There are many different reasons you might need to explore examples of financial aid appeal letters asking for more money when you look at going to college or even trade school.  If you haven’t been awarded an amount you need, you have some options to try.  Trying them will not cost you any money and could actually end up getting you a much bigger award.   Here are some free sample letters you can use and tailor to fit you and your personal needs.

Another University is Offering More

This isn’t that uncommon.  A student really has their heart set on a specific college, only to find they are not offering nearly as much financial aid as another school.  While I wouldn’t advocate attempting to get the schools into a bidding war, which won’t happen, you can professionally and politely let them know you need a little more.


I am requesting you to review my financial aid award.  While I am quite pleased to have received an award in the amount of $10,000, I have received a much larger amount from (list other schools).  Ultimately, my heart is set on (name of college you’re writing to), but without a bigger award, I will not be able to afford to continue my education here.

I ask you to kindly review my initial application for financial aid.  I am more than willing to meet with the board and discuss my qualifications with you.  I think you will find I am an even better candidate in persona than I am on paper.


Jane Doe

What This Accomplishes:  You’ve clearly stated you have gotten bigger offers from other institutions.  While you are not attempting to get into any form of bidding war, you might be able to get the committee to take another look at your applications and hopefully, get them to increase your award.

Financial Aid Appeal Letter for Hardship

With this letter, you will need to state that you have a hardship, requiring a greater award amount.  There could be a number of different reasons for this, but it’s important to be fully honest and not exaggerate your situation.  The board could ask for some form of proof of financial burden, so don’t make any claims you cannot back.


I am writing you to appeal the amount of financial aid I was given for this semester of college.  While I feel the amount you have awarded me is quite generous, I simply cannot afford to go to school if it is not increased, at least a little.

I am a single working parent and I cannot possibly afford to cover the cost of tuition, books, and my other related educational expenses without an increase in the amount of financial aid I will receive.  While I’m sure there are many others applying at your college who are just as deserving of the limited funds you have, I would strongly ask you to review my credentials and consider adjusting my award.

I am more than willing to meet with the board in person and can be available to do so at a time convenient for you.  All I really ask is that you give me a little advance notice, as I am working all the overtime I can during the summer to help offset the cost of school.  I need to give my employer proper notice if I need to take time off.

I look forward to your response,

John Doe

What This Accomplishes:  In this financial aid appeal letter asking for more money, you’ve clearly stated why you need a bigger award amount.  You’ve even offered to meet with them, assuming they give you notice.  If you are asked to meet with the board in person, be sure to bring ‘proof’ of all the hours you’ve been working to back your claims.

Other Things to Include on Financial Aid Appeal Letters

For the ease of the reviewers, be sure to always include a copy of your financial aid award letter you received from the school.  This will allow them to quickly and easily reference it and find your other information.

If you are asking for more money, you will need to include your name, address, and phone number.  You will also want to find out what the school calls their committee that reviews these things.  Some might use different verbiage and you want to make sure you get it right.  In addition to this, if you have a school ID number, be sure to include it, so it’s much easier to for the committee to find your personal records.

You may want to include the names of the individuals reviewing your letter and application, if possible, as it will add a personal touch.  However, you want to make sure you know the names with certainty, as adding the wrong names will not be professional.

In addition to all of this, if you are asking for more money from financial aid as a result of hardship, you might want to include some form of ‘proof’ of your hardship.  The same could be done if another school offers you more money to go to their college.  This can be tricky, so use caution if you follow one of the examples and include such proof.

How to Increase the Odds of an Increase in Financial Aid Awards

If you want to get a large award, you need to make completely sure you put your best foot forward.  Make sure you proofread your letter and read it aloud to make sure it sounds perfect.  Nothing could be worse than telling the committee you deserve a larger sum than if you include an unprofessional letter with poor writing.  You need to take the opportunity to prove to them you are very deserving of an increase.  Be sure to thank them for their offer and tell them you appreciate it by stating how generous it was.  It would unwise to sound ungrateful for what they are offering you, which is ultimately free money to go back to school.  Scholarships and student loans might fill the gap, but if you follow a good example, a financial aid appeal letter asking for more money can be very effective.