# Need help! Review my essay!

## Main Question or Discussion Point

Hey everyone!!

Need some help on this Financial aid appeal letter to the committee at my community college. I was going to post this to academic guidance thread, but physics is not involved.
I went over 150% of program hours and they will not pay for my class that is actually towards my A.A. degree. BTW, the course I need to complete is Elementary Spanish II for my foreign language requirement. Please, if you have the time, review my letter and tell me what needs work.

Here it is:

Dear Financial Aid Appeal Committee,

I would like to thank the committee for taking the time to review my letter.
This letter is to explain the terms on why I have not met my graduation requirements, what are my goals at Valencia, and what actions I will take to graduate as soon as possible.
First, I would like to explain why I have not met my graduation requirements. The reason why I' am taking too long on completing my graduation requirements is because I wanted to take more courses that goes towards my major in physics and study for the Spanish CLEP exam to complete my A.A. general studies foreign language requirement.
I did try to learn a new language, which is French, however; I believe it was a mistake to learn a new language and decided to withdraw Elementary French I. Thus, I decided to visit the Academic Advising office and one of the advisers told me that I can study for the Spanish CLEP exam and try to complete the foreign language requirement.
Because I' am a bit fluent in the Spanish language, I decided to take the Spanish CLEP exam. I have only earned four credit hours and it was not enough to have met the foreign language requirement because I needed eight or more credits to meet the requirements for the section.
My goals at Valencia is to complete the foreign language requirement that goes towards my A.A. general studies degree and finish the last section of a calculus course, calculus III. Hopefully, I can meet the foreign language requirement section and earn the A.A. degree to transfer to a four year university. With all the prerequisites that I completed towards my major in physics, I can complete a four year university in one or two years.
The action I will take to graduate soon is to complete the Elementary Spanish II course and meet the foreign language requirement. I will postpone my job search and concentrate on passing this course. After this, I have to make preparations on which four year university would fit my standards and transfer to that university.
I hope I explained the questions clearly on why I have not met my graduation requirements, what are my goals at Valencia, and what actions I will take to complete my graduation requirements.(still working on the conclusion)

(end)

This is a problem because if I don't pay for my classes for the spring semester, I will never get my A.A. degree and transfer to a four year university. Opinions are welcome.

Your English writing skills need improvement, this letter really should be re-written with correct Grammar and in some cases words replaced as they don't make sense or are too repetitive.

An additional note, you can't be "a bit fluent in Spanish", you're either fluent or you're not. You should say you are fairly competent in Spanish.

So they're refusing to pay because you went over the prescribed durations? I don't understand how it works.

Words should not be abbreviated the first time you use them (CLEP and A.A.). This isn't a major requirement, but I find it good practice to ensure your audience know exactly what you're talking about.

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Your English writing skills need improvement, this letter really should be re-written with correct Grammar and in some cases words replaced as they don't make sense or are too repetitive.

An additional note, you can't be "a bit fluent in Spanish", you're either fluent or you're not. You should say you are fairly competent in Spanish.

So they're refusing to pay because you went over the prescribed durations? I don't understand how it works.

Words should not be abbreviated the first time you use them (CLEP and A.A.). This isn't a major requirement, but I find it good practice to ensure your audience know exactly what you're talking about.
Thanks, I'll make it less repetitive and fix those grammar errors. Thank you!

Thanks, I'll make it less repetitive and fix those grammar errors. Thank you!
I don't know if it's the way it's currently written or if it's just poorly explained but I think your explanation could do with some improvement. Perhaps re-draft it making a few corrects and see we'll have a look.

I would like to thank the committee for taking the time to review my letter.

...

I hope I explained the questions clearly on why I have not met my graduation requirements, what are my goals at Valencia, and what actions I will take to complete my graduation requirements.
I agree with the comments on grammar, and would also drop quoted sentences, because I feel there is no place for stuff like that in a formal letter. You want to make the letter as concise as possible, and you don't want the first statement already to be redundant. Apart from that it's hard to comment, because we're not really in the know in regards to what criteria you need to satisfy for them to keep financing you.

Ok, here's the link to the worksheet(http://www.valenciacc.edu/finaid/documents/1011SAPAPPEAL_FINAL.pdf [Broken]). BTW, I went over 150% of my program hours. I just need to explain to them what class I need to complete. I just hope my letter is convincing enough.

