merit aid advice?

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merit aid advice?

Postby Kate07 » Tue Mar 30, 2010 9:55 pm

So, the giant authorative thread about scholarships was very helpful, but I'm still not totally sure how to negotiate my merit aid situation.

I got offered an almost full scholarship at my current first choice school, and a full scholarship at what is now my second choice school. The hefty tuition deposit for the latter school is due April 1 (I know, ?!?), leading me to my first question:

1) I should pay the deposit to school #2, even if I doubt I'll go, so I can still use their scholarship offer to negotiate with, right?
And related:
2) I'm nervous that they'll think I'm ungrateful/asking for too much at school #1--"we already offered her over $100,000, and she's going to cry poor for just another $15,000?"--but I know that's no reason to not ask. (And $15,000 is still a lot of money to me!) What kind of luck do people have negotiating with small increases like that? Any tips on what to say when aware the original offer is quite generous?

I'd really rather go to school #1--they're both good schools, but the former has much better programs in what I want to study. Financially, the main problem would be relocating--if my husband were to come with me, he'd have to give up his current job, probably being unemployed for some time. Of course, I want him to come with me, and he's amenable to the change of scenery (and employment). Having a full scholarship would make it easier, though. (I know, for us and everyone else. I have nothing to complain about.) So...

3) The previous is something I know I should mention, but what about these things:

--$60,000 offer at another (slightly lower-ranked) school...I guess they wouldn't care about that? I asked about more merit aid there, and haven't heard anything back--should I wait and see, before negotiating with school #1. I'm not sure school #3 offers bigger scholarships, though...I have the feeling they're ignoring me.
--"Special group in preferred waitlist" status at a much higher ranked school (OK, that's obviously Georgetown). I think it's fairly likely I'll get in, and will have an update in a couple of weeks, and it's the only other option that rivals school #1 to me in terms of academic experience. (I wouldn't expect any merit aid there, but their graduates make more money, so it sort of evens out.) Should I wait and see about that before negotiating? Or will they see even the waitlist status as competition? (Of course, it's more competition than it will be if I don't get in.)

I'm also awaiting information from the black box at NYU, but it's funny, their lack of correspondence has made me...not give a shit. I expect my rejection letter in October.

Thanks for any advice anyone has!


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Re: merit aid advice?

Postby BenJ » Tue Mar 30, 2010 11:38 pm

If the large-but-not-full scholarship is the GW $105,450 dean's scholarship, they don't do bigger ones, so negotiation almost certainly won't get you anything (maybe, but probably not). That said, asking for more money will never result in a school withdrawing your scholarship offer--worst is you could get a rather frigid letter from the FinAid office saying no.

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Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2010 4:38 pm

Re: merit aid advice?

Postby Kate07 » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:59 pm

No, it wasn't at GW--this school does give full scholarships, according to their website. I'll definitely ask (no reason to be shy, I guess).

But any advice anyone out there has regarding what to say is still appreciated. Is there anyone on this forum who's good at reviewing (PM'd) letters? Thanks :-)

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Re: merit aid advice?

Postby MURPH » Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:22 am

Kate, I think you need to just ask for it. I'll look over your letter if you want to PM me but I think the important thing is to just let them know that you need a bit more money. The sooner, the better. Don't wait until they run out.

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