It’s hard to bring someone down after they open the admissions letter from one of their top schools and find out they’ve been accepted. Although, it can happen faster than you would think if you look at the financial aid package you’ve been offered and it’s not as much as you need. No matter what college you plan to attend, if you don’t have the funds to pay your tuition, your acceptance won’t mean anything. That is unless you can negotiate for more financial assistance than the school initially offered. This isn’t always an option, but it’s definitely worth looking into if you need more assistance. Here are 5 ways to boost your college financial aid.
- See if There is an Appeal Process
With a lot of schools there is an appeal process that you can go through if you feel you are in need of more assistance than a school is willing to offer. Not all schools will give you this option, but a lot of them will. If there is such a process, you want to be sure that you follow it to a tee.
- Schedule a Phone Appointment
In most cases, you will need to contact the school and see if you can get a phone appointment to discuss your reasons for needing more financial aid. If you do contact the school, be sure to keep a respectful tone that doesn’t convey any sense of entitlement or expectations. It’s important to remember that there are a lot of students in need, and they need to hear everyone out before they can decide how to spread their funds in a way that makes sense.
- Follow Up with an Email
Once you have had a phone conversation to discuss your appeal, you want to make sure that you follow up with an email and bullet point all of your major reasons for the appeal. You want to briefly include your family’s financial situation as well as any other reasons you may feel you deserve a better financial aid package. This is the best way to make sure that your story is remembered and that the school has a way of referencing all of your pertinent details.
- Discuss Other Offers
If you have had some better offers from other schools, then you definitely want to include this information in your conversation, as well as your follow up email. Sometimes you have to let a school know that they will need to compete for you. If your grades and your test scores are high enough, they will definitely feel compelled to put up a fight. You want to do this in a very respectful manner, though, and you will need to provide copies of these offers as written proof.
- Choose Your Appeals Wisely
Not only do you need to remember that not all schools will give you the opportunity to appeal, but some schools will have more ability to negotiate. In general, private colleges and flagships have more control over the way they can distribute their funds. If you are reaching out to UIC Online, you want to assess how much wiggle room you might have for negotiation as compared with other schools.