When to Appeal for More Financial Aid

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Mark Kantrowitz

By Mark Kantrowitz

May 9, 2020

During our webinar about How to Appeal for More College Financial Aid, participants asked dozens of questions about when and how to appeal for more financial aid for college, as well as questions about specific types of special circumstances. Here are questions about when to appeal for more financial aid.

Can you appeal if you know about a salary change before the child is admitted to college? For instance, we knew when we applied, but she wasn’t accepted until the end of March.

You can appeal for more financial aid at any time. The college financial aid office will not process an appeal until after the student is admitted, but your appeal will be among the first to be considered.

It is better to appeal for more financial aid sooner rather than later. College financial aid offices have contingency funds set aside for new and returning students who are affected by special circumstances. If you wait to appeal for more financial aid, there may be less money available in the contingency funds.

When is it too late to file an appeal after you submit your FAFSA?

You can appeal for more financial aid even in the middle of the academic year. As soon as you know about a special circumstance that affects your ability to pay for college, file an appeal with the financial aid office. For example, if you lose your job mid-year, appeal for more financial aid mid-year.

I went through the appeal process starting right before the pandemic. We got a nice additional amount last week. However, I own a business that is completely closed with no income. Should I appeal again?

You can appeal for more financial aid multiple times, if your financial circumstances have changed multiple times. Appeal whenever there is a significant change in your family’s financial circumstances. For example, if the family appeals after one parent loses their job and then the other parent also loses their job, the family can submit a second appeal.

Use our Financial Aid Calculator to estimate your expected family contribution (EFC) and financial need based on student and parent income and assets, family size, number of children in college, age of the older parent and the student’s dependency status.

Next Steps: Check out our Complete Guide to Financial Aid and the FAFSA.

A good place to start:

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