Although many college and post-college students don’t know it, they may be able to negotiate their financial aid.
According to CNN Money, one university student successfully increased his financial aid package from zero to over $49,000 in grants and scholarships.
Freddy Chang was accepted into his dream Ivy League school, the University of Pennsylvania, but was initially offered little to nothing in financial aid to attend. After doing the math, Chang realized his family would be burdened with $64,000 for just the first year alone.
While some students would accept their student loan debt fate or choose not to go to an expensive college, Chang wrote an appeal letter to ask for financial help from the institution.
Chang is currently finishing up his first year at the University of Pennsylvania. Though the situation varies for every student and institution, experts agree that it’s at least worth the try.
NextGenVest is the startup whose services Chang used to put together his appeal letter. The company helps students write these letters free of cost. Kelly Peeler, founder of NextGenVest, also had him include an additional teacher recommendation letter as well as follow up with a phone call.
Chang’s letter detailed his story of being the first in his family to go to college as his parents had immigrated from Myanmar. He also mentioned his other school offers with better financial packages as well as emphasizing the reason why he wants to go to the University of Pennsylvania.
Not soon after, Chang received a call informing him that his financial aid award had been updated. Again, not every situation outcome may be as favorable as Chang’s. Experts note that there are a number of factors that may affect a school’s willingness and ability to award extra scholarship money — however, it’s better to try than to do nothing.