Request For Financial Aid Essay

Readers can sense when you have a genuine emotional investment in your scholarship essay.

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They don’t have time to read tangents about your pet hamster Phil (unless Phil helps illustrate your main point! You can look at your thesis as your one-sentence answer to the essay question.

Be realistic about what you—and the college —can contribute, advises Gail Holt, dean of financial aid at Amherst College.

“Show the college that this is a partnership that you want to be part of, but need just a bit more assistance.” 2. Check the college’s website to see its financial aid policies so you’ll know what to—and not to—ask for.

“If Dad has a compulsive gambling problem or if Mom blew a wad on rehab, be sure to say so.” 4. Send in your appeal before you mail your commitment deposit to a school (the national deposit deadline is May 1), advises Erin Dymowski, a mother of five who blogs at Sisterhoodofthe Sensible

Private colleges, especially, “want you to choose them [and] they get a little ansty” if you haven’t sent in the deposit by early April, she adds. Address your letter to the financial aid director at the student’s first-choice college and ask for a “professional judgment” review (that’s the term in the federal law for such appeals), advises Deborah Fox, a private college counselor in San Diego.


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