Help me write an appeal letter. Please. My education depends on it.

<p>So I'm a freshman at Bard College. When admitted, I got a package that included a 24K scholarship, a Stafford Loan, and some work study. They met my EFC, but I'm paying on my own and they promised me I could get more aid if I received good grades.</p>

<p>Fastfoward to this year. First semester I received a 3.65, and this semester I will have about the same. I took 20 credits this semester, and did research for the Chemistry department for my work study both semesters. They give work study out like candy so it is nearly impossible to get the hours you need, and it is even harder to try to get a second job off campus because of the times classes are at. I spoke to financial aid and they told me I could not receive more scholarship unless I received the Distinguished Scientist Scholarship, because 24K is the max for the need/merit based generic scholarship. Weeks later, I found that my EFC dropped just over 8K, and they told me to wait till I got my package and then write an appeal. The DSS board told me that if I get atleast a 3.65 for this semester, I will get the reccomendation to financial aid for the scholarship.</p>

<p>My package is exactly the same as last year, except with 1K more in Stafford Loan, which means nothing because I'm already taking 20K out in loans. I applied to some schools for transfer admission, and haven't heard back from any of them. The problem is, I live in MA and the UMass schools will only cost roughly $5K less, and they are too far from me for me to commute. This leaves me with the state colleges, which sadly are terrible academicly. I've seen some of their assignments, and it actually disgusts me that classes can be that easy. I want to go to graduate school, and I want to be able to excell in my field. As much as I'd like to believe my success will be independant of the school I attend, I know that a lackluster education will not prepare me well enough to do well at top graduate schools.</p>

<p>I'm in a really tough situation. MA CCs are really poor, and I have alot of friends there who tell me it is a waste of time. Most of their students transfer to the state colleges, and my friends there tell me the classes are easier than their HS classes. I really can't see CC as an option, because I need to prepare myself for graduate school.</p>

<p>I need to write an appeal letter and I don't know what to write. I want to explain to them that if I don't receive more aid, I will be forced to transfer to a state college where I can commute. I don't expect them to meet the missing 8K, but it is obsurd for me to take loans summing to 100K to get an undergraduate degree. </p>

<p>Does anyone have any experience with writing appeal letters? This is probably the most important letter I will ever write and it needs to be perfect. I'm terrified and my finals are approaching, so I don't have the time to sit around worrying about what is going to happen. I need a rock solid letter that will convince them to give me more money.</p>

<p>Please help me, I have no more options.</p>

<p>Maybe you can go speak to the financial aid people first, ask their advice for the kind of letter to write, and then write it. They are usually nice people who will try to help you. You are already a student there, so they want to keep you. Try going in person first. I am sure you can be very compelling in person. Then you can write the letter based on the advice you get.</p>

<p>hich means nothing because I'm already taking 20K out in loans</p>

<p>Why in Toby's name do you already have $20,000 in loans as a freshman?</p>

<p>YOu shouldn't have more than $20,000 in loans at graduation. It looks like your parents aren't paying anything and that is disappointing I'm sure, but there are other options than that amount of loans.</p>

<p>id research for the Chemistry department for my work study both semesters. They give work study out like candy so it is nearly impossible to get the hours you need, and it is even harder to try to get a second job off campus because of the times classes are at.</p>

<p>Id agree that it is hard to have a job off campus. My daughter had a workstudy job off campus freshman year & she had to commute by bus which took almost as long as she was at her job . However, there are many jobs besides doing research for the Chem dept. How about working in the stockroom, cafeteria, grounds or bookstore?
Where else have you tried to get work?
You should have enough workstudy earnings to cover your books and personal expenses during the school year. You also should be able to earn $3,000 or so during the summer to be applied directly to school expenses, unless you aren't living at home and/or your parents are charging you rent.
But still- that will require you to take out over $10,000 in loans everyyear and that is way too much.</p>

<p>UMass</a> Amherst: Financial Aid Services - University Costs</p>

<p>It says that UMass is a little over $18,000 instate for next year...You could probably earn five thousand from summer work and part time campus job. Will your parents pay anything? $20,000 in loans is way too much for undergrad.</p>

<p>UMass is $18,000, and Bard is (now after increases in tuition) $25,000. My parents had originally agreed to pay $5000 a year if I didn't go to a state school, so then the costs are roughly the same. I have saved up $7,400 on my own, and was offered a job doing research this summer which will provide me with free housing and $3,200 for eight weeks of work.</p>

<p>I've tried to get other jobs, but once you have one job, it's nearly impossible to get another. And, NY minimum wage is $7.15, so I don't make much at the job I have.</p>

<p>Bards website says tuition and fees are $35,784 for 2007-2008
Admission</a> | Tuition and Payment</p>

<p>mlevine, this is way too much in loans! Not that it helps you, but I started a thread 3 weeks ago asking why this allowed:</p>

