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Writing a Successful Financial Aid Appeal Letter

financial aidFinancial aid is one of the most beneficial processes in place in today’s society. Whether you’ve fallen on hard times or are temporarily struggling to get back on your feet, financial assistance is a great way to help support yourself while you handle the ins and outs of your personal situation.

One of the best methods to secure financial aid is to write a financial aid appeal letter. A financial aid appeal letter can notify the aid representative of your situation and result in better, more beneficial decisions. Not sure where to start? Here’s everything you need to know.

How to Write a Successful Financial Aid Appeal Letter

Why Would I Write a Financial Aid Letter?

There are many reasons as to why you would write a financial aid appeal letter. The most common reason is a dramatic, and probably entirely unexpected, situation that has left you financially unstable.

This could be a recent divorce, job loss, or maybe you’ve become a victim of an unforeseen health complication. Another common reason to write a financial aid appeal letter is for student loan assistance. In other cases, your financial aid may be rescinded if you no longer qualify. At this point, writing a financial aid appeal letter makes sense.

Writing Your Appeal Letter

Once you’ve decided to write an aid appeal letter, the process of actually writing it can become quite daunting. However, this needn’t be the case. First, start with the basics of your letter.

This means you’ll need to include the direct address of the person you’re trying to contact, as well as any forms or documents that  are necessary to attach alongside it. You’ll also want to include your contact information so the appeal body can contact you directly.

If you need any advice or assistance on how to write and structure a professional letter, or just need help with your general writing skills, you can use writing guides such as the ones found on State of Writing or Viawriting.

Asking for Your Appeal

Once you’ve created the basics of your appeal letter, you can start focusing on the nature of the appeal itself. In this instance, you just need to be honest. Ensure that you put the reason why you’re requesting an appeal on your financial aid, not just that you need more.

You’ll also need to make sure that you’re clear where your financial aid is coming from, whether it’s from a school or the Federal government. Write your letter in a polite and courteous tone of voice while being both formal and informal.

At the end of the letter, which should only be a one-sided page, be sure to thank the reader for their time and make it clear that you hope to hear from them soon. Don’t forget any documentation that you may need accompanying your letter.

Including the Facts

Including a breakdown of your finances as they currently stand is another important piece of information that will help your aid appeal be accepted quickly. You can easily add a ‘Finances’ section and note your income and a breakdown of your bills and outings. To get started, try this budgeting worksheet.

Don’t be shy about handing over these details. An honest breakdown will help the reader to understand that you simply aren’t bringing in enough money, making it easy to understand that financial aid is essential. When citing your individual finances, you can do so professionally and clearly using tools like Cite It In.

Closing Your Letter

When you’re happy with the first draft of your letter, be sure to read it through several times. Take a break to make sure that you’ve included everything you want to say so that the letter makes sense to the reader. This is known as the editing process. You can do it yourself or get a second pair of eyes to read the letter.

After editing your letter, read through it again. Look out for any mistakes in your writing, such as spelling mistakes or typos that might harm the credibility or readability of your letter. You can do this easily by using proofreading tools like Grammarix.


While you might feel apprehensive about writing a financial aid letter, perhaps out of fear of rejection, this doesn’t have to be the case. Writing a comprehensive and detailed letter is more than enough to help out your situation and get out of debt if you make sure you’re doing it right.

Author BioGloria Kopp is an expert financial contributor at Microsoft, Huffingtonpost, and an author of Studydemic educational blog.

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


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