How to write a letter of extenuating circumstances for financial aid

A change in employment or work schedule does not constitute an extenuating circumstance. Appeal Process Meet with a Pathways Advisor to discuss withdrawing from your class s. Gather all supporting documentation to upload with your appeal. It's highly recommended you provide supporting documentation whenever possible.

How to write a letter of extenuating circumstances for financial aid

Negotiation and Professional Judgment Advertisement Negotiation refers to the idea that you can haggle with the financial aid office to get a better financial aid package. Very few schools do negotiation, and those that do, do so only according to set policies.

Colleges are not car dealerships, where bluff and bluster will get you a better deal. You cannot play one school off another, to get them in a bidding war for a student. Students are effectively commodities, with very little bargaining power. On the other hand, colleges do have the authority to make adjustments to a student's financial aid package in cases involving unusual circumstances through a process known as Professional Judgment.

Advertisement First, make sure you understand how to evaluate financial aid award letters. Understanding the Process Regardless of whether you call it negotiation or professional judgment, it is important to understand how the process works in order to maximize the amount of student aid.

FinAid has an extensive section devoted to the topic of professional judgment from the perspective of the financial aid administrator.

how to write a letter of extenuating circumstances for financial aid

Here are some of the key points: Congress delegated the authority to college financial aid administrators to make adjustments when there are special circumstances. Special circumstances are anything that differentiates the family's finances from those of other families, especially anything beyond the family's control.

Special circumstances can also be anything about the family's finances during the prior tax year that is not reflective of the finances in the upcoming award year.

Examples of special circumstances include an actual or anticipated job loss or salary reduction, death of a wage earner, high unreimbursed medical bills, unusually high child care costs, private elementary and secondary school tuition, parents themselves enrolled in college, unusual capital gains and other one-time events.

The decision of the financial aid administrator is final. There is no appeal to the college president nor to the US Department of Education. Professional judgment is driven by documentation. It is best to provide the financial aid administrator with documentation of the unusual circumstances from a neutral third party.

The US Department of Education audits the universities very frequently, and if a professional judgment case is not supported with documentation and clear reasoning about the relationship between the unusual circumstances and ability to pay, the school will have to repay the aid to the federal government.

Financial aid administrators are not allowed to change the family's expected family contribution directly. Instead, they can change the inputs to the formula. It pays to be polite. Trying to argue with the financial aid administrator or to intimidate the financial aid administrator will backfire.

Most people who become financial aid administrators get involved because they like helping people. They are not the enemy. Don't gripe about how hard it is to make ends meet on your salary.

Most financial aid administrators earn less than the families they serve. You will get a better response by acting professionally. Sympathy only comes into play when the financial aid administrator is trying to decide whether to allow an adjustment for the special circumstances, like something over which you had no control.

Most financial aid administrators will not make an adjustment when they feel that the family is trying to game the system.

Sample Letters - - Sample Letters

The extenuating circumstances and their impact on your finances is the driving factor, not how much you ask for.

In fact, it is a bad idea to ask for a specific amount. The family has the primary responsibility for paying for college. The government and the college only step in when the family's ability to pay falls short. The focus of need analysis is on ability to pay, not willingness to pay.

Even with professional judgment, the amount the government expects the family to contribute will be painful for most families. How to Ask for Professional Judgment Professional judgment is initiated by the family writing a letter to the financial aid administrator at the school asking for a "Professional Judgment Review".

At some schools this is called a "Special Circumstances Review".Sep 13,  · Students who can document extenuating financial or personal circumstances can submit a Revision Petition to appeal their financial aid decision. Extenuating circumstances may include, but are not limited to, situations such as: and you will be notified of the results in writing.

Professional judgment is initiated by the family writing a letter to the financial aid administrator at the school asking for a "Professional Judgment Review".

how to write a letter of extenuating circumstances for financial aid

At some schools this is called a "Special Circumstances Review". may appeal in writing to the Office of Financial Aid for an additional semester of financial aid probation. and loses financial aid, due to an extenuating circumstance beyond his or her control, such as serious injury, illness or mental health condition involving the student or * Medical records on physician’s or hospital’s letter.

Nov 14,  · The financial aid statement is a simple, short piece of writing that students may include on a financial aid letter, in an essay, or in other communications to a financial aid department.

Reasons for Appealing Include:

The financial aid statement may not be a full communication on its own, but rather an element of a more complex financial aid appeal%(39). Examples of extenuating circumstances that may be approved. Reinstatement of Financial Aid Eligibility If your appeal is approved by the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Committee and your financial aid eligibility is reinstated, Award Letter Information Dual Credit Pell Guidelines.

Financial Aid Office Box Heth Hall Radford University instagram; Special Circumstance Requests. Many families experience changes in financial circumstances during the academic year which is not taken into account on the FAFSA because the FAFSA uses the previous year’s information.

you must write a detailed letter .

FinAid | Professional Judgment | Negotiation