A strong "Why X" letter AND playing schools off each other?

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A strong "Why X" letter AND playing schools off each other?

Postby ScottRiqui » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:22 pm

I've received some fee waivers for schools where I have no intention of attending, but they are ranked pretty closely to one of the schools I'm trying for. I know that acceptances from peer schools can encourage higher scholarship offers in some cases, but I think it would be pretty transparent that that's what I would be trying to do.

I'm really only interested in schools in one state, and I have very strong ties there (both the state and the individual cities where the schools are located). I'm also planning on writing "Why X" essays that stress those ties heavily. My concern is that if I apply to other schools, the adcomms at my target schools will either think that my "Why X" essays are BS, and that I'm really not that committed, or they'll believe the "Why X" essays, and just figure I'm fishing for a scholarship (or a bigger scholarship).

It's worth mentioned that the peer schools who have given me waivers are nowhere near my target schools, geographically-speaking; most of them are halfway across the country.

Any thoughts?

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Re: A strong "Why X" letter AND playing schools off each other?

Postby bp shinners » Tue Sep 10, 2013 2:47 pm

Not paying nearly as much for school >> going someplace you have ties

So your Why X? essay could be honest, but the amount of money other places offer you could entice you away. Or you're just fishing for more scholarship money. Either way, it's the game we're playing, and adcomms know it.

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Re: A strong "Why X" letter AND playing schools off each other?

Postby Vexed » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:57 am

I wouldn't really be concerned about them thinking your Why X statement is meaningless simply because you applied to other schools or are negotiating aid (barring your Why X being along the lines of "I would rather set myself on fire than attend another school if I'm admitted). Adcoms understand your need to cover your bases and weigh the financial risk of attending certain schools.

Maybe consider wording your Why X a little bit softer? Unless you're a total borderline candidate or somebody who's a candidate for yield protection, chances are a Why X isn't going to be the thing that gets you in or keeps you out at the majority of schools - I wouldn't put so much weight into it that you blow your chances at negotiating a scholarship down the line.

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