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Financial Aid Appeal Letter

It is extremely important for students to determine the correct address and individual to whom a financial aid appeal letter should be addressed and it is best to deliver the letter to that individual’s office in person if possible. Most schools have aformal appeals process in place and it is essential to follow that process to the letter in order for your appeal to be considered.

Format and Content

The name and address of the financial aid officer who will be reviewing your case should be at the top of the page along with the date in a financial aid appeal letter format.Any financial aid amount that you have been offered should be documented and the amount that you actually need should be listed as well. Clearly but concisely explain the reasons you need the larger amount in order to attend the school.


This student did receive a small aid package from the college she wishes to attend; however, in this financial aid appeal letter sample, she is requesting a larger amount of aid due to extenuating circumstances. Her income for the previous year was skewed due to the fact that she received an inheritance from her grandmother. The inheritance was spent on a study abroad program but was counted as income in her financial aid application, even though it is not income that she earns every year.

Dear Ms. Jones,

I would like to start by expressing my gratitude for the financial aid package I have been offered by XYZ University totaling $12,000 per year. XYZ is my number one choice and I believe the college with the best master’s degree program in my field of study,wildlife biology. It is my greatest desire to attend XYZ; however I cannot afford to do so without more financial assistance than the $12,000 that has been offered.

I am writing this appeal because, according to the instructions on the financial aid application, I had to list an inheritance I received from my grandmother as income. This was a one-time infusion of cash into my bank account and not part of my yearly income. My grandmother left me $10,000 in her will and I have already spent this money to further my studies. I took last year off to participate in a National Geographic study of lions living in their natural habitat in Botswana. The $10,000 was spent on shots, passport, airfare and setting up my small apartment. Although food was provided and I was paid a small stipend, it still took all of my $10,000 inheritance to get set up and live in Botswana.

It would be tremendously helpful if my financial aid package could be reconsidered without using my grandmother’s gift as income. If I could receive an aid package totaling $18,000 I would be able to attend XYZ University to complete my master’s degree. I am available at your convenience to discuss this situation further. Please feel free to contact me at the cell phone number or email address listed above. Thank you for your consideration.


Sydney Sweet

Sydney Sweet