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How to write an SAP Financial Appeal Letter

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Hello. Welcome to the Writing,  Reading and Speech Assistance  

session on writing a financial  assistance letter of appeal.

One of the first things you'll need to do is go  to the financial aid office and get their SAP,

which stands for "satisfactory academic  process," appeal letter information.

Make sure you have all the information that you  need. Fill out all the forms very carefully.

So now let's talk about the letter that you  need to write to add to what you've got there.

Your letter will look something like this,

and I'm going to walk you through  each of the parts that you need to do.

So one of the first things that  you need to do is some prewriting.

You'll want to maybe make a list or a mindmap

thinking of all the reasons why  your appeal should be granted

and what evidence you're going to use to  support your appeal when you write your letter.

When you actually start drafting  your letter--that's step two--

you're going to begin with the very top. You'll  want to begin with putting in your heading,

which is your name, address, your  phone number, your email address,

and the date that you are sending in the letter,

and that's usually somewhere  right before it's due.

Next, you'll want to put in the  address of the financial aid office.

Make sure that you've got--you  can copy right from the handout

to see exactly how that address should be.

Then you want to make sure you put near  the top, "Re:" and then "Appeal of"

and put your name and your student ID number.

Make sure, in fact, that your name and  student ID number are carefully written

on every single piece of paper  that goes into your appeal.

And finally, you're going to have your  salutation, which is something like,

"Dear members of the Financial Aid Committee."

Then you're ready to work on your first  paragraph, which is where you state your request.

It should be about three to five  sentences long, and it should provide

basic background information that  tells the situation that you're in,

and make sure that you state  exactly what you want very clearly.

Paragraph two is where you make your case to  them as to why they should grant your appeal.

This is probably your longest paragraph:  maybe five to eight sentences.

You want to tell what happened in chronological  order, the order that it happened.

Actual numbers and dates will  help to illustrate your situation.

Be very specific. For example, instead of  saying that you had extenuating circumstances,

you'll want to tell what the circumstance was.

If you are appealing due to poor  health or academic performance,

list reasons why your performance was weak.

Indicate what you've done  to remedy this situation.

Although this can be very emotional, try  not to use emotional words in your tone.

Remain calm, professional, and factual.

Paragraph three is where you justify your appeal.

This is where you tell exactly  how you have changed things

and why you should be given another chance

and how you'll be successful now that you've  made these changes and adjustments to your life.

State what you hope to accomplish: for example,

you may be the first person in  your family to receive a degree,

or you might want to provide a better  life for yourself and your family.

You might explain how a lack of change in  your financial aid award will impact you.

It might mean you won't be able to  take classes you need for your major

or that you will have to  put your education on hold.

Be very specific and clear when  you're justifying your appeal.

Paragraph four is where you restate your request

and thank the reader for reading what you have.

It's a closing. In one or two sentences, summarize  your request, restate your desired outcome.

You do not need repeat things that  you had in your earlier paragraphs.

Finally, thank the reader  for considering your appeal.

You might say, "Thank you in advance  for your time and consideration."

It's a very simple paragraph  that closes everything up.

And then the last part of your letter is the  closing, your signature, and your typed name.

Make sure that you leave space in  between the closing and your name

so that you can sign it in blue or black ink.

Your next step, step 3, is to revise and edit.

So make sure that as you read  through what you've written that

you've used a formal, very respectful  language, you've got complete sentences,

correct grammar usage and mechanics,  that it's easy to understand,

that you have not used any emotional  language, that you've been honest and real.

Proofread it by reading it out loud, checking  for spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Then have someone else read it. One of the  ways that you can have someone else read it

is to come in to our Writing,  Reading, and Speech Assistance Area.

You can schedule an appointment online or  come in and make an appointment with us.

Finally, you're ready to publish.  So make sure at that point

that you have attached all  of the required information,

you send it in on time, and you are happy  with what you've got in front of you.

So thank you for listening to our session on  writing the scholastic appeal letter. Good luck.

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