Negotiation is an art.
Lawyers negotiate contracts, deals, and settlements on behalf of their clients, real estate agents negotiate housing prices for hopeful homeowners, business professionals negotiate the price of products and services to keep their doors open. Negotiation is a major player in nearly every aspect of modern society, so why do people think that college funding is exempt from this?
We’ll let you in on a little secret. It isn’t.
The price of college isn’t set in stone and neither is the financial aid that you received in the mail. If you feel that something needs to be altered, you and your student can start the financial aid appeals process. This can be overwhelming, so our advice is to break the process into small, manageable, and actionable steps to get them through it in one piece.
Let’s get started.
Before you can help your college-bound child with an appeal letter, you first have to be on the same page as to why you want to appeal in the first place. Below are a few questions to ask:
There are many reasons for writing appeals but the main one is that the aid package was smaller than expected, throwing a wrench into your financial plan for college. If after you examine the offers and think they have a case for an appeal start to formulate a game plan.
Know Your Options
When might an appeal letter be appropriate? If you have:
As you can see, several scenarios warrant writing and sending in a financial aid appeal letter. This is an important step in the college planning process and one that can be extremely beneficial to both you and your child in the long run.
Set Up a Timeline
Once you know that you want to start the appeals process, you will need to create a timeline for writing and sending in the letter. There are a few key points to keep in mind.
Timelines for hearing back vary based on each institution, but most appeals will be responded to within 4-6 weeks.
A Blueprint For Writing the Letter
Once you devise a strategy, you will need to make your case in the appeals letter. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:
Financial aid is a crucial component of your college plan. To maximize it, you might need to navigate the financial aid appeals process as smoothly as you can. By being proactive about your aid package, you can help save your child thousands of dollars, and may even allow them to take on one less loan.
Proactive college planning is all about leveraging available resources to improve your financial outlook. At Impact Advisors Group, we know that college planning can be complex. But our system is designed to help you walk through it one step at a time. We can help.
My College Money Report™ gives you answers to three critical things every family needs to know before entering the college funding maze. Request our fully customized report and demystify your student’s college financial aid outlook.