Appealing Oberlin College

I just sent in an appeal to Oberlin College in the hopes of receiving additonal merit scholarship. For anyone who is familiar with Oberlin, do you know if their committee is stingent on their money or do you believe they are generous? I’ve been reading many forums lately and there’s two (well three) outcomes that comes from appeals 1) rejection of more money 2) 1k-5k more 3)10k<

Currently with my situation, I would need the 3rd option to really be able to go to Oberlin. The issue isn’t my financial ‘status’ so to speak. My parents have a solid job and for the most part look really good on paper, but really cant pay the full EFC without some sort of loan. I’m pretty much appealing for what I’m gonna have to take out in loans. They’ve committed to about 10k and the rest is on me. Part of me is hoping they [Oberlin] receives multiple students intending to go elsewhere so that money can be allocated to remaining potential students but I don’t wanna hold out on high hopes.

Anyone who’s ever gone through the process (with Oberlin or any other institution) have any insight? Thanks.

If anyone has received an increase in their aid this year from Oberlin, can you please post? Thanks.

I appealed to Oberlin and in their words they said, “We do appreciate how difficult it can be to finance an Oberlin education. Unfortunately, like many families, Oberlin College has a limited budget. Requests for financial aid always exceed available funding. Decisions on a student’s aid eligibility must, therefore, be made not only with fairness and equity considerations, but also with budgetary considerations.” I hope this helps in any way. Sorry if i wasn’t clear, they didn’t offer me more

@edcr2001 Anecdotal information that I have heard from other parents is that 1 or 2 is most likely and I have never heard of awards increasing on the order of 10K. I do know of a couple of ED applicants in recent years who received merit or merit+need based aid in the ED round but don’t know if they tried to negotiate further or what the outcomes were.

We just heard back from our appeal. They increased my son’s merit award in amount equal to about 20 percent of the original merit award. The gap in our net cost between Oberlin and Denison is still significant (to us, at least), so we will need to discuss as a family.

We heard back today too and had similar results.

@ruby2sday How long did it take Oberlin to get back to you after you sent in a request?

It took me a week. I sent the email on a monday and the next tuesday they emailed me back

What’s the process for appealing - email the financial aid office? Should admission be cc’d?

Yes, email either the financial aid office or the office of admissions with your subject NOT including “Appealing”. For me, I said, Reconsideration of Financial Aid Offer. Ask beforehand what they want, but at least for Oberlin, if it is financial reason, put in what way and if they ask for it, proof such as medical documents or release of employment papers. If it’s merit, I put a personal statement, my resume, and the other school in which i was comparing the financial aid. It’s probably better to use a school that’s on the same “tier” so to speak as the one you are appealing to (i.e don’t send financial aid from Florida State to Harvard, that’s just dumb).

The only caveat I’d add is that in most cases “merit” aid is not automatically renewed, unlike need-based aid. So you do need to carefully evaluate what you will do next year if the merit aid is not renewed or is reduced back to its original amount.

All the merit awards I’ve seen at Oberlin specify that they are for four full years. So that yes, they are automatically renewed as long as the student remains in good standing. Of course you’ll want to look at your own letter to confirm that.