Negotiation Curveball

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ILikeTwix
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Negotiation Curveball

Postby ILikeTwix » Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:36 am

My #1 school offered a half tuition scholly contingent upon a 2.75 gpa. In reply, I requested consideration for a scholarship increase (not asking for a set amount). Submitting a standard negotiation letter, I included my current accomplishments not listed in my original app/resume, along with an offer from Emory, a higher ranked school. Strong gpa, softs, years of advoacy work but mediocre lsat. I'm entering into public interest, so attempting to not accumulate enormous debt.

The curveball was the asst dean of admissions reply, "how much would it require for you to agree to commit?" No negotiation foreplay. Cut. Dry. To the point.

Well duh, of course I want to reply "a full ride buddy" but I'm concerned about the risk of pushing too far & receiving a flat out "NO", forcing me to withdraw. My mom, the haggle guru, always told me, "if you want an inch, then ask for a yard, you'll at least end up with a foot". Does this rule apply to scholarship negotiations? Should I ask for a firm amount? This negotiation feels like a bad game of Jenga. How would you approach without making the tower tumble?
Last edited by ILikeTwix on Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

ilikebaseball
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Re: Negotiation Curveball

Postby ilikebaseball » Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:40 am

I've never seen that before. But just be smart and professional with your response and you should be fine. I don't think its that unprofessional to respond "Ideally, I'd like to finish law school with little to no debt at all." The worst he can say is no. Or ask for living expenses to be covered. Something like that would be nice imo.

The thing is, he already knows you want an increase. So he isn't gonna respond "nope. If that's what you want I'll just leave it." If you ask for a full and he doesn't want to, he's more likely to say, "I can't do that much. But I CAN do X amount higher."

Works out for you either way

RubyRod
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Re: Negotiation Curveball

Postby RubyRod » Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:32 am

Please post results! I'm curious about this too.

I read somewhere that you could say ideally, full ride because public interest no LRAP program, though I understand Xxx school may not be able to accommodate such a request, it is the only way to completely remove all debt related doubts from my mind.

jepper
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Re: Negotiation Curveball

Postby jepper » Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:29 am

Well in jenga you would be left with nothing if you made a wrong move. Here, you would still be left with your initial scholarship amount. I wouldn't let the cut and dry tactic lead you to believe this is not still a negotiation in its purest form. Ask for exactly what you want, not just what you would actually commit for.

itascot1992
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Re: Negotiation Curveball

Postby itascot1992 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:04 am

Ask for full... but can give reasons why debt limiting is important!

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negativefeedback
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Re: Negotiation Curveball

Postby negativefeedback » Tue Apr 07, 2015 2:44 am

Tell them that it is hard to answer that question since you are still awaiting more offers, but that a full tuition scholarship would definitely lock you to the school as of right now.

CanadianWolf
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Re: Negotiation Curveball

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Apr 07, 2015 8:05 am

You may be negotiating over the wrong detail. Ask for the GPA stipulation to be removed in addition to an increased dollar amount.

P.S. Interesting thread title. The law school's negotiation strategy is to ask in a clear & direct fashion "what do you want ?" and it flusters you as if thrown an unexpected curveball. Maybe the first rule of negotiations should be to know what you want.

RubyRod
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Re: Negotiation Curveball

Postby RubyRod » Tue Apr 07, 2015 9:32 am

CanadianWolf wrote:You may be negotiating over the wrong detail. Ask for the GPA stipulation to be removed in addition to an increased dollar amount.

P.S. Interesting thread title. The law school's negotiation strategy is to ask in a clear & direct fashion "what do you want ?" and it flusters you as if thrown an unexpected curveball. Maybe the first rule of negotiations should be to know what you want.


It definitely is. Then you always for something more so you can negotiate down.

