Wednesday, April 18, 2007

money money money!

Been awhile! Whew. It's been a whirlwind couple of days. In between meetings with prospective teachers, financial aid, and trying to draft up a proper appeal for more money (!!), I've managed to duck away to visit my friend in Durham in the middle of her Doctorate in English.

I've included an edited version of the letter I sent to the appeals committee, because it's something that might be of use for others. When I was drafting this up, I distinctly remember thanking the time I've spent working so closely with my boss. She's the chair of the international department of a global law firm, a former Clinton appointee with ranking of Ambassador, etc., and it's been pretty informative to work with her on matters as far-ranging as strategic advocacy before the Bush Administration and Congress to personal notes and communications. Of course, I had a little bit of help editing it and putting it together, too! (And no less than people like a Columbia law student friend and aforementioned English doctoral candidate.)

In any event, I've got a looong, early day tomorrow, so I'll leave it at that. Oh, and Janet Baker singing her face off:

Dear [scholarship committee person],

I write in appeal to the scholarship committee to reconsider the level of my financial award. I have met and spoken with [awesomely supportive peeps] on the faculty who support my appeal. As I am financially independent, I have demonstrated need for financial assistance. Even with my current plans to work while attending school, the financial award from Peabody will not be enough for me to make the most of this wonderful opportunity.

I understand that such an award must be based on merit and talent rather than strictly on need. I further understand that the scores awarded during auditions form the basis of scholarship calculations. However, having briefly worked with me, [aforementioned awesome teacher peeps] of the voice faculty are willing to share their opinions about my promise which may not be apparent from the scores I received for my audition.

Because I have just recently switched from the Performer's Certificate to the Bachelor of Music program, my information about my financial award may not be up to date. Currently, the level of my financial aid totals $11,5000 per academic year, about half of which consists of loans. $4,000 per year is from a Peabody grant. Meeting the $45,000 per year projected cost of attendance with a financial award of just over a fourth of the total expected cost is a daunting prospect, especially as I will not be receiving financial assistance from my parents.

As part of my financial plan for attending Peabody, I intend to continue working at my current place of employment during the weekends on a flexible basis. At my current pay scale and assuming 16 hour work weeks for 35 weeks during the academic year, I would earn approximately $12,700 before tax, all of which would go towards the estimated $45,000 cost of attendance. Coupled with my current $11,500 financial aid award from Peabody, I still have need for roughly $20,000 more per year. For your reference, I have also attached the FAFSA report I filed which estimates my financial contribution as $10,726 resulting in a remaining need of $22,774 after taking into account my current financial award.

Based on my conversations with faculty and my experience of the application process, Peabody is a wonderfully nurturing school, and I think that it offers the best environment for a candidate like me to develop. I would very much like to attend, and so I request that you favorably consider my appeal for scholarship on the grounds of my demonstrated financial need, my plans to significantly contribute towards the cost of attendance, and the support of [super coolio teacher peeps].

Thank you for your time and consideration. I would be happy to provide any additional information, answer any of your questions (cell: [555-I-AM-COOL]; email: []), or meet with you at your convenience.

Yours sincerely,

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