How to Write a Statement of Financial Need: A Step-by-Step Guide

Crafting a Statement of Financial Need can pose a significant challenge for students. Determining the appropriate content to include or exclude is crucial, underscoring the importance of using your words judiciously and persuasively.

What is A Statement of Financial Need?

A Statement of Financial Need is essentially a concise narrative outlining your financial circumstances. While financial aid is indispensable for college, it often falls short of covering all expenses. Consequently, students may be required to draft a statement that delves deeper into their financial situation, surpassing the information provided in documents like the FAFSA or CSS profile.

In this article, we’ll offer a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process of crafting an effective Statement of Financial Need.

What to Include in Your Statement

  1. Brief overview of your family’s employment status, including who is employed, their occupation, and whether you contribute to family finances.
  2. Indication of whether you are a first-generation college student.
  3. Information on immigrant or refugee status for you or your parents, as well as language proficiency.
  4. Details about your upbringing, such as being raised by a single parent or in foster care.
  5. Any extenuating circumstances affecting your family’s finances, like medical issues or recent job loss.
  6. Membership in minority groups, as diversity is valued by many colleges.
  7. Opportunities you could pursue with financial assistance, like unpaid internships relevant to your field.

What to Avoid

  1. Negative or overly dramatic tone; focus on presenting facts calmly.
  2. Comparison of your situation to others; keep the essay centered on your needs and goals.
  3. Tangential details unrelated to your education; stick to information directly relevant to your financial need and academic pursuits.

Now that you’re equipped with the essential components for your essay, let’s dive into the process of crafting your statement of financial need. Follow these steps to ensure a well-structured and compelling essay:

  1. Create an outline: Organize your thoughts and key points into a structured outline to guide your writing process effectively.
  2. Write your introduction: Begin with a strong opening that grabs the reader’s attention and introduces the purpose of your essay – to convey your financial need for assistance.
  3. Format your essay with body paragraphs: Develop your essay with clear and concise body paragraphs that expand on the points outlined in your introduction. Provide relevant details and examples to support your financial need.
  4. Finish with a strong conclusion: Summarize your main points and reiterate your financial need in a compelling manner. End with a memorable closing statement that leaves a lasting impression on the reader.

Let’s Start on the first step of creating your impactful statement of financial need.

Create an outline

Start by listing the key details you want to include in your essay, such as demographic information, family circumstances, and financial challenges. Use this list to create a structured outline for your statement.

Write your introduction

Begin with a concise introduction that introduces yourself and highlights key demographic points. For example, you can mention if you’re a first-generation college student or if you’ve faced financial challenges growing up. Briefly outline the main discussion points you’ll address in the essay.

Format your essay with body paragraphs

Use the body paragraphs to provide more detail and context for the points mentioned in the introduction. Discuss any extenuating circumstances affecting your family’s financial situation, including employment status and any personal contributions you’ve made to fund your education.

Finish with a strong conclusion

Conclude your essay by emphasizing the impact receiving financial assistance would have on your academic and career goals. Highlight specific opportunities you would pursue if you were relieved of financial burdens, such as internships or additional coursework.

By following these steps, you can effectively communicate your financial need and make a compelling case for scholarship consideration. Best of luck with your statement of financial need!


In conclusion, writing a statement of financial need is a critical step in securing the financial assistance you need to pursue your educational goals. By following the step-by-step guide provided in this article, you can craft a well-structured and persuasive essay that effectively communicates your financial circumstances and demonstrates your determination to succeed despite challenges. Remember to highlight your unique experiences and aspirations, and emphasize how receiving the scholarship would make a significant difference in your academic journey. With careful planning and thoughtful writing, you can create a compelling statement that increases your chances of receiving the financial support you need. Best of luck!