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My father just lost his job in the past couple of weeks (you know budget cuts, downsizing type layoffs, I guess it's pretty common in the current economy) but my tuition bill is due soon (middle of August). My financial aid package was not bad, but my EFC was 34,000. At this point, that number just seems plain ridiculous as my family no longer has an income, my father is already close enough to retirement age that it's difficult for him to find jobs, and I have a younger sister who will be attending college in less than 2 years. I don't know what to do. I want to appeal my aid package, but I don't know how effective it will be and how soon I will be able to receive additional financial aid if any. Should I sit here and wait for my appeal to go through (though I haven't the slightest idea how to even begin my appeal letter), or take out what I owe for the first semester (about 17K) in private student loans? I already have exhausted my government loan options.