ILikeTwix
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Re: Negotiation Curveball

Postby ILikeTwix » Sun May 03, 2015 8:30 pm

UPDATE: Thank you all for the advice. I asked for a full scholarship. Their open house was on a Friday and I was in town visiting 2 other law schools the day before. I received a reply from the dean of admissions... he replied "NO". He recommended that I seek outside scholarships. He also implied that my original scholarship offer was a reach, stating, "it is more than similarly credentialed applicants received." Why would he ask such a loaded question if he never had intentions of increasing my original scholarship?!?

His email reply seemed condescending but I thought maybe I was reading the email out of context. I called to ask for a seat deposit extension until after the open house... Long story short, the guy was a JERK. He reluctantly granted me a 2 day extension. This is what I was afraid of... pissing off an adcomm member.

Luckily, I'd been in contact with the assistant dean of admissions. I kept a positive attitude and relayed all of my correspondence through her from then on. Upon leaving the open house, she told me she'd be submitting my application for scholarship reconsideration.

It was bumped +5,000 per year. But honestly, I'm still a little bothered by the experience.

psu2016
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Re: Negotiation Curveball

Postby psu2016 » Sun May 03, 2015 8:55 pm

ILikeTwix wrote:It was bumped +5,000 per year. But honestly, I'm still a little bothered by the experience.


This should be an automatic dealbreaker. Substance of the issue (i.e. your entitlement to a particular scholarship amount) aside, these are the people who will be dicking you over on a regular basis if you choose to attend this school. Think about the quality of life issue and all the ways that a law school can screw with you once you're a student (and, oh, there are so many), if this is how they treat POTENTIAL students.

I would run screaming from this hellhole.

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downbeat14
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Re: Negotiation Curveball

Postby downbeat14 » Sun May 03, 2015 8:57 pm

Out the school

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rpupkin
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Re: Negotiation Curveball

Postby rpupkin » Sun May 03, 2015 9:02 pm

psu2016 wrote:
ILikeTwix wrote:It was bumped +5,000 per year. But honestly, I'm still a little bothered by the experience.


This should be an automatic dealbreaker. Substance of the issue (i.e. your entitlement to a particular scholarship amount) aside, these are the people who will be dicking you over on a regular basis if you choose to attend this school. Think about the quality of life issue and all the ways that a law school can screw with you once you're a student (and, oh, there are so many), if this is how they treat POTENTIAL students.

I would run screaming from this hellhole.

This is bad advice, in my opinion. Although this school might be a bad choice for other reasons, I think it's pretty stupid to take the rudeness (or politeness) of the admissions department into account when choosing a school. Those people will have nothing to do with your life as soon as you start law school.

OP: If this school is the right choice for you because the cost is reasonable and because its employment outcomes line up with your goals, then go. Who the fuck cares if the dean of admissions is a jerk?

psu2016
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Re: Negotiation Curveball

Postby psu2016 » Sun May 03, 2015 9:11 pm

rpupkin wrote:
psu2016 wrote:
ILikeTwix wrote:It was bumped +5,000 per year. But honestly, I'm still a little bothered by the experience.


This should be an automatic dealbreaker. Substance of the issue (i.e. your entitlement to a particular scholarship amount) aside, these are the people who will be dicking you over on a regular basis if you choose to attend this school. Think about the quality of life issue and all the ways that a law school can screw with you once you're a student (and, oh, there are so many), if this is how they treat POTENTIAL students.

I would run screaming from this hellhole.

This is bad advice, in my opinion. Although this school might be a bad choice for other reasons, I think it's pretty stupid to take the rudeness (or politeness) of the admissions department into account when choosing a school. Those people will have nothing to do with your life as soon as you start law school.

OP: If this school is the right choice for you because the cost is reasonable and because its employment outcomes line up with your goals, then go. Who the fuck cares if the dean of admissions is a jerk?


It speaks to the way the school treats people in general. I actually think a jerky admissions department is the biggest red flag because they are basically the school's marketing department (i.e. supposed to be selling you a product). I'd be seriously concerned that career services is going to be similarly staffed, or you'll have majorly dickish/inaccessible professors, or just a generally shitty(-ier than average) student population.

