A parent who is or soon will be helping a child pay college-related costs, but the coronavirus has led to that parent losing substantial work earnings or suffering big investment losses in the market crash. An undergraduate who’s experienced similar losses. If either of these describe you, you should submit an appeal for more financial aid.
Every student’s eligibility for the federal grants, the lowest-cost federal student loans, and Federal Work-Study jobs — plus many state and institutional grants, scholarships, loans, and work-study positions — is determined by financial need.
What’s financial need? It’s your postsecondary school’s cost of attendance minus your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). EFC is based on the income and asset data reported on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For academic terms beginning before July 1, this was the 2019-20 FAFSA. It was the 2020-21 FAFSA for terms beginning July 1 or after.
If coronavirus-related earnings and/or investment losses have significantly impaired your ability to pay college-related costs, you may submit an appeal asking the financial aid office to recalculate your EFC and, if drops, additional aid need-based aid could become available.
Aid offices must have various documents to prove that financial circumstances have changed since you filed your FAFSA, so look on your aid office’s website or call it to get instructions on how to submit an appeal.
Warning! It typically takes aid offices a few weeks to take up and review appeals, so you should submit yours as soon as possible, especially if additional aid is needed to stay enrolled during the current term.
Unfortunately, not every successful appeal results in lots more grant or scholarship money. Many aid offices have already committed all these funds to other students at this point. But don’t let that stop you! Appealing may at least lead to emergency aid or a low-cost loan.
Get the financial aid needed to keep getting a postsecondary education. Don’t let coronavirus disrupt this basic 21st century necessity!
Struggling to put together an appeal like this? Contact College Affordability Solutions at (512) 366-5354 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a free consultation.