-out 18 credits of courses –
made for a disaster I only saw in hindsight. I lost time to study, my grades suffered, and now my chance to pay off this year’s tuition has been compromised.

This fall and spring I am fully prepared to focus on school and leave my financial worries behind. I have taken a few steps to prevent repeating history:

• First and foremost, I will be quitting this job by summer’s end to dedicate my time to school.
• Secondly, I took the spring 2009 semester off to work more hours. In doing so, I built up enough savings to take care of rent, food and other expenses that may pop up this school year.
• Lastly, I was awarded enough of a 2009-2010 financial aid package to cover all tuition costs. This time I will not have to balance school with working off another immediate tuition balance.

I appreciate your committee’s time in reading my appeal and kindly ask reconsidering your decision.

Sincerely,

Bxxx Sxxxxxxxxx
Post edited by zelda002 on
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Replies to: Review and advice for my appeal letter (posted here)

  • thumper1thumper1 Posts: 35,109Registered User Senior Member
    I was awarded enough of a 2009-2010 financial aid package to cover all tuition costs. This time I will not have to balance school with working off another immediate tuition balance.

    I'm confused (a lot of that lately). What exactly are you appealing? Do you want them to give you room/board money? Does your school guarantee to meet full need?

    I'm not sure exactly what you are appealing. They GAVE you a financial aid package. I don't see anything in this letter that would support a review of this. You don't mention any changed financial circumstances or anything of that nature.

    What exactly do you want?
  • zelda002zelda002 Posts: 12Registered User New Member
    Thanks for the response.

    I'm appealing for my package back. It was awarded back in the spring but withheld in the summer after they reviewed my fall semester. I don't need room/board. I've already seen the package and it takes care of fall/spring tuition costs.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,942Registered User Senior Member
    He says he has a hold on his financial aid. I think that is what the appeal is for.

    Although it gets the point across I think the letter is a little wordy.That may be a personal preference but I like more direct and less words, especially in a business/professional letter.
  • springisintheairspringisintheair Posts: 448Registered User Member
    Find out the person in charge of making this decision...often it is NOT just the financial aid office, but someone higher up in admissions, the Dean of Admissions, etc. who recommends or recinds the scholarships. Place a phone call, or ask for an in person INTERVIEW if possible...bring your work documentation, and any other evidence to support your cause. If in person is not feasible, mail the appeal letter, and follow up with a phone call to ascertain the decision maker(s) are in receipt of your letter, and to SPEAK WITH the decision makers to present your case succinctly and directly. Ask them directly for a probation period to bring your grades back up in lieu of completely losing the scholarship right away. Good luck.
  • springisintheairspringisintheair Posts: 448Registered User Member
    Find out the name of the person who is in charge of the academic committee, and appeal to them directly in person, over the phone, or with a personalized letter specifically to Mr. ?Mrs.....?
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,942Registered User Senior Member
    My son had to do an appeal letter when his aid was denied. He had never had financial aid before but was denied because he had dropped all the classes one semester even though he met the cumulative SAP. A letter was required rather than an in person approach. Just be honest about what caused you to have the problems (outside job, too high a credit load) and say what you will do differently this time round (not have a full time outside job etc).

    I believe if this is a first time problem, in general, these appeals are granted. My son's was on a probationary basis for the frst semester. After that it was fully reinstated. Make sure you work hard to meet all requirements if it is reinstated. Good luck.
  • zelda002zelda002 Posts: 12Registered User New Member
    The letter came from the director of the committee so that's probably the guy to address/call?
  • TrinSFTrinSF Posts: 1,482Registered User Senior Member
    The letter looks fine. My experience in having to appeal an aid denial is that if it's your first time, they need the letter for the process, but can be pretty good about granting the aid. Are you asking for fall only, contigent upon your performance? That would help, too.
  • mildredmildred Posts: 686Registered User Member
    OP did you start up for the spring and summer instead of the fall and spring? I am just wondering because the summer is not normally the best time of year to try and obtain financial aid if you received financial aid for the fall and spring. Something else which might pop up would be what you would do when your savings runs out. Basically, I am playing devil's advocate on that and mean you no disrespect personally at all.

