Questions about writing an appeal letter for more money

We are going to write an appeal letter for my daughters top choice school. While she did get money, we need help filling the gap. Few questions:

Her school did not ask for a resume or activities/community service list. Should she include that in her appeal showing all the things she’s done recently? She did just complete a big service project.

Also, she’s waiting to hear from a few schools regarding their merit. none of which are her top choice schools but are known for giving good money. Should she wait to send the appeal letter until she has those so she can use them as a way to ask for more money?

And lastly- if this school is truly her top choice, should she state that as well as state that if they give her more money she will commit? And any suggestions on how to word that?

Will this be an appeal for more merit aid or more need-based aid? It sounds like merit aid, but being sure is critical to the kind of advice that will be offered.

DId your D apply ED to this school?

I would not add a resume. Some schools will only increase the FA offer (whether need or merit based) in cases where the family’s financial circumstances have changed. Is that the case? Is the FA offer close to the net price calculator that I presume you ran prior to applying?

If the other schools are peer schools, their FA offers may be taken into account and give you some support for asking for more money. Some schools may also offer more merit as we get closer to the enrollment deadlines, especially for the students they most want.

Yes, if she will attend if the FA is increased say just that…if you can get the offer to $X, I will attend.

Good luck.

1 Like

Either aid to be honest! She did get Merit aid from the school but not the highest they offer. Need based as well due to covid.

She did not apply ED anywhere, all EA.

The net price calculator said nothing regarding merit in her circumstances of a test optional application so we really had no idea which merit offer she’d get. In fact the letter she got even stated it “could” be more and she’ll find out in March.

Thank you! I just wasn’t sure how she should word the last part!

Oh and regarding the resume part. Should she include the service project she recently completed in the letter?

So with the resume for increasing merit aid…that request will have to go to the AO, not the FA dept (at least that’s how it would work at most schools).

Sending the resume and/or mentioning the new service project may or may not move the needle…I would have your D contact her AO and discuss how best to handle this. I would not couch it in ‘appeal’ terms, just that I need more money to attend and how should I pursue this at your school.

The ask for more need-based aid due to pandemic impact goes thru the FA dept, they probably have a form on the FA page to fill out to begin the process.


Yea I was trying to figure out how to show she hasn’t been slacking senior year…aka show the service project, updated grades etc… Plus also include how covid has affected my job which isn’t a clear photo of what the EFC (which wasn’t that high to begin with) shows.

1 Like

Oh how about should she mention she has a sister in college and how hard it is to pay for two?

No, that is reflected in your FAFSA and they already took that into account.


The know that, I will have 3 starting next year and we only received FA information for 1 college so far, just the federal loans.:sob:

So now I’m confused on who to send the letter to. She did get merit from the school yet it said she could get more in the official letter that comes in March. She didn’t get any federal grants or anything. So does the letter go to financial aid or Office of admissions?

Thinking back my older child did write a letter to her financial aid office and sent the offer she got from another school. her school gave her more money.

UGH yea I hate when they do that acting like its free money!

1 Like

Merit is usually awarded to incoming freshman by admissions, not financial aid…but you need to find out how this particular school handles it.

She will be eligible for the $5500 in federal loans.

Regarding need-based aid, and just to be sure… has a FAFSA been submitted to the school, and Profile or any other need-based type documentation (if required)?

I agree with what’s been written above: for more merit aid, talk to the admissions office (or just be patient until March). For need-based aid, make sure all the required documents have already been provided, and then talk to the financial aid office about requesting some (or more) need-based aid through a professional judgment determination.

1 Like

Yes FAFSA submitted.

I wasn’t sure whether to wait till march (plus we’d have the other schools financial documents too by then) or send it as soon as possible.

In my experience, the best way to motivate schools to improve a financial offer is to present them with a superior competing offer from what they consider to be a peer school. Would definitely wait until you have other, hopefully superior offers in hand. The other offers make it much easier for a fin aid or AO to go to their Dean or committee and justify a higher offer.

OK great advice…thank you! by “peer” school do you mean by one in which the tuition start price is the same?

I would think acceptance rate would be applicable too.