Calling all awesome negotiators/writers!

(Applications Advice, Letters of Recommendation . . . )
superhopefulwoo
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Calling all awesome negotiators/writers!

Postby superhopefulwoo » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:25 am

I would appreciate some assistance on a scholarship negotiation letter... please edit/advise with your awesome expertise!!!

Dear Financial Aid Committee,

My name is XXXX, and I was recently admitted to your law school. I would like to graciously thank your Admissions Committe for the very generous $30,000 per year scholarship offer. While BLAH BLAH's strong faculty, location, and well-rounded variety of class offerings are appealing to me, my ultimate choice will unfortunately be strongly based on financial circumstances. For example, both LS1 and LS2 have offered me $120,000 of merit scholarships each. Their cost of living is comparable to BLAH BLAH's and with their proximity to *different country* (where my sick mother lives along with the rest of my family) as well as my current residence in *far away state*, my annual expenses will be greatly reduced in both locations. My financial considerations are a high priority, especially because I have a moral obligation and additional expense of returning home to my sick mother. If there is a way the cost of attending BLAH BLAH could be lowered even further, it would certainly become my top choice.
Last edited by superhopefulwoo on Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

dkb17xzx
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Re: Calling all awesome negotiators/writers!

Postby dkb17xzx » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:38 am

You forgot to edit the school name in the last sentence

superhopefulwoo
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Re: Calling all awesome negotiators/writers!

Postby superhopefulwoo » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:42 am

dkb17xzx wrote:You forgot to edit the school name in the last sentence



Thank you -.- That's what happens when I rush edit. Woops! Any insight on the actual letter?

dkb17xzx
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Re: Calling all awesome negotiators/writers!

Postby dkb17xzx » Sat Feb 02, 2013 2:57 am

I've never written one before so wait for the experienced ones to chime in...

that being said, I would state BLAH BLAH remains your top choice (or something similar) to show further interest in the school.

elc414
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Re: Calling all awesome negotiators/writers!

Postby elc414 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:31 am

dkb17xzx wrote:I've never written one before so wait for the experienced ones to chime in...

that being said, I would state BLAH BLAH remains your top choice (or something similar) to show further interest in the school.


Agreed. I haven't tried negotiating, but just on first read, if I were an admissions officer, I'd think "well you have way too many reasons NOT to come here." I would definitely add a few lines about why you still choose BLAH BLAH school so highly over LS1 and LS2, and how the extra $$ would be very helpful in making a decision that favors BLAH BLAH school.

Don't say you'll definitely attend if you get the extra money though, unless you actually will. I read on other threads that's a no-no.

superhopefulwoo
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Re: Calling all awesome negotiators/writers!

Postby superhopefulwoo » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:33 pm

How is this revision?

Dear Financial Aid Committee,

My name is XXXX, and I was recently admitted to your law school. I would like to graciously thank your Admissions Committee for the very generous $30,000 per year scholarship offer. BLAH BLAH is currently one of my top choices because of its strong faculty, location, and well-rounded variety of class offerings. The extensive alumni network and your superior research facilities are just a couple more reasons why the school is very appealing to me. However, my ultimate choice will unfortunately have to be heavily based on financial circumstances. For example, both LS1 and LS2 have offered me $120,000 of merit scholarships each. Their cost of living is comparable to BLAH BLAH's and with their proximity to *different country* (where my sick mother lives along with the rest of my family) as well as my current residence in *far away state*, my annual expenses will be greatly reduced in both locations. My financial considerations are a high priority, especially because I have a moral obligation and additional expense of returning home to my sick mother. If there is a way the cost of attendance and living may be further reduced, I will certainly feel more at ease to attend BLAH BLAH.

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magp90
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Re: Calling all awesome negotiators/writers!

Postby magp90 » Sat Feb 02, 2013 5:32 pm

In my opinion, it could probably benefit from being more concise. You mention a few things more than once (your obligations to your home life, as well as the fact that your decision is heavily weighted by financial circumstances.) If you polish it up and synthesize the points your trying to make, it will flow better and sound less repetitive.

Secondly, you might want to toss in there that your decision will be based on the amount of merit scholarships you get, because they may just give you the option of applying for need-based aid.

superhopefulwoo
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Re: Calling all awesome negotiators/writers!

Postby superhopefulwoo » Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:12 pm

magp90 wrote:In my opinion, it could probably benefit from being more concise. You mention a few things more than once (your obligations to your home life, as well as the fact that your decision is heavily weighted by financial circumstances.) If you polish it up and synthesize the points your trying to make, it will flow better and sound less repetitive.

Secondly, you might want to toss in there that your decision will be based on the amount of merit scholarships you get, because they may just give you the option of applying for need-based aid.


Revision 2??

Dear Financial Aid Committee,

My name is XXXX, and I was recently admitted to your law school. I would like to graciously thank you for the very generous $30,000 renewable scholarship offer. *LS* is currently one of my top choices because of its strong faculty, location, and well-rounded variety of class offerings. The extensive alumni network and your superior research facilities are additional reasons why *LS* is an appealing choice. However, my financial considerations are a high priority in my decision.

