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How to Write a Letter Requesting Tuition

Assistance
by Sara Ipatenco

The high cost of tuition is a barrier many college students must overcome to enroll in
the college of their choice and finish their degree requirements. Many students don't
receive enough scholarship money, grant money or other financial aid to complete
their higher education. Fortunately, your financial aid offer is not always the final
word, and you can ask for additional money by writing a letter detailing your specific
needs. The letter must be carefully crafted, however, to give financial aid staffers the
information they need to justify additional aid.

A Change of Circumstance
If you've already filled out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid and received
an aid offer from your college, but realize it's not enough, contact your college
directly about additional financial aid options. For example, your college might offer
certain scholarships that you're eligible for or additional aid to supplement your initial
offer. A change in your circumstances that alters how much you can contribute to
your tuition and other college costs also warrants a letter requesting additional aid.
Getting Started
In your letter, include all contact information and your student ID number if you have
been given one. Address the letter directly to a financial aid officer at your college.
Peterson's guide, "Paying for College" recommends sending this letter apart from
your admission packet and your FAFSA application. The purpose of your request is
to outline specific unusual or unexpected circumstances requiring additional financial
aid that were not part of your original application.

Making Your Case


Outline the reasons why you need tuition assistance in the opening body of your
letter. Be specific about why you need additional help paying for your college tuition.
For example, explain that you care for a sick or disabled family member or that
you've recently lost your job and don't have income.

Specify Your Need


You might be more likely to receive assistance from your college if you include facts
and figures in your letter. Explain how much money you have to contribute to your
college education, and exactly how much you need to make up the difference. Many
colleges also require you to provide information about your projected income, such
as how you're planning to get a job or otherwise secure funds to pay for your tuition
in the future. If you need help with costs outside of tuition, such as books or room
and board, state that in your letter.

Close With Gratitude


Close your letter in a respectful tone by thanking the person for considering your
request. Make yourself available for answering any questions and providing
additional information or documentation as necessary. Show that you're willing to
work with the financial aid office to get the resources you need. State your
willingness to set up a meeting with a financial aid counselor, which many colleges
require before considering your request for tuition assistance.

Sample Tuition Assistance Letter


Students Name
Students Address
City, State, Zip Code

DATE

Individuals Name
Individuals Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Mr/Ms/Mrs Name of Individual,

This letter is a formal appeal to you for help with the tuition fees for continuing my college
education. I have received $5,000 from my college as financial aid, and this was enough
while I had a part-time job. However, my father has become disabled due to a heart attack,
and since I am his only child, I need to give him care in the mornings and evenings. This is
why I had to quit my job.

I did not apply for student loans, because I was able to meet my expenses and didnt want to
go into debt. Now, it is too late to apply for a loan. I have also contacted my college financial
aid office for help, but they declined to increase my aid this year.

I will continue to apply for grants and scholarships as well as financial aid from my college
for next year, but am requesting you to help me through this difficult time, so I dont have to
drop out of college.

Enclosed youll find a copy of my bank statement and proof of the financial aid I am getting
from the college as well as the letter stating that they cant help me more this year.

Thank you for the time and consideration you have given my situation. I would be happy to
discuss the amount I need and am willing to be flexible. I hope to hear from you soon. I can
be reached at 555-123-4567 or at Name@email.com.

Sincerely,

Signature of Student
Printed Name of Student
List of Enclosures