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Merit Aid Letter, need advice

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:34 pm
by beach_terror
So I'm basically writing to say thank you for the current package, but if you can give me more money I'd enroll (it's a T3 that does well in its region, and if they bump me to a full ride, I'll go).

Is this a good letter to get the dialog going? Should I be more direct, or indirect?

edited out

I feel really awkward writing a letter like this, so please give me your opinion.

Re: Merit Aid Letter, need advice

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:40 pm
by lawschooliseasy
Get picture of Mr. T
Write "GIVE ME MORE MONEY, FOOL!"
Send to School
????
Profit

Re: Merit Aid Letter, need advice

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:41 pm
by yeff

Re: Merit Aid Letter, need advice

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:43 pm
by WhyBother?
IMO, it's not the right time to try to negotiate. You were just accepted last week. If you insist on trying, here is what I did to successfully negotiate a small increase in aid to a Tier-2: First of all, I would recommend speaking with someone in person. Even over the phone is better than a letter. Tone can make a HUGE difference with these kind of request, and with a letter you can't control how it's read. Your letter is okay, but it wouldn't make me want to give you any more money. You sound like every other prospective law student. If you can talk to someone from the admissions/financial aid office (ASD or ASW are the best times) then you can explain how you are borrowing all of it or have been unemployed recently or whatever your personal story is. Whatever you do, I would avoid saying what you wrote about how you have other offers and are comparing them to other schools. It sounded tacky, although I realize you probably didn't mean it that way.

Re: Merit Aid Letter, need advice

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:55 pm
by beach_terror
Thanks for the responses. I did read the Negotiating Merit Aid article, which is what prompted this email draft. How long should I wait to send a letter? I don't want to act like they're a fall back by waiting until March or something, because they are a legitimate option for me. There are only two schools or three schools I'd take over them (Temple, UConn, Rutgers-Camden). I applied to 12 total.

Re: Merit Aid Letter, need advice

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:58 pm
by UFMatt
I don't think that there is any perfect way of asking. If you're too delicate with the request, you'll sound weak and easily brushed off. If you're forthright with your request, you might sound too blunt or entitled. Between the two, I'd rather risk the latter as you at least sound confident in the request.

I actually just sent an email request earlier today trying to boost an offer. I'll report how it goes. The worst they can say is no.

Re: Merit Aid Letter, need advice

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:12 pm
by sawwaverunner
Be personal in your letter. I don't mean anything by this, but your letter at the top of this post looks like it took five minutes to write. Brevity is an extremely good thing, but if you are too short then it looks like you are just throwing it out there. Make a case for yourself. When you have a letter that tells precisely why extra money will be the breaking point between you going there and not, then you have a letter ready to send in.

HOWEVER, if this is a just a letter to ask to be referred to someone in Financial Services, it is 100% fine in my opinion.

Re: Merit Aid Letter, need advice

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:17 pm
by jks289
I understand feeling uncomfortable but I think you just have to look at merit aid as a business transaction. Don't be entitled or overly forceful, but being direct and honest about your situation and the importance of merit aid in you deicision is completely fine. This is their job, I doubt anyone is going to get offended.

Re: Merit Aid Letter, need advice

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:20 pm
by beach_terror
sawwaverunner wrote:
HOWEVER, if this is a just a letter to ask to be referred to someone in Financial Services, it is 100% fine in my opinion.


Yeah, this is just meant to get me referred to someone who has some authority to talk to me on the subject... which is why I'm reluctant to come on too strong. When I get an email from a financial aid rep, then I'll tell them exactly what I'm thinking. I'm just trying to show them I'm seriously interested, and that I'd like to talk more.

Re: Merit Aid Letter, need advice

Posted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:59 pm
by sawwaverunner
beach_terror wrote:
sawwaverunner wrote:
HOWEVER, if this is a just a letter to ask to be referred to someone in Financial Services, it is 100% fine in my opinion.


Yeah, this is just meant to get me referred to someone who has some authority to talk to me on the subject... which is why I'm reluctant to come on too strong. When I get an email from a financial aid rep, then I'll tell them exactly what I'm thinking. I'm just trying to show them I'm seriously interested, and that I'd like to talk more.


In that case, it looks perfect to me. But like someone else said, consider waiting a bit before getting into the financial aid arguments.

Re: Merit Aid Letter, need advice

Posted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 2:44 pm
by beach_terror
I sent the letter today, any idea when I should expect to hear a response? I sent it this morning, and I was hoping to hear by this afternoon. Is that unrealistic?

The reason I sent the letter early is because I received an acceptance in an area I'd prefer to practice in, at a better school, whose costs will be relatively similar (smaller scholly, but much cheaper tuition).

Re: Merit Aid Letter, need advice

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:20 pm
by beach_terror
bump, still haven't received a reply. Should I be worried, at this point are they ignoring me?

Re: Merit Aid Letter, need advice

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:36 pm
by jks289
beach_terror wrote:bump, still haven't received a reply. Should I be worried, at this point are they ignoring me?


I would give them 2 weeks. Myabe longer. This is literally the busiest few weeks of the entire year for them. You will hear, when you hear. I think calling before waiting 2 weeks is going to annoy them.

Re: Merit Aid Letter, need advice

Posted: Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:43 pm
by beach_terror
Okay, I wasn't ever going to call. I wasn't too sure of the timeline for a response. My letter was a generic "forward me to talk to someone who has some authority on the subject". Thanks for the info though, just wanted to be sure I had the right expectation level.