I have read that I can negotiate scholarships and for example, use a scholarship at NYU to get a better offer at a school like Michigan. I was wondering at what time should I do this. Should I wait until March or would it be better to start the process right now?
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If you have significant scholarships now, it's not to early to at least talk with the financial aid people. As a data point, in early February last year Chicago asked me to call and talk to them about scholarships, and they made an offer February 18 roughly matching another scholarship I'd received. So at least from their perspective this is the right time. Other schools may vary - call their financial aid departments and ask politely. Berkeley, for example, has a quasi-official scholarship match program which they'd be happy to talk with you about.
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