Maintaining top grades in college can be a challenge. If you have a financial aid package that is contingent on your academic progress, this is a problem. One way to keep your financial aid after poor performance at school is to offer a compelling explanation in the form of an appeal letter. Appeal letters are notoriously difficult to write because they need to give a reason for your poor grades.Some students struggle with these letters because they don’t have a reason for their poor progress, and others stumble because they can’t explain how they’ll change their future academic performance. If students submit a poorly written letter, they could lose their financial aid. When in this situation, it’s best to check out letter writing resources, such as financial aid appeal letter for bad grades templates. Study these examples to get a better idea of what to write.
Financial Aid Appeal Letter for Bad Grades Template
In the space below, you’ll see an appeal letter by Gina Flannigan. Gina is a college student with a large financial aid package. She must maintain a 3.2 GPA. Last term, she earned a 2.3 GPA. Below, Gina explains the circumstances that made her last term difficult.
Dear Dean Walters,
I recently completed my sophomore year in the elementary education program on a full tuition financial aid package. My financial aid requires me to hold a 3.2 GPA, which I maintained for both terms of my freshman year and the first term of my sophomore year. Unfortunately, last term my GPA dipped to 2.3. Now, I am in danger of losing all of my financial aid. This type of academic performance is extremely uncharacteristic of me, so I am writing an appeal to you to give me another chance to pull my grades up. Last term, my family and I suffered a tragic loss in our lives with the sudden death of my mother.
During the winter break between terms, my mother suffered a catastrophic head-on collision with another vehicle. She passed away the next morning in the hospital. As a result, I experienced devastation. Two weeks later, the new term started, and I struggled with accepting this terrible loss in my life. Even though I knew the academic expectations, I was unable to meet them, and for that I am sorry.
Over the summer, I began seeing a grief counselor. Now, I feel confident that I can get back into my studying and make progress again. I plan to retake the two classes I received failing grades in. I have attached a copy of my mother’s obituary. Please reconsider my case so I can become a teacher someday.
How To Write a Financial Aid Appeal Letter for Bad Grades Letter
Writing an appeal letter for a financial aid package requires some finesse and subtle persuasion. You’ll also need to have a good reason explaining why your grades were so low during the previous term. The points you want to get across in your message to your audience, a college administrator in this scenario, are both a compelling reason why you didn’t progress and an explanation of how you’ll do better in the future.
The first thing you should do when opening your letter is to introduce yourself and offer a few details about what your situation is. Explain what type of program you’re currently part of at college and give some background about your previous academic performance if possible. Next, be sure to state the reason for your letter, asking for an appeal on a financial aid decision related to poor grades.
After your introduction, you then need to write your explanation. State what happened during the term that caused your grades to plummet. Give some details about how this event or situation caused you to have problems studying or attending class. Be honest about what happened so your audience can be more understanding.
In the last section of your letter, you need to end on a strong, confident point. Explain what you’re going to do differently so you can improve your grades next term, as seen in the financial aid appeal letter for bad grades template. Indicate you have documentation as evidence to support your claim from your appeal. If you made a mistake, admit it and apologize before making your final appeal for reconsideration.
What To Avoid in Your Financial Aid Appeal Letter for Bad Grades
There are a few things you need to steer clear of when writing a financial aid appeal letter explaining poor grades. The biggest piece of advice is to be honest. Making up a sad story to help explain a bad term is a terrible idea. In most cases, the financial aid office will find out the truth, and you could end up dismissed from the school completely due to dishonesty. Instead, be as truthful as possible, even if your excuse isn’t as compelling. College administrators will appreciate it when someone is honest and forthright about past problems.
Another thing to avoid is not explaining how things will change during the next term. Even if you experienced something traumatic during a tough academic year, it’s important to explain what you’ve done to turn things around. Academic administrators want to know how you will be successful in the future terms, so be sure to explain what your next plan of action is.
How To Follow Up After Sending Your Financial Aid Appeal Letter for Bad Grades
After you send your letter, don’t simply wait around for something to happen. It’s possible the financial aid office could have dozens of appeal letters like yours at the end of every term. Make sure the person you’re addressing doesn’t forget your letter or situation by following up with the financial aid administrators after a week or so. The best thing to do is call the financial aid office and ask to speak directly with the person you wrote the letter to.
Usually, there is a time constraint during the term breaks where you’ll need to submit a tuition payment if your financial aid package isn’t valid anymore. The faster you get a decision about your appeal, the quicker you’ll be able to get your tuition payment in and register for the classes you need.
Top 5 Financial Aid Appeal Letter for Bad Grades Writing Takeaways
1. Explain why you didn’t make progress
The most important section of your letter is a convincing explanation. You should detail the situation that impacted your academics during the previous term. Explain how it affected your ability to focus.
2. Apologize and own up to your mistakes
No matter the reason for your bad grades, be sure to take ownership of the situation and apologize. This shows the college administrator humility and may help get your appeal accepted.
3. Describe what you’re going to do differently in the future
Make the administrator see that the bad term was an anomaly for you, not a trend. Provide details about how you will do things differently next term. You’ll need to be convincing in this section so the financial aid office believes in your plan and your progress.
4. Provide documentation that supports your letter
Offer to send documentation or attach any evidence that supports the claims you make in your letter. You can provide information such as medical bills, doctor’s notes, obituaries, police reports, or other official documentation to help convince the financial aid office you’re telling the truth.
5. Be professional throughout your letter
Whenever you send a letter like this to someone in the administration office, make sure you sound professional. Avoid using slang or informal language. Make sure your spelling and grammar are on point. Don’t get too emotional during your letter, even if you’re describing something terrible that happened to you.