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Appealing Your Financial Aid

There could be additional money for you

Appealing your financial aid is typically considered when you or your family experience significant and unforeseen changes in financial circumstances. Any life event that impacts your ability to pay for college or career training should be on the table for a financial aid appeal. Some common life circumstances that may warrant a financial aid appeal include: 

Job Loss or Reduction in Income

Sudden unemployment or a substantial decrease in income can significantly affect a family's financial situation. The loss of a job or a reduction of hours from full-time to part-time are examples of when to file a financial aid appeal.

Parental Job Change or Business Downturn

A job change or a downturn in a family-owned business can lead to a decrease in income.

Medical Emergencies or Expenses

Unexpected medical emergencies, high medical bills, or ongoing health-related expenses not covered by insurance can cause financial strain.

Change in Marital Status

Divorce, separation, or the death of a spouse can drastically change financial implications and obligations.

Natural Disasters

Families affected by natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding, or wildfires , may face unexpected financial burdens.

High Uninsured Medical Expenses

Exceptionally high medical expenses not covered by insurance may strain a family's finances.

In all of these cases, it’s important to have documentation to support your special circumstances and increase your chances of a successful appeal. Documents may include:

  • Income Documents (w-2, paystubs), tax returns)
  • Dependency Status Change
  • Medical Bills
  • Repair Bills (auto, home, appliance) 

Three Steps to Appealing Your Financial Aid

Step 1: Appeal your Vermont grant through VSAC

Vermont residents may be able to receive additional grant money for education or training.

If you've received a Vermont Grant through VSAC and your financial situation has changed since you completed our application, you can appeal your grant. Start by thoroughly reviewing your initial answers on your financial aid application. Be on the lookout for any discrepancies or changes that aren’t accurately reflected.

Once you’ve made a note of any new updates, gather all relevant documentation to support your case financial aid appeal.

Contact VSAC as soon as possible to initiate the appeal process. Clearly outline your reasons for appealing, providing a detailed explanation of the changes to your financial situation. Be transparent and specific, and don't hesitate to include any additional information that strengthens your case. VSAC understands that life circumstances can change, and we’re willing to reassess your financial aid eligibility based on new information.

Call or e-mail VSAC’s Grant Program to appeal your state grant award if you have unexpected life circumstances that may warrant an appeal.

Haven't Applied for a Vermont Grant Yet? Get Started

Step 2: Reach out to your school to appeal other financial aid

In addition to appealing your state grant, contact your school's financial aid office. Schools have their own scholarship funds and policies for considering appeals for institutional aid. Begin by researching your school's specific procedures for financial aid appeals.

When reaching out to your school, highlight any changes to your financial circumstances and provide documentation to support the impact of your new financial situation. Once you have gathered supporting paperwork, begin writing your appeal letter, clearly explaining your reasons for seeking additional aid.

Don’t Call it Quits

Although you may have additional responsibilities with the financial changes, make time to contact VSAC and your school as soon as possible. Most importantly, don’t be deterred by the changes in your life. Approach the process with honesty, transparency, and a proactive mindset to maximize your chances of securing financial support.

Keep a record of all communications, including emails, phone calls, and any documentation submitted. Be sure to follow up regularly to ensure that your appeal doesn’t affect approaching deadlines.

Step 3: Ask questions

If you’ve exhausted the above options or feel like you’ve hit roadblocks, it’s always good to bring in the experts. No matter your financial situation, VSAC is here to help. Your current and prospective schools also have financial aid advisors, counselors, or other support services to help navigate the financial aid landscape and can provide insights into the appeals process.

  • Check out our FAQs.
  • E-mail VSAC's Grants Program or call 800-882-4166 or 802-654-3750.