The FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, determines a student’s eligibility to receive student loans and federally funded grants to pay for college. There are a variety of factors used to determine your award level, including your dependency status, marital status, grade level and income. If you don’t agree with the results of your FAFSA, you can explain any extenuating circumstances that may increase your chances of eligibility by filing an appeal.

Contact the financial aid department of your school, and ask them if they require students to fill out a form in order to file an appeal.

Write a letter explaining any circumstances that might increase your chances of being eligible to receive federal funds or student loans. This can include any unexpected medical expenses, unemployment earning statements or child support payment receipts.

Write out a detailed budget that includes all of your income and expenses. It might also be beneficial to include copies of your bills, including car payments, credit car payments, mortgage statements, student loan statements and child care expenses.

Submit any required forms with the letter and budget you created to your schools financial aid office. The appeal must be reviewed and submitted to the U.S. Department of Education by your schools financial aid department.

Contact your school regularly to check on the status of your appeal.


Review your FAFSA and make sure that it has been filled out correctly. An error in your FAFSA can cause your eligibility to be compromised. Correct any errors and resubmit your FAFSA before filing an appeal.

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