How to negotiate for more financial aid

Posted on March 26th, 2013

So you’ve been accepted to your dream school. The only problem is, there’s no way you’ll be able to afford to attend based on the financial aid package you have received. Is all hope lost?

Not necessarily.

Can you negotiate for a better deal?

While some schools refuse to negotiate financial aid packages with students, others are a bit more lenient in letting students present their cases for more aid.

Sometimes, writing a letter explaining why a school is your top choice or calling the financial aid office and explaining your concerns clearly and politely can be effective.

In the video below, CNN Money offers some tips on negotiating for more aid.

Ask for a financial aid reassessment

Some students attempt to leverage higher financial aid offers from colleges by sharing the aid packages they have received from other schools and asking their top choice to match it.

If you received a better aid package from a school the college competes with for students, or a high-ranked school, some officers are willing to raise their initial offers. Others may change loans to grants or work-study jobs, which help you save on student loans.

If your family experiences unexpected financial difficulty after applying for aid, most financial aid officers are willing to reconsider your aid package once you call them and explain the situation.

It can be worth asking for more financial aid

Most of the time, it doesn’t hurt to ask for a school to consider you for more financial aid.

You’ll find that asking politely and calmly explaining why you need more aid to attend, ¬†whether by phone or in a letter, can go a long way in securing financial aid and reducing your expected family contribution.

If your top school has offered you a less-than-stellar financial aid award, don’t lose hope.¬†There are several negotiation strategies and steps you can take to increase your chances of receiving a better offer and saving yourself thousands of dollars.

You don’t want to leave money on the table–and if you don’t ask, you’ll never know.

Help with financial aid appeals

If you don’t want to go at it alone, we can help. Send us a message or call us at for a free consultation.

Category: Financial Aid

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