Shrug. Just my opinion though. At least one person here disagrees.

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sd5289
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Re: Negotiation Curveball

Postby sd5289 » Sun May 03, 2015 9:22 pm

ILikeTwix wrote:My #1 school offered a half tuition scholly contingent upon a 2.75 gpa. In reply, I requested consideration for a scholarship increase (not asking for a set amount). Submitting a standard negotiation letter, I included my current accomplishments not listed in my original app/resume, along with an offer from Emory, a higher ranked school. Strong gpa, softs, years of advoacy work but mediocre lsat. I'm entering into public interest, so attempting to not accumulate enormous debt.

The curveball was the asst dean of admissions reply, "how much would it require for you to agree to commit?" No negotiation foreplay. Cut. Dry. To the point.

Well duh, of course I want to reply "a full ride buddy" but I'm concerned about the risk of pushing too far & receiving a flat out "NO", forcing me to withdraw. My mom, the haggle guru, always told me, "if you want an inch, then ask for a yard, you'll at least end up with a foot". Does this rule apply to scholarship negotiations? Should I ask for a firm amount? This negotiation feels like a bad game of Jenga. How would you approach without making the tower tumble?


Apologies if this too late for you OP, but this very same thing happened to me when I was in the middle of scholly negotiations for the 2011-2012 cycle. I had a full ride offer from School B, but preferred School A (which I was negotiating with) over School B (I was also going into PI, wanted to minimize debt, etc.).

When I was asked this question point blank I responded with "exactly what School B offered me." I can tell you he was probably a little surprised by my directness, but I had explained it in a very similar way to how you're explaining it now: namely, I had zero intent on going in to BigLaw, and wasn't about to risk a ton of debt when I had a debt-free option in front of me. School A told me they'd get back to me the next day, and what do you know, they came back with a full ride.

I know it's intimidating to be direct about this kind of stuff, but I'd say (a) schools in the position of trying to compete for students are not going to be surprised by it because you're definitely not the first person to negotiate, and (b) the worst they can say is no, and you're in the exact same position you would've been in anyway. Just don't be a dick about it. Explain in a reasonable and articulate manner why you need X amount in order to attend Y school, and do it in a respectful, mature way, and you will be fine.
Last edited by sd5289 on Sun May 03, 2015 9:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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OhBoyOhBortles
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Re: Negotiation Curveball

Postby OhBoyOhBortles » Sun May 03, 2015 9:25 pm

downbeat14 wrote:Out the school

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Helioze
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Re: Negotiation Curveball

Postby Helioze » Sun May 03, 2015 9:34 pm

I'd tell the truth.

He asks: "what will it take?"

You say: " $X is what it will take"

He either gives u X or you walk.


How hard is that?

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rpupkin
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Re: Negotiation Curveball

Postby rpupkin » Sun May 03, 2015 9:36 pm

psu2016 wrote:
It speaks to the way the school treats people in general. I actually think a jerky admissions department is the biggest red flag because they are basically the school's marketing department (i.e. supposed to be selling you a product). I'd be seriously concerned that career services is going to be similarly staffed, or you'll have majorly dickish/inaccessible professors, or just a generally shitty(-ier than average) student population.

Professors aren't hired through the same channels as staff. And TLS is littered with anecdotes of admits being charmed by admission staff at ASW ("everyone is so nice!") and then later being disappointed when they attend and find that the Career Services Office is rude or incompetent. One really doesn't have anything to do with the other.

When someone suggests that they might choose School A over School B because they liked the admissions people at School A better, TLS rightfully mocks the choice. If someone shouldn't choose a school because an admission department is nice, then they also shouldn't reject a school because the admissions department is rude. At the end of the day, the applicant needs to focus on what actually matters: cost of attendance and employment outcomes. As you point out, the admissions stuff is just marketing.




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