Both LS1 and LS2 have offered me $120,000 of merit scholarships each. The cost of living in both locations are comparable to *LS*'s, but the cost of returning home is much smaller compared to *LS*. If there is a way the cost of attendance and living may be further reduced through merit aid, I would certainly feel more at ease to attend *LS* since I do not expect to receive any financial aid.

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dingbat
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Re: Calling all awesome negotiators/writers!

Postby dingbat » Sat Feb 02, 2013 8:25 pm

superhopefulwoo wrote:
magp90 wrote:In my opinion, it could probably benefit from being more concise. You mention a few things more than once (your obligations to your home life, as well as the fact that your decision is heavily weighted by financial circumstances.) If you polish it up and synthesize the points your trying to make, it will flow better and sound less repetitive.

Secondly, you might want to toss in there that your decision will be based on the amount of merit scholarships you get, because they may just give you the option of applying for need-based aid.


Revision 2??

Dear Financial Aid Committee,

My name is XXXX, and I was recently admitted to your law school. I would like to graciously thank you for the very generous $30,000 renewable scholarship offer. *LS* is currently one of my top choices because of its strong faculty, location, and well-rounded variety of class offerings. The extensive alumni network and your superior research facilities are additional reasons why *LS* is an appealing choice. However, my financial considerations are a high priority in my decision.

Both LS1 and LS2 have offered me $120,000 of merit scholarships each. The cost of living in both locations are comparable to *LS*'s, but the cost of returning home is much smaller compared to *LS*. If there is a way the cost of attendance and living may be further reduced through merit aid, I would certainly feel more at ease to attend *LS* since I do not expect to receive any financial aid.

:?:

superhopefulwoo
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Re: Calling all awesome negotiators/writers!

Postby superhopefulwoo » Sat Feb 02, 2013 9:31 pm

I was trying to say that I will mostly likely not be receiving aid through FAFSA.

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dingbat
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Re: Calling all awesome negotiators/writers!

Postby dingbat » Sat Feb 02, 2013 10:31 pm

superhopefulwoo wrote:I was trying to say that I will mostly likely not be receiving aid through FAFSA.

Don't.

superhopefulwoo wrote:
Dear Financial Aid Committee,

My name is XXXX, and I was recently admitted to your law school. I would like to graciously thank you for the very generous $30,000 renewable scholarship offer. *LS* is currently one of my top choices because of its strong faculty, location, and well-rounded variety of class offerings. The extensive alumni network and your superior research facilities are additional reasons why *LS* is an appealing choice. However, my financial considerations are a high priority in my decision.

Both LS1 and LS2 have offered me $40,000 of merit scholarships each. The cost of living in both locations are comparable to *LS*'s, but the cost of returning home is much smaller compared to *LS*. If there is a way the cost of attendance and living may be further reduced through merit aid, the chance is great that I will choose to attend *LS* .

I assume it's $40k/per year, not $120k/year. Whether you use annual or total doesn't matter, but keep them both the same. Also, be more assertive. Nobody cares about your feelings, only about the likelihood that you will attend.

I was far more upfront:

I really appreciate your offer of $30,000 per year. X law school is, and has been, my first choice, however, the cost of law school is a serious consideration for me, and in light of the fact that LS1 and LS2 have offered me $40,000 per year, I was wondering if there is any chance that X could match those offers?

superhopefulwoo
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Re: Calling all awesome negotiators/writers!

Postby superhopefulwoo » Sun Feb 03, 2013 1:20 am

Well it sounds like that worked for you so I will take your advice on not mentioning FAFSA - thank you.

As for the letter, I just want to be careful to cross any ethical boundaries since I am not 100% that said law school IS my top choice.

Also, their tuition is over 40k a year whereas one of the competing offers is about 40k a year meaning I'm getting full tuition (well, minus a couple thousand) covered. I thought I could let them do the math or should I mention it is pretty much full tuition?

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dingbat
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Re: Calling all awesome negotiators/writers!

Postby dingbat » Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:08 am

superhopefulwoo wrote:Well it sounds like that worked for you so I will take your advice on not mentioning FAFSA - thank you.

As for the letter, I just want to be careful to cross any ethical boundaries since I am not 100% that said law school IS my top choice.

Also, their tuition is over 40k a year whereas one of the competing offers is about 40k a year meaning I'm getting full tuition (well, minus a couple thousand) covered. I thought I could let them do the math or should I mention it is pretty much full tuition?

You're right, don't say it's your top choice if it isn't. There are plenty of ways to be complimentary and say you really like the school without being so definitive. "X is a fantastic school that I would be honored to attend", "I am very grateful to be given the opportunity to attend X, which is a truly phenominal school", "I have always dreamed of attending an incredible school like X", etc.

Instead of talking about scholarship, tell them that with the competing scholarship, X is more expensive.
"LS1 and LS2 have given me significant scholarships resulting in the total cost of attendance being $15,000 lower than if I were to attend X, and while I really like your school, I don't think I can justify spending $15,000 more than I would at LS1/LS2"

Don't be afraid to be direct; the people you're negotiating with understand the game. It wasn't easy for me to wrap my mind around it either, when I was starting out, but you really don't need to couch it in too many compliments (just don't be an asshole)

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magp90
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Re: Calling all awesome negotiators/writers!

Postby magp90 » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:31 am





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