How to Get the Best Financial Aid Package

It’s that time of year. Seniors are about to commit to college, and financial aid award letters have arrived. So… what do you do if you have not received the financial aid offer for which you were hoping?


As we posted previously in “5 Things You Must Know Before Appealing” some families turn to the appeals process. This is a negotiation process with the school for a better deal. Colleges can give you a better award for the right reasons. Do those reasons include an edit from an “A-” to an “A” on your transcript? No, they don’t. But if your family has extenuating circumstances then the school should know. As CBS News reported earlier today, there are reasons to appeal. If you have a significant change in the income of your household, if you have excessive debt or medical bills, if you are caring for a loved one who is not classified as your dependent… you can appeal. You can show the school that you have a legitimate reason to need more aid. If you want to pit schools against each other, you can try that too. You just need to know that you should keep a level head and have a specific aid number in mind to ask the school.


If appealing isn’t an option for you, then what? Well, we recommend having a serious chat as a family. Perhaps it is worth it for you to spend a little bit extra for the first year of school. Remember, if there were errors you made in planning and applying for aid this year you can fix those for next year. You will be applying for aid every year, and your award can change if you have a plan in place to make the system work in your favor. If you can’t afford the cost for even one year then perhaps a different school is an option. Did someone else give you a better offer? Would the student be able to get a solid education there? Bottom line, discussions must be held now.


If you’re overwhelmed with this process then call us (661) 295-9946. We are happy to offer insight!

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