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9.5. Try to bargain or appeal to the financial aid administrator only when the family financial situation has changed significantly or where a great disparity in aid offers suggests that an error has occurred.




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This article is from the Financial Aid, Scholarships, and Fellowships FAQ, by Mark Kantrowitz with numerous contributions by others.

9.5. Try to bargain or appeal to the financial aid administrator only when the family financial situation has changed significantly or where a great disparity in aid offers suggests that an error has occurred.

Some people may recommend trying to bargain with the school's
financial aid officer to try to increase the aid offer. The only
case in which this will definitely work is if there is a
significant disparity in the net cost of attendance (e.g., more
than $2,000) or if the family's financial picture has changed
significantly (e.g., death or disability of a parent, fire,
serious illness). Most financial aid administrators will review
the award if there is a good reason for doing so, but all will
refuse to get into a bidding war with other universities. This is
especially true at the Ivy League schools and top research
universities.

If you really want to attend a school but are convinced that you
cannot afford it, talk to a financial aid administrator at the
school. They may be able to help, especially if it looks like
they will lose an outstanding student because of a few thousand
dollars difference in the aid package. They may, for example, be
able to modify your financial aid package so that your outside
scholarships reduce the loans and not the institutional grants, or
suggest other sources of financial aid.

 

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