Will a general supporting statement from a college official for fee waivers hurt my admissions chance? Answered
I'm currently applying to several schools in hopes of transferring as I've changed my career path and now have a better understanding of what college environment is best suited for me. Unfortunately, the application fees would rank up to about a thousand dollars. I'm not Pell Eligible as my family's yearly gross income is over what's generally considered the "cut off." It's not over by a large considerate amount but it is higher regardless. Same with my EFC, a couple thousand over Pell Eligible. It's the awkward "lower-middle" where you must be conscious of how and where money is being spent, but you're not considered low-income. The financial aid office at my current school has agreed to write a supporting statement to demonstrate my financial need, so I can receive a fee waiver (I received a financial aid grant from them for my freshman year), but I spoke to them today and they said they would use my FAFSA (for the upcoming school year) information to simply write a general statement. By general, "yes she has financial need." I'm worried the statement will hurt my chances of admission and colleges will assume I'm just cheating my way out of application fees. My prospective transfer colleges will also have my FAFSA and I feel like they may think I actually don't have enough need for fee waiver eligibility. Is that a possibility? Should I just pay the fees? Am I thinking too much into it? (Very urgent, response needed quickly).
I wouldn't worry about the fee waivers having any kind of effect on your chances—as you said, the colleges you're applying to already have your FAFSA. They already know you'll be applying for financial aid, so this shouldn't make a difference. They're supposed to be there for people who need them, and it sounds like you do (even though the colleges might not initially think so). There shouldn't be any harm in asking for them.