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Sap Letter

EchoGriggsEchoGriggs 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
Is my sap letter good?

By the middle of March of Spring semester, I hit a huge slump in academics. My schedule had been spaced out to an everyday schedule and if I wasn’t working at school I was at work and the stress of it all turned me to slowly stop attending classes to the point where I didn’t attend any at all. My grades dropped and by the time I wanted to fix my grades it was too late, and the semester was already over. I met with my adviser all the way back in June to discuss what I should do for change. I’m only just now getting to writing this because I wanted to see if I could approve and not waste time for everyone, also to see if I can be a better student.
And I surprised myself because I can. The first two weeks of the semester have been good, and I have way more support from my family now that they know of the situation. Beyond pissed that they wasted money for a semester but willing to work with me on what I need to improve. I’m taking all the same classes again but, in a way, more organize matter with teachers I can work with more. I plan to keep up to my studies and have set time for when I will get all my schoolwork done. I wake up earlier for class and leave the same time as my parents, so I don’t fall into the idea since no one is home I don’t have to go. This summer was a chance for me to take a break and reflect and realize my wrongs and show that I can improve and to actual execute that improvement. My financial aid is a huge part of this change as well. Being able to afford to go to classes and to prove my worth is important in the long run. And I plan to never have to worry about it after this.
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Replies to: Sap Letter

  • thumper1thumper1 74373 replies3255 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    You need to clean up some of the language in your letter. No one wants to read that your parents are “pissed” and that really has nothing to do with this anyway. So...make this a business type letter, not a note to a friend.

    Here is what the school wants to hear.

    1. What you have already done that shows you have taken action. I don’t see anything except meeting with your advisor in June. What have you already done to remedy this situation?

    2. What will you continue to do to become successful.

    3. What evidence do you have of success. I’m sorry but two weeks into the term is not evidence of success. Having taken a course and getting an A would be.

    You are currently enrolled, and presumably you are paying the bills somehow. I’m guessing this is what the school expects you to do. Get great grades this term...show them that you will attend class and do well.

    Most of what you wrote is speculation...not fact.

    Stick to the facts....and clean up the language.
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  • EchoGriggsEchoGriggs 1 replies1 threadsRegistered User New Member
    Dear Financial Aid Committee,

    My name is ..., and I will be a junior in the fall of 2019. By the middle of March of 2019 Spring semester, I suffer a decline in my academics. My schedule had been spaced out to an everyday schedule with my classes scattered and if I wasn’t working at school I was at work and the stress of it all turned me to slowly stop attending classes to the point where I didn’t attend any at all. My grades dropped and by May when I understood what I had did wrong and had planned to make a difference to my grades, it was too late, and the semester was already over. I met with my adviser in June to discuss what I should do for change. Which was to take the classes over again, we also came up with a plan for the rest of the semester and forward for me to follow. She also had given me suggestions to go to counseling and to tell me my family so the burden wouldn’t be so high.
    The first steps I did to change before my advising happen was I joined a support group that is offered at my church. I have been going since the beginning of May and it has helped me mentally to be able to lean on others and not keep what I have done away and hidden. It also helps that I have support from my family now that they know of the situation.
    For this semester, I’m taking all the same classes again, to fix last semester, but in a organize matter with space in between so that I can focus on school more, I also met with my manager at work at the beginning of August to sit down and rearrange my schedule so I can still work but have more time for school. I plan to keep up in my studies for this semester and have set time for when I will get all my schoolwork done. I wake up early for class, so I leave at the same time as my parents, so I don’t fall into the same pit I did for Spring semester. I also plan to meet with my adviser bi-weekly to monitor my academic process.

    Thank you for your time.

    Is this more succinct?
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  • sybbie719sybbie719 20723 replies1996 threadsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    Paragraphs are your friend
    Please check for grammar and spelling (to be honest, I really wanted to stop reading your letter after the second sentence)
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  • Madison85Madison85 10316 replies408 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    'had did'...

    Is there a writing center on campus that can help you?

    How are you paying tuition with no financial aid?
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  • LindagafLindagaf 9155 replies492 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Go to your campus tutoring center and ask for help with punctuation and grammar.

    Your letter rambles. It should be more succinct:
    I acknowledge and accept responsibility for my poor performance.

