Does Columbia not negotiate?

Discuss various money matters here. Loans (federal and private), scholarships, lottery winnings, or other school finance related information and queries.
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andthenIwaslike
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Does Columbia not negotiate?

Postby andthenIwaslike » Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:35 pm

I'm in at both Columbia with no Butler/Hamilton/anything, and a T-10 with a near-full ride. Hoping I could use the latter to coax something out of Columbia, I called their financial aid office, really gentle and polite, just asking whom I could speak to about the possibility of merit-based aid. They asked if I had received my admissions offer already and said that any merit aid information would be in that letter. I told them I hadn't gotten anything aside from admission and they said "well then you'll need to apply for need-based aid". Thinking maybe I had misunderstood, I said, "So the only merit-based aid Columbia offers is offered at the time of admission?" They said yes.

I'm just really confused, because I know I've seen people on here talk about negotiating more out of Columbia. Is this some kind of shift from years past? I didn't identify myself on the phone so I doubt it had anything to do with my numbers. Is it too early? Should I email instead of call?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Does Columbia not negotiate?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:00 pm

Columbia is weird about financial aid but they definitely negotiate. The problem is that in their mind the only merit based awards they give are the Butler and the Hamilton. Everything else is supposedly need based aid, although everyone knows this is largely BS, as there is a clear correlation between LSAT/GPA and amount of "need based aid." But you do need to fill out Need Access and the FAFSA to get any kind of scholarship award from them, so do that and then see what they offer. After you get that letter you can then lay the rest of your cards on the table and see if they'll bump things up a bit.

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andthenIwaslike
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Re: Does Columbia not negotiate?

Postby andthenIwaslike » Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:07 pm

Tiago Splitter wrote:Columbia is weird about financial aid but they definitely negotiate. The problem is that in their mind the only merit based awards they give are the Butler and the Hamilton. Everything else is supposedly need based aid, although everyone knows this is largely BS, as there is a clear correlation between LSAT/GPA and amount of "need based aid." But you do need to fill out Need Access and the FAFSA to get any kind of scholarship award from them, so do that and then see what they offer. After you get that letter you can then lay the rest of your cards on the table and see if they'll bump things up a bit.


Ohhhhhh, okay that makes sense. Yeah I've done my FAFSA and NeedAccess and everything already, even though I don't anticipate getting any genuinely need-based aid; any idea when the initial "need" offer is typically made?

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: Does Columbia not negotiate?

Postby Tiago Splitter » Fri Feb 06, 2015 6:37 pm

In the past Columbia was pretty late with money offers, like first week of April. Not sure if that's changed.

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jbagelboy
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Re: Does Columbia not negotiate?

Postby jbagelboy » Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:53 pm

I don't know why they give such stupid, useless responses to prospective applicants. Yes they continue to offer merit aid to all applicants, not just named scholarships. Send Charles your competing offers in March and he'll consider them in giving you a grant offer. Why Columbia continues its non-transparent, petulant practice with regard to aid is beyond me.




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