Colleges and universities are able to modify college financial aid packages amid the novel coronavirus epidemic/situation, but the daunting process can be a deterrent and obstacles for students and families. In light of this, a free tool created by Seldin/Haring-Smith Foundation intends to "take the guesswork out of financial aid appeals," hopefully removing yet another stress factor in their lives.
SwiftStudent is a new, free digital resource that helps students request changes to their college financial aid packages by guiding them through requesting more college funding, explaining eligibility requirements in detail, and providing documentation needed for the financial appeals process. It also provides templates that allow users to generate a letter for submission to the school's financial aid office, as well as easily sign and edit necessary documents.
During this difficult time, students may receive their college financial aid offers based on information and situations that predate the COVID-19 pandemic. This information may not accurately reflect their current financial situation, such as if they or a family member have lost their job. Though most students have filled out and submitted their FAFSA by now, special circumstances could lead colleges to dole out more financial aid. Crucial information that may have not been captured could greatly affect students - and their family's - the ability to pay for college.
Students may be surprised that they can request more financial aid for college and equally frustrated by "the lack of transparency," as The Education Department's website does not indicate anything about financial aid appeals in its current system.
If you are a student who has been adversely affected by the coronavirus and are looking to augment/alter your current financial aid package, you may benefit from appealing it. As always, don't forget to supplement your federal, state and institution-based aid with scholarships for which you qualify - found during your Scholarships.com free scholarship search.