Here's my new draft:

Dear Financial Aid Appeal Committee,

This letter is to explain the terms on not meeting my graduation requirements, my goals at Valencia, and my actions to graduate as soon as possible.
First, I will explain on not meeting my graduation requirements. The reason why I’ am taking too long to meet my requirements are because I wanted to take more courses that goes towards my major in physics and study for the Spanish College Level Examination Program, or Spanish CLEP, exam to complete my Associates in Arts Degree foreign language requirement.
I tried to learn a new language, which was French, however; I believe it was a mistake to learn a new language and withdrew Elementary French I. Therefore, I decided to visit the Academic Advising office. One of the advisers explained to me that I could study for the Spanish CLEP exam and try to complete the foreign language requirement by taking this exam. Because I’ am competent in the Spanish language, I decided to practice my Spanish for this exam. I earned four credit hours and it was not enough to meet the foreign language requirement.
My goal at Valencia is to complete the foreign language requirement that goes towards my Associates in Arts Degree and finish the last section of a calculus course, calculus III. I hope that I can meet the foreign language requirement and earn the degree to transfer at a four-year university. Completing most of the prerequisites towards my major in physics, I can graduate from a four-year university in one or two years with a Bachelor of Science Degree in physics.
The actions I will take to graduate are to complete the Elementary Spanish II course and plan which university I would like to transfer. I will postpone my job search and concentrate on passing this course. Once that is complete, I have to make preparations on which four-year university would fit my standards and transfer to that university.
I hope I explained the questions clearly on why I have not met my graduation requirements, what my goals at Valencia are, and what actions I will take to complete my graduation requirements.(ignore conclusion. It is not done yet).

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Here's a new one:

Dear Financial Aid Appeal Committee,

This letter is to explain the terms on not meeting my graduation​
requirements, my goals at Valencia, and my actions to graduate as soon as possible.
First, I will explain on not meeting my graduation requirements. The​
reason why I am taking too long to meet my requirements are because I wanted to take more courses that go towards my major in physics and study for the Spanish College Level Examination Program, or Spanish CLEP, exam to complete my Associates in Arts Degree foreign language requirement.
I tried to learn a new language, which was French, however; I​
believe it was a mistake to learn a new language and withdrew Elementary French I. Sadly, I withdrew some courses over the past semesters including the fall semester 2010 because I wanted to find interest in other majors. Therefore, I decided to visit the Academic Advising office. One of the advisers explained to me that I could study for the Spanish CLEP exam and complete the foreign language requirement by taking this exam. Because I am competent in the Spanish language, I made a decision to practice my Spanish for this exam. I successfully earned four credit hours, but it was not enough to meet the foreign language requirement.
My goals at Valencia are to complete the foreign language​
requirement that goes towards my Associates in Arts Degree and finish the last section of a calculus course, Calculus III. I will focus on graduating at the end of the spring semester and make plans to continue my education. I hope that I can meet the foreign language requirement and earn the degree needed to transfer to a four-year university. The reason that I wish to take Calculus III is that I want to finish completing the prerequisites towards my major in physics. I completed most of the prerequisites in physics, thus, I can graduate from a four-year university in one or two years with a Bachelor of Science Degree in my major.
The actions I will take to graduate are to complete the Elementary​
Spanish II course and plan which university I would like to transfer. I will not register courses that do not go towards my major and only register courses that will complete my foreign language requirement. Once that is complete, I will make preparations on which four-year university would fit my standards and transfer to that university.
I hope I explained clearly on not meeting my graduation​
requirements, my goals at Valencia, and my actions I will take to complete my graduation requirements. The Calculus III course is a course I really want to complete here in Valencia because I want to complete the math prerequisite for the physics major. I will focus very hard on my goals and make haste on my actions to graduate.

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Ok, here's my final draft. I will turn it in today at the office. Please, help me out!

