Asked to negotiate merit aid - now what do I do?!

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kdb
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:50 pm

Asked to negotiate merit aid - now what do I do?!

Postby kdb » Sat Mar 23, 2013 11:45 am

Hi everybody,

Using recent acceptances and scholarships, I emailed two law schools asking for my merit aid to be reconsidered (in both cases, I had received a full ride from a higher ranked school). One school told me that they had already given me their highest merit award (but I have heard from current students at the school that full rides are awarded to some - I would never cite that anecdote in an email, but this is just to say I'm not sure they necessarily can't negotiate, they may just be unwilling to with me). The other school offered me a higher scholarship.

I'm looking for advice on how to respond to both these emails in a polite, noncommittal way- one to a rejection of additional merit aid, and one to an increase in merit aid. I am still waiting to hear from law schools regarding acceptances and scholarships, so I'm by no means ready to commit to a particular school! I would like to keep the door open to continue negotiations at a later point when I hear back from other schools.

I would appreciate advice anyone has on this! Negotiating merit aid is a tricky road to navigate, I want to make sure to do it right!

BigZuck
Posts: 10884
Joined: Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:53 am

Re: Asked to negotiate merit aid - now what do I do?!

Postby BigZuck » Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:04 pm

kdb wrote:Hi everybody,

Using recent acceptances and scholarships, I emailed two law schools asking for my merit aid to be reconsidered (in both cases, I had received a full ride from a higher ranked school). One school told me that they had already given me their highest merit award (but I have heard from current students at the school that full rides are awarded to some - I would never cite that anecdote in an email, but this is just to say I'm not sure they necessarily can't negotiate, they may just be unwilling to with me). The other school offered me a higher scholarship.

I'm looking for advice on how to respond to both these emails in a polite, noncommittal way- one to a rejection of additional merit aid, and one to an increase in merit aid. I am still waiting to hear from law schools regarding acceptances and scholarships, so I'm by no means ready to commit to a particular school! I would like to keep the door open to continue negotiations at a later point when I hear back from other schools.

I would appreciate advice anyone has on this! Negotiating merit aid is a tricky road to navigate, I want to make sure to do it right!


What are the specific schools in question?

User avatar
guano
Posts: 2268
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:49 am

Re: Asked to negotiate merit aid - now what do I do?!

Postby guano » Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:12 pm

Keep in mind that a school may have a set limit of full scholarships and that these might be used for a specific purpose (for example, to maximize geographic dispersion of alumni), so while it might not be technically true, practically that might be the maximum

bp shinners
Posts: 3091
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:05 pm

Re: Asked to negotiate merit aid - now what do I do?!

Postby bp shinners » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:11 am

kdb wrote:I would appreciate advice anyone has on this! Negotiating merit aid is a tricky road to navigate, I want to make sure to do it right!


If you've received a higher scholarship to a better ranked school, I would just cut your "losses" at the schools that are refusing to deal and letting them know you won't be attending. If they're playing hardball, there's no way they're going to radically alter their minds enough to end up beating that better-ranked school's scholarship by an appreciable amount. And the people on the waitlist would certainly appreciate you taking yourself out of the equation, since it's unlikely that you'll end up enrolling there.

To the places that have offered you a larger scholarship, just send them an e-mail thanking them for their reconsideration, and let them know that it has definitely affected your decision, but you still need to weigh all your options.

You have to remember their perspective - as much as it might sting, they're not waiting by the mail with bated breath for your seat deposit/letter of intent to enroll. They've got thousands of students like you out there, so as long as you're polite, you won't offend anyone by being honest.




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