Contingent Financial Aid Appeals – what we will provide?

As part of the financial aid appeals process, we will: 

  1. Analyze your Financial Aid Award Letters from colleges to arrive at a Net Cost with a resulting recommendation;
  2. Draft Financial Aid Appeal Letters with varying justifications crafted to support the appeal;
  3. Deliver fully drafted Financial Aid Appeal Letters with instructions on where to send them to elicit a response from the college in question;
  4. The Financial Aid Appeal Letters and all communication will be written and conducted in a polite and professional manner;
  5. Continued counselling and analytic support on your applications to and communications with the college.  This is an advisory service to help you with the college search.

How CTAS will be compensated:

  1. You will pay CTAS a contingency fee only if you make a deposit to a college where we have appealed your initial financial aid award and received more of the college’s financial aid.
  2. If the financial aid appeal fails and you enroll in that college anyway, you will owe CTAS nothing.  Receiving more financial aid from a college does not obligate you to enroll in that college and, if that occurs, you owe CTAS no fees.  Likewise, you accept that this the financial aid appeal is a negotiation and that the appeal may fail.  Our interests are aligned: if you save on college from our work together, we benefit.  If you don’t, we don’t benefit.
  3. Timing: This contingency fee will be paid when you make the deposit to a college where CTAS has helped you send a financial aid appeal letter.
  4. The contingency fee equals 25% of the increase in financial aid you receive from the appeal, capped and not to exceed $2,000.  Specifics:
    1. The increased financial aid = the difference in college aid, including both merit and need-based non-repayable aid and grants from the college, between the revised financial award letter after the appeal you accept and the initial financial award letter which we decided to appeal.
    2. Changes in student loans of any kind (private, government or college) or work-study are not included in this difference and will not lead to any CTAS charges. Likewise, your decisions on which residential and dining options to select when enrolling will have no impact on the calculation.
    3. Any changes in the College’s Cost of Attendance (as defined by the United States Department of Education) will not be included in the calculation.
    4. Colleges use many different forms for their Financial Award Letters. We will agree on a true net cost – similar to how costs are looked it in ordinary transactions outside of college – if a particular college’s Financial Award Letter is nonstandard or confusing.  One of the benefits of this service prior to any appeals is that you will receive guidance on interpreting the financial aid award.  Many colleges present perfectly clear letters, but others are confusing, sometimes intentionally so.
    5. Only the first year of college attendance will be used as the basis for fee’s calculation.  You will in many cases benefit in later years – but will owe us nothing (you’re welcome).  If we opt to try and obtain a guarantee from the college that they maintain a financial aid level into years beyond the first year, we will discuss and agree on appropriate compensation for CTAS, outside of this contingency fee.

All these terms and more will be covered in a short Agreement between us – with a bit more legalese, but not much (!).  We are happy to provide a draft of the agreement in advance.  Just send us an e-mail and ask for this or about any other questions you have.