    This was due to ____________________, a situation I have addressed by going to church support group, therapy, whatever...

    I am going to improve by taking the following steps: (I have made stuff up here.) I will work fewer hours, visit the tutoring center for math help, go to professor office hours on Fridays, create a schedule with planned study time, and set up or join study groups.
    They need to know that you are aware of the steps you must take to succeed.

    I plan to go to academic advising and work out a path to retake failed classes, etc....

    I apologize for my actions and I would be grateful if you would....etc....

    Obviously you should not write these exact words. They want to know you are serious about succeeding. Give them a reason to believe you. Good luck.
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  • thumper1thumper1 74373 replies3255 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Thank you for cleaning up the language.

    I think your letter would be better if it was shorter, more succinct, had paragraphs, and had correct grammar and spelling.

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  • lostaccountlostaccount 5330 replies90 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited September 13
    Other posters provided suggestions but I have a more fundamental issue with your letter. By posting your letter on this site you convey a willingness to put time and energy into the letter (and presumably into your academics), yet your letter does not make clear what it is that you are requesting. Even if your letter is being submitted with a form that makes the purpose clear, and even if you think it is obvious, you should delineate the purpose of the letter in the letter itself. I will provide some more specific recommendations. Use this as a guide rather than using the text itself.

    Begin the letter with a discussion of what you intend to accomplish by sending the letter. Those reading the letter want to know immediately why they should even spent a second reading your letter. You want the start to be a “heads up” to those reading the letter.

    Begin with a compelling statement of purpose rather than your name. There are many effective ways to begin the letter but starting with your name isn’t one of them. They' ll get your name at the bottom of the letter. So make your first sentence impactful. There are many ways to start. I’d choose something like:
    “Dear Financial Aid Committee, I am writing to request that the Financial Aid Committee reconsider the decision to (whatever it is). I am currently a Junior at x school who was recently (date) denied ….(briefly explain what happened that you are grieving). I am writing to inform the committee why I believe I can successfully complete my college degree and why granting financial aid to me would be a worthwhile use of financial aid. I would greatly appreciate it if you would reconsider the decision made on (date). "

    Next explain how you ended up where you are now. They don’t need all the details you provided. On the other hand, you need to write clearly and fully about what you want to communicate instead of using slang. If it were me (and it isn’t so don’t simply copy this-instead use this as a guide for how you need to change your writing style), I’d write something like:
    “Last semester I did a poor job balancing my academic work with my economic challenges. I was working full time while trying to complete my classes. I became overwhelmed with the pressures. Instead of realizing I needed to make changes in how I was prioritizing my responsibilities, I began to avoid them. Eventually I stopped attending class. “

    Next explain the concrete measures you have taken to become more successful. Also discuss any initial signs of success. If it were me, I’d say something like,

    “I’ve already taken a number of steps to ensure that I will be more successful from this semester onward and that I will complete my undergraduate degree by x(date). My plan includes the following x steps:

    1. The first thing I did was bolster available support by joining a support group. I anticipate the support group will help me…(explain how). I’ve been a member of the support group since May and already see…
    2. I’ve provided my family with more information about my goals as they pertain to college and my career. Because I am a first generation college student, my family lacked understanding of the demands associated with college. After much discussion, they now understand and fully support my efforts.
    3. …”.

    Then close with impact. Tell them how motivated you are and how granting you financial aid will make a genuine difference in your success. You may also state that you intend to complete your degree regardless of whether or not they grant your request but that financial aid would help immensely (by making it possible to...).

    And now for the most painful part of all, re-read your letter. Read it aloud. Yes, aloud. Listen to the words as they come out of your mouth. Do they sound correct. Would you be impressed by the letter. Are all your sentences full and clear? Did you leave out words or repeat yourself? Correct any problems you detect. Don't rely on computer generated grammar checks. Now read it (what is the "it" here? "It" is a substitute for the words "the letter"-don't rely on "it" or "that") again. Is the letter perfect? No? Make changes and read the letter again. This part is the part that is often skipped. Don’t skip editing. Even on this informal forum, I will read what I wrote at least 3 times to ensure that I correct typos. Even then, this post will contain typos. But there will be fewer of them than there would have been if I had not re-read the letter multiple times. And, anyway, I’m not asking anyone for money. You are.
    edited September 13
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