If you are the parent of a senior in high school, you’ve recently received your award letter from the prospective schools your students have applied to. The bad news, many families will be very unhappy once they read the contents of these letters. We hope that’s not your family, but if it is — there is some good news.
A financial aid award can be appealed or improved. They are not written in stone! In reality, it’s an offer that can be accepted, rejected or appealed (which in reality means negotiated). Most families realize that schools are places of higher education but also “business’s”. Many private schools are not reaching their academic admissions goals. It’s similar to the lottery if you don’t play, you can never win. If you don’t appeal, you will never receive more money.
The key to a successful appeal is knowing your numbers as well as the schools criteria. Is their initial offer fair? Is it within 2-3% of the school’s historical record of meeting need? Did you review your assets/income in your initial FAFSA application? Are there any special circumstances that the school is not aware of (401k rollover or extra ordinary bonus)? What other extenuating circumstances (separation, divorce, lay off, etc.). Did your second or third choice school have a ‘better’ offer? Have you heard the term leverage?
Our expertise as college planners has allowed to be successful in more than 80% of the cases we appealed. Please share this blog post with parents that are in this situation. It may save them from telling their child, we’re sorry but we can’t afford to send you to the school of your choice.
If you are the parent of a college bound student in middle or high school, I suggest you read through these tips. You will face this same situation if you don’t proactively plan your students future college education. Educate yourself on your family’s academic and financial options. The biggest a family can make is to ignore this financial nightmare until your child reaches their senior year.
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