A Guide to Writing a Financial Aid Appeal Letter (with Samples)

A financial aid appeal letter is a written request submitted by a student to a college or university’s financial aid office. The purpose of the letter is to request a reconsideration of the student’s financial aid package, typically due to changes in their financial circumstances that were not accounted for in the initial aid determination.

You may encounter situations that impact your ability to pay for education. These may include a significant change in family income, unexpected medical expenses, loss of employment, or other foreseen financial challenges.

Financial Aid Appeal Letter
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If these changes occur after you have received your financial aid offer, you can write a formal appeal letter to the financial aid office explaining your situation and providing relevant documentation to support your claims.

In this guide, you’ll gain insight into crafting an effective financial aid appeal letter through our provided samples. But before we jump into the examples, let’s kick things off by getting familiars with the essential building blocks of an appeal letter.

Basic Components

The appeal letter usually includes the following components:

1. Explanation

The student explains the circumstances that have affected their financial situation since the initial offer was made. They should provide a clear and concise account of what has changed and how it has impacted their ability to afford tuition and other educational expenses.

2. Documentation

Students should provide documentation to validate their claims. This could include recent tax returns, pay stubs, medical bills, letters of termination or furlough from employment, or any other relevant evidence that supports their appeal.

3. Specific Request

The letter should clearly state what the student is requesting. This could be an increase in the financial aid award, a review of the initial aid package, or a reconsideration of their eligibility for specific grants, scholarships, or loans.

4. Gratitude and Professional Tone

It’s important to maintain a respectful and professional tone throughout the letter. To see if you’ve got the right tone in your letter, you can give apps like Grammarly a try. Express gratitude for the initial financial aid offer and explain that the appeal is being made due to unforeseen changes.

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5. Contact Information

The student’s contact information should be included in case the financial aid office needs to reach out for further clarification.

Financial Aid Appeal Letter Samples

Now that you’ve understood what to include in an appeal letter, let’s spark some inspiration with these samples for various situations. Feel free to pick one that aligns with your circumstances and use it as a nifty financial aid appeal letter template to steer you as you craft your very own letter.

1. Financial Aid Appeal Letter Due to Death Family

Let’s dive into our first example. We’ll walk through an appeal letter crafted when there’s been a tough situation like the passing of a family member, especially a parent.


Dear Financial Aid Office,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to appeal my current financial aid package in light of a significant change in my family’s circumstances. Unfortunately, my father, Chris, passed away on June 16th.

My father’s unexpected passing has had a profound impact on our family’s financial situation. He was the primary breadwinner, and his absence has left us facing unexpected expenses and a loss of income. These new challenges have made it incredibly difficult for me to afford the costs associated with my education.

I am genuinely dedicated to my studies and committed to pursuing my degree at Cambridge University. However, the financial strain my family is experiencing is making it nearly impossible for me to continue without additional assistance.

I have attached documentation, including a copy of the death certificate and any relevant financial information, to support my appeal. I kindly request that you review my case and consider adjusting my financial aid package to reflect these unforeseen changes.

I am truly grateful for the financial support I have received so far, and I believe that with your understanding, I can continue to work towards my educational goals. Your assistance would mean the world to me and my family during this challenging time.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you soon.



David Smith

2. Financial Aid Appeal Letter Single Mother

In the upcoming example, you’ll be presented with a guide on composing an appeal letter as a single mother. This letter aims to request an increase in the value of a financial aid package.

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Dear Scholarship Committee,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to express my sincere gratitude for the scholarship that I was fortunate to receive. This scholarship has been an incredible support in helping me pursue my education as a single mother at Monroe Community College.

However, I am facing unexpected challenges that have impacted my ability to cover my educational expenses. As a single mother, my responsibilities have grown, and I am now facing increased childcare and living costs. Balancing my studies and taking care of my child has proven to be more demanding than I initially anticipated.

I am fully committed to my education and determined to succeed, but the financial strain has put me in a difficult situation. I am reaching out to kindly request a review of my scholarship to see if there is any possibility of adjusting the award amount. This would greatly assist me in managing the additional financial burdens I am currently facing.

I have attached a detailed breakdown of my current financial situation and expenses to provide a clearer understanding of my circumstances. I am truly dedicated to making the most of this educational opportunity and contributing positively to both my child’s future and my community.

Thank you for considering my appeal. Your support has already made a significant difference in my life, and I am hopeful that, with your understanding, I can continue my education and work towards a brighter future for myself and my child.



Emma White

3. Financial Aid Appeal Letter Example for Bad Grades

No need to worry if you find yourself with a less-than-stellar grade while holding a scholarship, especially one based on merit. Take a look at this example to understand how you can approach the process of appealing for your scholarship.


Dear Scholarship Committee,


I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to address my recent academic performance and express my deep commitment to maintaining the Presidential Scholarship at the University of Cincinnati.

I acknowledge that my grades during the past semester have fallen short of the standards I have set for myself and that you expect from scholarship recipients. I take full responsibility for my academic performance and want to assure you that I am taking immediate steps to rectify the situation.

I am aware that the scholarship is awarded based on merit, and I greatly value the support it provides toward my education. I am reaching out to inform you that I have already sought assistance from professors, academic advisors, and tutoring resources to improve my study habits and performance.

I am dedicated to turning my academic situation around and proving my potential as a diligent and capable student. Your investment in my education means a lot to me, and I am committed to making the necessary changes to demonstrate the value of your support.

I kindly request your understanding and a chance to continue benefiting from the Presidential Scholarship. I am determined to showcase my growth and progress in the coming semesters and maintain the high standards that this scholarship represents.

Thank you for considering my appeal. I am grateful for the opportunity to attend the University of Cincinnati and for the chance to address my academic challenges while striving for excellence.



David Smith

4. Financial Aid Appeal Letter Sample Too Many Credits

This last example will show you what to write if you end up taking too many credits while receiving a scholarship that exceeds the allowed limit according to the rules.

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Dear Academic Affairs Office,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to address a situation regarding my course load at Broward College.

I recently became aware that I have inadvertently exceeded the maximum credit limit for the semester. I sincerely apologize for this oversight and any inconvenience it may have caused.

I understand the importance of adhering to academic regulations and maintaining a balanced workload to ensure the quality of my education. I am committed to resolving this issue promptly.

To rectify this situation, I am in the process of dropping a course to bring my credit count within the acceptable range. I will also work closely with my academic advisor to prevent such occurrences in the future.

I appreciate your understanding and request your assistance in ensuring that this issue is resolved smoothly. I am eager to continue my studies at Broward College and remain in compliance with all academic requirements.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I apologize again for any inconvenience and look forward to your guidance in rectifying this situation.



Emma White

Final Thoughts

Submitting a financial aid appeal letter does not guarantee that the financial aid package will be adjusted. However, it provides you with an opportunity to present your case for reconsideration.

Financial aid offices understand that circumstances can change, and they may be willing to review and adjust the aid package based on the new information provided in the appeal letter.

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