5 Ways to Get More College Financial Aid

5 Ways to Get More College Financial Aid

Going to college can be a very exciting and nerve wrecking time. Between the excitement from starting a new chapter and the thought of making new friends, it can become stressful very quickly. While there are some students whose parents can pay for college, not every student is that fortunate. When financial aid isn’t enough it’s easy to think that you’re all out of options but, there are ways to get more financial aid.

Reduction of Household Income:

If there is a decrease in your household income from the time the FAFSA is filled out to the time where additional assistance is needed, then there is a possibility that you can receive more financial aid. A decrease of income can come from anything from having a new job, to even losing employment or taking a pay cut. Most colleges want to see that there is a financial hardship and even though the FAFSA has many questions about household income, hard times are not easily seen on the applications.

Death of a Guardian or Parent:

This doesn’t mean that one of your parents have to die for you to get more financial aid. The death of a parent may not be included on the initial FAFSA for various reasons. Perhaps because it might not be a recent death some may not include it but adding this information can make the difference in receiving more aid. When filing an appeal it is key to note any negative to changes to really make your case.

Divorce or Separation:

While the question is posed on the FAFSA, some students may not be in the situation at the time that it’s filed. Mentioning this on a financial aid appeal can make a world of difference. Single-parent households usually receive more financial aid than a student who has both parents in the home.

Damage from a Natural Disaster:

Something that is essentially out of your control can earn you more aid. If there’s a hurricane or a snow storm and it damages your home or car this can increase your financial aid. When money has to go towards something else that is big, like home repairs, it will become more difficult to apply that to college tuition. This can lead to reduced funds and that’s really what colleges look for in an appeal.

Unexpected Medical Expenses:

Anything can happen at any time. Whether it’s an illness that’s spreading around or a major injury, this can also earn you more financial aid. Medical bills add up and can be quite expensive. This isn’t a common instance that sparks the thought of financial aid assistance so many may not even know of the opportunity to get that increase.

Any of these situations can cause immense stress and while communicating to financial aid it is definitely best to remain calm. Hostile phone calls and emails don’t benefit anyone, especially when you’re looking to get some extra help. It is always good to keep an appeal short and to the point while remaining polite throughout the process.

Edward Schinik is the CFO and COO of Yorkville Advisors.

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