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Appealing a financial aid package

Students can ask for a review if their financial aid package doesn't match their family's ability to pay. Schools may adjust the package based on new information, like healthcare costs or family living situations. If you feel your financial aid package is mismatched to your family's financial situation, it's best to ask for a review as soon as possible.

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  • spunky sam blue style avatar for user gbarret
    Is there any place in the FAFSA to enter a mortgage? I have a large mortgage an some savings. The FAFSA ask for savings balance, but I have seen where to enter my mortgages?
    Please advise?
    (1 vote)
    Default Khan Academy avatar avatar for user
    • old spice man green style avatar for user Don Spence
      We didn't have to fill out a FAFSA this year, and I don't show in my worksheet that we did it in 2016, but in 2015 line item PA-135A was where the amount owed on home would be entered. If they took out this requirement to simplify the application, they didn't help you.
      (1 vote)

Video transcript

- If you receive an aid package that is not commensurate with what your family is able to pay, maybe you've completed your entire financial aid application, and the financial aid office says that they're expecting more money than your family can afford, you are absolutely able to ask for a review of your package. - Reevaluating a financial aid package is definitely an option for any student. The quicker you do it, the better, and what you want to do is be able to bring that offer, call the financial aid office and ask them to explain that offer. They can be very helpful to say, "This is why we came up with this package "and why we think it fits your family." There are some schools that may say, "If you have other "need-based financial aid packages that are "similar to ours that are a little bit better, "send us those so we can see what they're evaluating." So schools are generally very willing to look at a package, and they may or may not change, but they're always, I think, willing to look at that. The sooner you do it, the more funds they may have to make changes in that package. The reasons why they may make changes typically are based on information that they didn't have. So there may be new information or information that just wasn't included in the FAFSA, in the profile, so again, examples of that may be things like you have healthcare expenses that your healthcare program doesn't cover, and they're out-of-pocket expenses. So if you can document those expenses, that could change your package significantly. If you have grandparents living with you in your house, and your parents are using funds to help support those folks, that may change your package. We had a situation a few years ago when I was doing college admission where a family's home was actually moved off of its foundation from a tornado, so our financial aid office asked that family to show them the three estimates they had to fix that problem, and they factored that in and changed their financial aid package knowing that they had to put X number of dollars toward fixing their home that was... had to be done. So I think financial aid offices are willing to look at that, they may or may not change, but it can't hurt to ask. And again, the sooner you do that, the better, because they probably have more funds at that point.