    I think that your letter is great, but I would find out exactly who to mail it to through certified mail and be darned sure to do that before your appeal hearing. I would also make sure that your boss does something to verify your work schedule in some way. At the meeting they would probably ask you of your plans with regards to maintaining a fair gpa and I would have a little schedule of study and tutoring lab time in mind for that, because schools love hearing of folks using the tutoring labs and what have you.
  • zelda002zelda002 Posts: 12Registered User New Member
    Thanks everyone for the suggestions.

    @mildred: You made a good point about my savings running out. I added in the letter that my father would help me out; however, I shouldn't be running into anything big since this fin. aid package is big enough to cover both semesters' tuition.

    ---

    I'm so nervous I thought I'd post the revised version I plan on mailing tomorrow, just to make sure I didn't leave anything out...

    Dear Mr. E
    and the Academic Progress Appeals Committee,

    I am writing to appeal the hold recently placed on my financial aid package for the 2009-2010 school year. During the fall 2009 school year, my grades fell below not only the committee’s standards but my own.

    Last fall I demonstrated poor time management in a personal financial crisis. Faced with a looming tuition due date, I chose to work and pay off my remaining balance of $1,505. That balance was not covered by my Federal Direct Subsidized Loan. I worked nightly closing shifts after attending class in the mornings and afternoons (Note: Please see attached letter for recorded work hours).

    These late-night and weekend shifts – combined with a maxed-out 18 credits of courses –
    made for a disaster I only saw in hindsight. I lost time to study, my grades suffered, and compromised my chances of receiving this financial aid for 2009-2010 school year.

    To prepare for these upcoming fall and spring semesters, I have taken the following steps to prevent history from repeating itself:

    • First and foremost, I will be quitting this job by summer’s end to dedicate all of my time to school.
    • Secondly, I will be making appointments with the Writing Center in S
    Hall. Here, I will receive suggestions and advice from English graduate students on how to improve my assignments and essay scores.
    • Thirdly, I sacrificed enrolling in the spring 2009 semester to work more shifts. In doing so, I had a semester’s worth of time to put some money away and not return to work while in school. If a problem should arise with my finances, my father will assist me.
    • Lastly, I was awarded enough of a 2009-2010 financial aid package to cover all tuition costs. This time I won’t be burdened with trying to pay tuition all on my own. The generosity of this 2009-2010 financial aid package is a blessing I did not have in my 2008-2009 package.

    I appreciate your committee’s time in reading my appeal and kindly ask reconsidering your decision.

    Sincerely,


    ----
  • zelda002zelda002 Posts: 12Registered User New Member
    How long does the appeals process usually take? A week or so?
  • TrinSFTrinSF Posts: 1,482Registered User Senior Member
    Depends on the school. When I filed an appeal, there was a group that met weekly to review the appeal applications, so it depended on when your appeal was submitted and when the next meeting was. You can probably ask your financial aid department and they'll tell you how long it takes.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,942Registered User Senior Member
    At my son's school it was a matter of days. It probably varies from school to school though.

    Hopefully it will get approved. Make sure you keep a very close eye on what you are doing from now on - I am sure a 2nd appeal would be much less easily granted than a first one. Since he got his aid approved my son has been very careful to talk to a financial aid officer (someone senior rather than a part time worker/student) about any changes in enrollment etc.to ensure there would be no FA impact. For instance he did end up dropping a class last semester but talked to the FAO before he did so.

    Good luck.
  • zelda002zelda002 Posts: 12Registered User New Member
    Would it do any harm to accept the loans via my Bursars Account now while waiting? I just want to get them rolling in the case I get them back and they're ready for when I go back to school in a few weeks.
  • zelda002zelda002 Posts: 12Registered User New Member
    Sorry to bump the thread, but my Bursar Account shows the loans in there. I just need to hit 'Accept.' Would it do any harm to do that at this stage? I just want to accept them so I can get them quicker.
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