Re: Financial Aid Assistance Request
By Ben Winderman
Dear Golden Gopher Staff,
The intent of this letter is two-fold and regardless of the outcome I am thrilled to be writing it. Being accepted by the University of Minnesota brings a great deal of joy to my family and I, it validates my academic efforts as a high school student, compels confidence, and deepens my determination to become an informed, educated, and contributing citizen and human being. I wanted to thank personally whoever the university representatives were who reviewed my application, discussed my potential merit, and advocated for me in such an awesome way. I have loved Minnesota since a canoe trip took me to through the boundary waters and into the Canadian park called Quetico. We listened to stories of the Ojibwa and learned about respect for the American wild. Minnesota is the only state in the lower 48 that did not completely and intentionally eradicate their timber wolf population. I became a Vikings fan that fall and bought a copy of Purple Rain. As the source of the Mississippi river Minnesota sits atop a natural and northern throne, a kingdom of lupine landscapes which I’d very much like to explore, study, and serve.
Minnesota has always been a distant part of me, but I’d very much like to eliminate the word “distant.” UMN has everything I want in a college: community, culture, ritual, rivalries, exceptional academics, awesome athletics, and a location which offers cutting edge culture or tranquil camping (just a short ways). The stars outside of St. Paul fill the sky with ideas, and my spirit is full of excitement. Unfortunately my family’s fortune must have been obscured by ominous clouds and therefore my excitement is tempered with concern. UMN is my first choice and my dream school, but with additional costs for travel no matter how compute the costs I fall short of the stars. The second fold of this letter is a respectful request for the possibility of additional financial support. I know that the university does its absolute best to allocate resources to such a wide variety of students and potential students, but I’d be so very grateful if my application and FAFSA could be reexamined, and additional financial assistance could be discovered. I would forever appreciate the help and generosity, register “Always Golden,” and make sure that my effort in the classroom always reflected that gratitude.
My current situation presents a difficult choice between an in-state (Pennsylvania) institution and The University of Minnesota. If your office(s) could reconsider your already great offer, then my decision would become instantaneously easier. I know that many other worthy students who deserve the same consideration, and I wish my family was in position that the difference of $10,000 per year wasn’t so profound, but at a time where my twin sister and I are both beginning college, neither one of us wants to exceed my mom’s energy to wait on more tables and photograph more families. My mom actually works three jobs and although she is famous for saying, “we’ll find a way,” Minnesota is far and without either additional academic scholarship, financial aid, or subsidized loans I’m afraid that “a way” doesn’t always exist. My dad is currently unemployed.
With an academic, athletic, and philanthropic record which is consequential of years of hard work, I am requesting that the admissions department consider moving me into a position of higher scholarship where I would be able to officially put my stable into the Minneapolis community. In all categories mentioned (academic, athletic, and citizenship) I have been recognized as a school leader and an elite performer. My GPA and pure personality puts me in elite company in my school community, and I have been fortunate to be awarded by the NHS as well as continuing to work for a better society through programs like Best Buddies and Build On. I have made an impact in Philadelphia, now I am ready to make an even greater impact in Minneapolis, and eventually the world.
Life is not always predictable and choices are often complicated. I can promise you both the steadfast guarantee that if such a financial adjustment was decided upon, I would honor that generosity with my immediate decision to attend the University of Minnesota, followed by my consistent efforts as a student and citizen in Minneapolis. I am not a person who cuts corners or expects hand-outs, and I have talked myself out of writing this letter several times. I consider myself fortunate to have been honored with your acceptance and the flattering amount that was part of my admittance; however I’d love to be able to attend UMN with the full serenity which accompanies situations where debt is minimized and the word affordable accompanies real confidence and tranquility. I would not let the decision go under appreciated and intend to be a lifelong Golden Gopher once I take the first step on this academic hike called freshman year.
I am planning on officially visiting UMN one more time and I’d be happy to make myself available for a face to face interview if that might help my cause. Thank you so very much for the extra time and consideration I am asking you to spend on me, and I want to make sure you know that UMN is where I’d love to earn my degree from. The difference financially would propel me into decisive action and allow me to avoid the extra anxiety and struggle that often accompanies collegiate costs. I am so excited by the possibility of attending University of Minnesota and am hoping that by revisiting my credentials you will reach a consensus to elevate my scholarship. Thanks again and please don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions or requests.
Respectfully written and submitted,