How to Write a Successful Financial Aid Appeal Letter

Financial aid officers can explain why your aid was reduced.

Because of the high cost of higher education, most students seek some form of financial aid through their academic facility. Financial aid offices sometimes reduce your financial aid if they feel you are not performing well enough to keep qualifying, or if you receive alternative funding. You may challenge these reductions if necessary through a financial aid appeal letter.


Step 1

Call the financial aid office at your academic facility. Ask them for the name of the person to whom they should send a financial appeal letter; some offices have a specific person who handles these issues.

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Step 2

Write the name of your academic institution, left justified. Below this, on separate lines, write the title for the financial aid office and the contact information for the facility, including the phone number.


Step 3

Write "DATE:" followed by the date on which you're writing the letter. On a separate line, write "RE: Financial Aid Appeal." Skip two lines between the school's contact information and each of these data lines.

Step 4

Skip two lines and write your formal salutation, followed by a colon. Use the name you acquired in Step 1 to address the letter.


Step 5

Tell the recipient you are writing to appeal your previous financial aid award decision. Provide some basic background regarding yourself and the decision in the first paragraph, such as the date the award decision was rendered and when you planned to attend classes. If you have a student identification or account number with the financial aid office, indicate it.


Step 6

State why you must appeal the financial aid decision in a separate paragraph. Be as specific as possible. For example, say you need more money due to unexpected medical expenses or a divorce, not "extenuating circumstances," which could be anything. If you are appealing because you lack sufficient funds, provide specific dollar figures supporting your assertion that your income has changed. If you are appealing due to poor academic performance, list the reasons why your performance faltered. Then indicate what you have done to remedy each of those issues.



Step 7

Tell the recipient how a lack of change in your financial aid award will impact you in a separate paragraph. For instance, state that without more aid, you won't be able to take all the classes you need for your major, or that you will have to put your education on hold.

Step 8

Close the letter by thanking the recipient for their time and consideration. Invite them to contact you.


Step 9

Skip two lines and write your closing phrase—for example, "Thanking you for your consideration" or "Sincerely"—followed by a comma. Skip another two to four lines and type your full name.


Financial aid officers may have hundreds of letters and other documents to handle. Give them a break by keeping your letter to one page. Don't include any supporting documents unless requested, but do indicate in your letter that such documents are available for verification.

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