haha, i didn't post here cause the message was wayyy long, just ask nhyn. to summarize, though: yes, you can really appeal. most selective schools won't change their mind, but it's worth a shot if you have something to tell the school that you didn't already show in your application. schools just don't like to advertise this because they don't want to get 5000 desperate letters begging for acceptance.
yes, i did originally request financial aid, but i knew i wouldn't get it. and i didn't, hehe, but it's not really stopping me.
i know for a fact that i was rejected because of the other students from my school who applied ED I. they filled up my potential space as an ED II applicant. plus, they were more open to accepting me after my letter because i gave them substantial reasoning for a few poorer grades i had gotten in my junior year.
i would completely recommend trying to appeal to any school (if they accept them) as long as you're not going to repeat what you said in your application. if you did something spectacular, won an award, your grades shot up, or you can explain some failure to reach your potential, then give it a shot! usually selective schools like hamilton will not change their mind, but if you present a reasonable case and they have space on a waiting list or a program like jan-admit (which is much better than WL!) they will want to accomodate you.
lastly, i tried so hard to get into hamilton because i love it. that's it, hehe. it's perfect.
there you go, laksidesvibe :-D