Here's the final draft:

Dear Financial Aid Appeal Committee,

I received an e-mail from the Financial-Aid office claiming that I did graduate from Valencia and earned my Associates in Arts Degree. I did apply for graduation on the fall semester 2010, but the Graduation Department denied my application because I have not met the foreign language requirement.
I have proof that the Graduation Department has denied my application and I withdrew my graduation application. In the same way, I am unemployed and I do not have the financial needs to pay for my last two courses in the spring 2011 semester. For this reason, the letter I am writing is to explain the terms on not meeting my graduation requirements, my goals at Valencia, and my actions to graduate as soon as possible.
First, I will explain on not meeting my graduation requirements. The reason why I am taking too long to meet my requirements are because I wanted to take more courses that go towards my major in physics and study for the Spanish College Level Examination Program, or Spanish CLEP, exam to complete my Associates in Arts Degree foreign language requirement.
I tried to learn a new language, which was French. However, I believe it was a mistake to learn a new language and withdrew Elementary French I. After that, I withdrew some courses over the past semesters including the fall semester 2010 because I was trying to find work and wanted to have some availability open. I made a mistake registering classes that does not interest me and should have registered classes that goes towards my degree. Therefore, I decided to visit the Academic Advising office. One of the advisers explained to me that I could study for the Spanish CLEP exam and complete the foreign language requirement by taking this exam. Because I am competent in the Spanish language, I made a decision to practice my Spanish for this exam. I successfully earned four credit hours, but it was not enough to meet the foreign language requirement. I only need four more credit hours to meet my foreign language requirement to earn my Associates in Arts Degree.
Thus, my goals at Valencia are to complete the foreign language requirement that goes towards my Associates in Arts Degree and finish the last section of a calculus course, Calculus III. The reason that I wish to take Calculus III is that I want to finish completing the prerequisites towards my major in physics. I completed most of the prerequisites in physics, in fact; I can graduate from a four-year university in one or two years with a Bachelor of Science Degree in my major. In addition, I will apply for graduation at the start of the spring semester and make plans to continue my education.
Lastly, the actions I will take to graduate are to complete the Elementary Spanish II course and plan which university I would like to transfer. I will not register courses that do not go towards my major and only register courses that will complete my foreign language requirement. Once that is complete, I will make preparations on which four-year university would fit my standards and transfer to that university. I will postpone my search for work because the need to focus and complete the requirement to obtain my degree.
In conclusion, I hope I explained clearly on not meeting my graduation requirements, my goals at Valencia, and my actions I will take to complete my graduation requirements. The Calculus III course is a course I really want to complete here in Valencia because I want to complete the math prerequisite for the physics major. I will focus very hard on my goals and make haste on my actions to graduate. I am struggling to find work and pay for my own classes, as a result, the only hope I have left to survive is getting an education.

Your grammar needs work. You don't explain on something, you just explain it.

Ok, here's my final draft. I will turn it in today at the office. Please, help me out!

Here's the final draft:

Dear Financial Aid Appeal Committee,

I received an e-mail from the Financial-Aid office claiming that I did graduate from Valencia and earned my Associates in Arts Degree. I did apply$# for graduation on the fall semester 2010, but the Graduation Department denied my application because I have not met the foreign language requirement. I have proof that the Graduation Department has denied my application and I withdrew my graduation application. In the same way, I am unemployed and I do not have the financial needs to pay for my last two courses in the spring 2011 semester. For this reason, the letter I am writing is to explain the terms on$# not meeting my graduation requirements, my goals at Valencia, and my actions to graduate as soon as possible.
First, I will explain on$# not meeting my graduation requirements. The reason why I am taking too long to meet my requirements are$# because I wanted to take more courses that go towards my major in physics and study for the Spanish College Level Examination Program, or Spanish CLEP, exam$# to complete my Associates in Arts Degree foreign language requirement. I tried to learn a new language, which was French. However, I believe it was a mistake to learn a new language and$# withdrew Elementary French I. After that, I withdrew $# some courses over the past semesters including the fall semester 2010 because I was trying to find work and wanted to have some availability open. I made a mistake registering$# classes that does not interest me and should have registered classes that goes towards my degree. Therefore, I decided to visit the Academic Advising office. One of the advisers explained to me that I could study for the Spanish CLEP exam and complete the foreign language requirement by taking this exam. Because I am competent in the Spanish language, I made a decision to practice my Spanish for this exam. I successfully earned four credit hours, but it was not enough to meet the foreign language requirement. I only need four more credit hours to meet my foreign language requirement $# to earn my Associates in Arts Degree. Thus, my goals at Valencia are to complete the foreign language requirement$# that goes towards my Associates in Arts Degree and finish the last section of a calculus course, Calculus III. The reason that I wish to take Calculus III is that I want to finish completing the prerequisites towards$# my major in physics. I completed most of the prerequisites in physics, in fact; I can graduate from a four-year university in one or two years with a Bachelor of Science Degree in my major. In addition, I will apply for graduation at the start of the spring semester and make plans to continue my education. Lastly, the actions I will take to graduate are to complete the Elementary Spanish II course and plan which university I would like to transfer$#. I will not register $#courses that do not go towards my major and only register courses that will complete my foreign language requirement. Once that is complete, I will make preparations on$#which four-year university would fit my standards and transfer to that university. I will postpone my search for work because the $# need to focus and complete the requirement to obtain my degree. In conclusion, I hope I explained clearly on$# not meeting my graduation requirements, my goals at Valencia, and my actions I will take to complete my graduation requirements. The Calculus III course is a course I really want to complete here in Valencia because I want to complete the math prerequisite for the physics major. I will focus very hard on my goals and make haste on my actions to graduate. I am struggling to find work and pay for my own classes, $# as a result, the only hope I have left to survive is getting an education. Thank you for your time, I put$# where your grammar needs work.

