Updated March 2021
Q.Our family’s financial situation has changed since we completed the financial aid applications. Can we appeal our financial aid award?
A.The Covid 19 pandemic has brought this question to the fore. If affordability is a concern, especially at the student’s top choice college, please contact the financial aid office to discuss your situation. Common scenarios that may warrant an appeal include:
- Reduction in parent income or job loss since 2019 (the tax year used to complete the 2021-2022 financial aid applications)
- Large medical expenses
- Providing financial support for an elderly family
Appeals are not limited to these scenarios. If you feel your financial situation isn’t accurately reflected within the financial aid application(s) because of Covid or any reason, it’s a good idea to contact the financial aid office.
Try connecting with the student’s assigned financial aid counselor. They will provide guidance and discuss next steps including the required documentation to advance the appeal. Most colleges are holding virtual open houses and other types of appointments. I highly recommend taking advantage of those opportunities.
While many college campuses are not open for visitors, staff are working remotely, and remain committed to supporting admitted students as they navigate this process. Keep in mind that the role of the financial aid office isn’t only to process applications and prepare financial aid awards, but to work with you to determine how to make college an affordable reality. Visit the colleges website for up-to-date information including contact details.
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Ann Garcia (aka The College Financial Lady) is a Certified Financial Planner®, author of How to Pay for College (due in bookstores this summer), owner of Independent Progressive Advisors, and the proud mom of two college kids—split between private and public schools....
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