A. It is common for families that on top of their EFC, the financial aid packages they receive are not big enough to cover the total cost of attendance. Here are 4 tips families can try to get a bigger financial aid package.
1. Ask for an increase
If you have had some unexpected changes, such as a pay cut, an increase of medical expense, after sending colleges' the application letters, you should bring these changes to college financial aid offices' attention and ask for sympathy, and additional aid.
2. Time your ask
By April, most schools have an idea, judging by the deposits they receive from students who accept their letter of admission, about whether the incoming class will be overfilled or underfilled. If you send your request in mid-April, the schools that are underfilled might reconsider the aid package they gave out earlier.
3. Show academic improvement
Some schools may offer higher merit based aid if a student brings in higher scores on ACT or SAT later in senior year. Find out if the school your child plans to attend has such practice or not.
4. Leave the door open
If your child couldn't attend a school due to financial reason, write a letter to the school explaining the reasons. Some schools might come back and offer a higher aid package if they found the classes are underfilled.