<p><a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I cannot for the life of me understand why 18 y/o students are allowed to get into this much debt. In mlevine's case, I am not commenting on Bard giving the adequate FA or not, just on the amount of debt the OP would have if he continued on this road.</p>

<p>I guess just write to the FA office what you said in the OP; it sounds like you're doing everything you can to make it work but without parents paying I don't think you have a choice but to go to a much less expensive college (you said one of the UMasses you can commute to?) A lot of very bright students have to take this path.</p>

<p>Holy cow, folks, where do you live that college students can make that much in a summer???? Certainly not where I live!!! Heck, I barely make $10,000 in a full school year as a substitute teacher. McDonald's pays minimum wage & won't give more than 25-30 hours. Balancing two minimum wage jobs might give a kid some decent money ... but that's assuming one can even get two jobs around here. Wow. The more I find out, the more I realize that I live in the wrong place.</p>

<p>First of all, write a letter to financial aid at Bard explaining the situation. Meet with the FA head personally and plead your case.</p>

<p>Can you work crazy hours this summer? My sons made a lot of money over the summer when they double shifted doing waiter, busboy work paired with life guarding and private swim lessons. They worked over 90 hours a week for most of the summer. I have done the same at various periods of my life. My husband does this too often. </p>

<p>If none of this works out, ask Bard if they can give you a year's sabbatical but still continue their scholarship. You can then work for all or part of the next academic year, take a few local state school courses that can fit in with requirement and maybe help you pare a term off of your ug education. My son's close friend who goes to NYU (actually more than one friend at NYU) does this, as his parents hit a financial crunch after his first year there. He is paying his way, but it will take him 6 years, on and off. Big loans too. With a sweatshop summer and then a not quite so loaded work year, you can salt away some money for more options.</p>

<p>I am always sorry to hear kids in this predicament. $20K, $30K awards sound very generous until you apply them to a $50K+ school. That still leaves a lot of money to gap.</p>

<p>Kelsmom - yup kids can make that much if they work son made over $6000 gross last summer before his college freshman year (40-50 hours @$10 an hour no tips included in a chain restaurant) and our neighbor's kid goes to a private LAC, he works a third shift factory job so he gets shift premium pay and pulls in about $13000 over summer break. We're in a resort town so summer jobs are easy to come by. The factory job was one that "adults" don't want/like - 3rd shift. If the kids are motivated and used to working adult jobs, they really can earn some money....just like life it's all about their individual priorities. That said $20,000 per year in loans for an 18 year old is wrong on so many levels.</p>

<p>My high school daughter made about $3,000 last summer with two jobs and I guess if you had a work study job at $7.00 an hour 10 hours a week during school year that's $70 a week for about 30 weeks so $2100?</p>

<p>I haven't been a college student in a while, so I don't have personal knowledge of what they can make but $5,000 for a year sounded reasonable.</p>

<p>learn to swim- lifeguards make a hella lot of money.
( Here I think the city pays $20 an hour)
and you might make more as a lifeguard</p>

Certificated (Teacher) Substitute positions are available all year round. The rate of pay is as outlined below:</p>

<p>Rate of pay is $17.12/hour for .5 - 29.5 consecutive days of work</p>

<p>Rate of pay is $17.90/hour for 30 - 59.9 consecutive days of work</p>

<p>Rate of pay is $18.69/hour for 60 - 89.9 consecutive days of work</p>

<p>Rate of pay is $19.89/hour for 90 or more consecutive days of work</p>

<p>There are no benefits. These positions are represented by the Seattle Education Association.</p>

<p>A standard "Certificated Employment Application", unofficial transcript of college work and three (3) letters of recommendations are required to apply for a substitute assignment. Include in the upper right corner language(s), other than English, in which you can converse, read or write. (If you have provided these documents to the District when applying for a position at a specific site, those documents will be maintained at that site. You will need to provide a separate set of documentation to be considered for the Certificated Substitute position.)


<p>I talked to my mom about transfering to the state school by my house so I could commute, and she made it very clear she doesn't want me coming home. We talked about it today, actually.</p>

<p>I'll be making $3,200 this summer doing research at Bard. I'm taking night classes at the nearby CC so that I can possibly get enough credit to graduate a semester early, so it is probably not a possibility to work a second job. I've been doing some buying/selling on Ebay, but that can be slow. Next semester I'm going to see if both my research projects can count towards work study rather than class credit. I'm probably going to take 20 credits and my Neuroscience research would make that 22 (hence I would pay more) so I'm going to check into that.</p>

<p>Kitty, the tuition went up 5% for next semester, and I was also talking about how much it was costing me after my scholarship.</p>

<p>emeraldkity, pay sure does vary by area of the country!! Not to hijack the thread (too much), certified & uncertified alike earn $98/day (a little over $13/hr) in the district I sub in ... which I suspect will fall next year (due to financial concerns in the district) to align with neighboring districts, who pay $65-85/day. No pay raises for more time worked. Summer subs earn even less.</p>