cristo
Staff Emeritus
Others are correct in saying that your letter needs work on both grammar and repetition. However, more importantly, your letter doesn't say what you want them to do. Do you want more money, a chance to stay in your college for longer, or what? Be more concise and spell out what you would like them to help you with.

1. Why do you care if you get an AA if you are moving to a university? No one is ever going to care whether or not you have one.
2. I hate to say it but it is highly unlikely that the officers in the community college financial aid office give a crap about you. And your case isn't exceptional or compelling. I doubt you'll get far with it.

Also, are you sure you'll need a foreign language class for your bachelors? I don't and usually I don't think a BS does.

I have to also say your letter is way too dramatic for the situation at hand. Have you take an English writing course because your writing is kind of weak and/or you are rushing too much to do it.

I'd focus less on graduating community college and more on attending a university.

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I'd focus less on graduating community college and more on attending a university.
How can I attend a university with no SAT and ACT scores? BTW, attending a class from a CC is a better idea because the professor will have time for each student(25 students in one classroom). However, the professors from a university will not have any time for 236 students in one classroom. Make a logical choice on which one is better.

How can I attend a university with no SAT and ACT scores? BTW, attending a class from a CC is a better idea because the professor will have time for each student(25 students in one classroom). However, the professors from a university will not have any time for 236 students in one classroom. Make a logical choice on which one is better.
You are ignoring the level of learning. The university materials are far more advanced and as per my own university, you are expected to complete 100 hours of learning per module on your own. The two don't compare.

A community college qualification isn't as good as a degree. It appears you are saying that a community college qualification is better than a degree for the reason you gave and an employer would note this. They don't.

I'm pretty sure you do not need SAT or ACT score at most school once you have completed a certain number of credits, usually 1 semesters worth.

I'm not saying that taking classes at a community college is a bad idea, although having two extra years to get immersed in your physics department at university can be useful for a number of reasons.

However, you say you are going to transfer anyways to University in the letter all I'm saying is don't worry so much about getting an AA, it doesn't matter at all.

all I'm saying is don't worry so much about getting an AA, it doesn't matter at all.
Of course it matters. I need an A.A. degree to transfer at any university in the USA. Well, so far I've been looking at the universities I want to attend in New York and they require an A.A. degree.

Please, explain to me further why one does not have to worry obtaining an A.A. degree? This is very interesting information. I can transfer to my dream university at the end of this fall semester.

I transferred from a community college to a university in New York after 3 semesters without obtaining my A.S. degree. All I had to do was send them my transcript from my community college and AP scores. If I recall correctly, one only had to send SAT scores if they had less than 24 credit hours.

People transfer colleges all the time and I have never heard anyone needing an Associates degree in order to do so. Of course, this doesn't mean that this is true for all schools but just be sure to get confirmation on this if you haven't done so already.

I transferred from a community college to a university in New York after 3 semesters without obtaining my A.S. degree. All I had to do was send them my transcript from my community college and AP scores. If I recall correctly, one only had to send SAT scores if they had less than 24 credit hours.

People transfer colleges all the time and I have never heard anyone needing an Associates degree in order to do so. Of course, this doesn't mean that this is true for all schools but just be sure to get confirmation on this if you haven't done so already.
My mind just got blown away. I need to make calls and see which university in New York only requires a transcript. I wish my advisers told me this.

Edit:

BTW, I have about 83 credit hours. I'm sure I am eligible to transfer.