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Time to Analyze and Appeal Financial Aid Offers

If you have a college bound high school senior in the family, it's  almost time for the fun part:  analyzing and (potentially) appealing  financial aid offers!

Okay, so most of you probably think this is not the fun part.  The fun part is most likely the acceptance letter(s).  But for those of us who  love numbers and strategizing with them, this part CAN be fun!

By March of senior year, you should have Student Award letters from all  colleges that your student has been accepted to.  Yes, it's still  January and these may be still incoming, but now is a great time to  review the actual financial need your family has for that student.  It  may have changed since the last time you plotted out these special four  years.

Once  the letters arrive, you can compare the strength of need and merit  based offers.  What if the school the student has their heart set on is  offering the "worst" aid package?  Consider sending the school an appeal  letter!  Leverage the competition, and include information from other  colleges who are also seeking your student's admission.  Include  information about special circumstances that may warrant a closer look  at your financial situation by the college, to determine if they can  offer a better overall aid package.