Money matters to college students. Student loans creep up and books get pricier every year. Sometimes the student's financial aid package is small or does not reflect a new financial hardship he is facing. Luckily, most colleges accept requests for more grant and scholarship money. Requesting more money for college requires careful planning and adherence to financial aid deadlines. Structuring the request must reflect both a genuine need and an understanding of the college's financial aid guidelines.

Gather evidence of your economic need. Create a folder that contains your previous year's income tax form and any other relevant documentation of economic hardship. Such documentation might include notice of a parent's dismissal from her job or unplanned medical bills you have to pay.

Meet with a financial aid counselor from your college. Ask him if school policies exist for requesting more money. Some schools, such as Northwestern University or Washington State University, require formal applications for a financial aid appeal. Collect these forms, if necessary.

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Fill out any financial aid appeal forms required by your college, referencing your income tax forms as needed. If no form is required, write a formal letter outlining your need and any special circumstances that may have increased your need since your financial aid package was awarded. Attach a copy of any documentation proving new financial hardships.

Meet with a financial aid officer in person, if possible, to deliver the forms or letter. Speak with them about other options such as outside scholarships or grants. Sometimes scholarship money opens up at the start of the semester if former recipients drop out last minute.

Tip

Keep the tone of any communication calm and refrain from being melodramatic. Show that you are a mature addition to the college's student body that will benefit the school if you are able to continue attending.

File your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) by the June 30 deadline every year to optimize your chances of receiving aid. Individual schools sometimes have earlier FAFSA deadlines, so be aware of those as well.

About the Author

Writing since 2005 for a variety of media, Andrea Snow has written on topics ranging from pop culture and film to technology and home-related how-to articles. Her published works include music reviews at "The Owl Mag." She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in English literature and film and TV production from New York University.