Using transfer acceptance as scholarship leverage

A forum for those current students who are or may be transferring from one school to another. Post any questions, advice, or other transfer related comments here.
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salvage
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Using transfer acceptance as scholarship leverage

Postby salvage » Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:06 pm

I couldn't find anything on this, but I figure there must be some advice floating around somewhere. I'd honestly rather stay at my current school. If I get into the higher-ranked transfer, how do I go about diplomatically using that acceptance to potentially increase my current scholarship?

shock259
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Re: Using transfer acceptance as scholarship leverage

Postby shock259 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:57 am

Tagged.

So far, I've had to email a few administrators about getting my transcript, dean's certificate, etc. One had said he wants to speak with me. When I emailed and asked for the documents, I said something to the effect of "I am only gathering information about my options and trying to give myself the best available opportunities. It seems to be in my best interest to apply to some other schools and see what sticks."

So now the administration already knows I want to stay, but I'm contemplating transferring.

My plan now is to wait until I have an acceptance from somewhere else. After that, I'll make an appointment with the dean and tell him beforehand that I've been accepted somewhere else and I am seriously contemplating going. I'll say that it makes financial sense to go, but I am also hesitant about leaving my current school because of the good experiences I've had. And I'll tell him that I was hoping we could work something out with the financial piece to keep me here.

I don't know what I'll say at the actual meeting. I'm sorta hoping that he'll come in with a number of what he is willing to offer and we won't have to haggle much.

I have no idea what an acceptable amount of money to ask for is. Will a T1 or a T2 offer people full rides if they've been accepted to T10 schools? No clue. And I haven't been able to find any real data.

Short answer: I don't know how to use this as leverage.

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AVBucks4239
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Re: Using transfer acceptance as scholarship leverage

Postby AVBucks4239 » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:16 am

+1 to needing information on this.

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PinkCow
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Re: Using transfer acceptance as scholarship leverage

Postby PinkCow » Thu Jun 21, 2012 12:39 pm

Tag. There are so many posts on here saying "at least you can use a transfer acceptance to negotiate", but I have never read if anyone has been successful or even how to do it.

No one at my school has contacted me yet...I feel like the ugly girl at the school dance

concurrent fork
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Re: Using transfer acceptance as scholarship leverage

Postby concurrent fork » Thu Jun 21, 2012 1:24 pm

PinkCow wrote:Tag. There are so many posts on here saying "at least you can use a transfer acceptance to negotiate", but I have never read if anyone has been successful or even how to do it.

No one at my school has contacted me yet...I feel like the ugly girl at the school dance

TLS is an echo chamber. Many schools don't do this (my T30 explicitly had a policy against it). The only way to find out is to ask yourself, not wait for someone to contact you.

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fatduck
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Re: Using transfer acceptance as scholarship leverage

Postby fatduck » Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:02 pm

some schools will contact you proactively, some won't. i wouldn't take it personally. either way, though, i'd wait until i had transfer acceptances in hand before raising the issue of more scholarship money.

you've really got nothing to lose. there aren't going to be any repercussions to asking for more money. just make sure you have a figure in mind where you would stay, because they'll probably want a decision on the spot or close to it if they offer more money.

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jessuf
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Re: Using transfer acceptance as scholarship leverage

Postby jessuf » Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:05 pm

I have no experience with contacting on my own/negotiating, but when I requested transcripts and dean certs for transferring, the registrar asked why. I told her for transfer applications. Then a few days later, the dean e-mailed me and offered me a scholarship. So it does happen, but I guess if you already requested these things and made your interest in transferring known and haven't heard anything yet, you should now contact the dean or whoever directly.

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LazinessPerSe
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Re: Using transfer acceptance as scholarship leverage

Postby LazinessPerSe » Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:53 am

My school explicitly does not like having their arm twisted by top students. That said, a lot of scholarship money is tied up at median right now. When I signaled intent to transfer, the Dean tried real hard to say our alumni network is growing and it would help me. Alumni network? We have an alumni network with the first graduating class being 2009?

I had a good lul.

roarthur
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Re: Using transfer acceptance as scholarship leverage

Postby roarthur » Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:31 pm

I have this question too.

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northwood
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Re: Using transfer acceptance as scholarship leverage

Postby northwood » Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:40 pm

Also interested in this

shock259
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Re: Using transfer acceptance as scholarship leverage

Postby shock259 » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:41 pm

Here was my experience:

I basically followed most of my plan that I wrote above. I emailed the Dean at the beginning of the process to put her on alert. I emailed her again after I got an acceptance into a T10 school and basically said that I was seriously considering transferring for the improved employment prospects. That said, I was a bit hesitant about the additional debt load and wanted to see if they could offer me any additional scholarships.

We couldn't talk in person, so we set up a phone interview to chat about it. It was a very friendly, mentoring type of dialogue. I was honest about my biglaw ambitions, transferring, target markets, etc. She plainly said that she wanted me to stay, but acknowledged that I had great options on the table and that I couldn't really make a bad choice. She specifically tried to convince me that transfers don't do well at OCI and to play up her school's ability to place in biglaw. After all this, she said that there was just no money left and offered me $5k for next year and promised a lot more money 3L year. The money came from some dean discretionary fund.

Wasn't nearly as much as I was hoping for, but I don't think there is much else I could have done. At the end, I told her that I was 95% sure I was going to transfer. I think they out of money or just don't care too much to see me go.

It was pretty painless, though. She came in with a number, I said I'd consider it, and we left it at that. I suppose I could have tried to turn it into more of a negotiation, but I don't think she was going to come up from $5k to full tuition + cost of living (which is the only thing that would have made me reconsider transferring at this point).

T10 here I come.

roarthur
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Re: Using transfer acceptance as scholarship leverage

Postby roarthur » Sat Jul 14, 2012 11:08 pm

Thanks for sharing that I'll be doing it soon. Very helpful.

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LazinessPerSe
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Re: Using transfer acceptance as scholarship leverage

Postby LazinessPerSe » Sun Jul 15, 2012 7:26 am

Just an update - I attempted this with Elon Law (T4) as well. I e-mailed the Dean and politely mentioned my acceptances into W&M/FSU/GMU, and reservations about my current debt load. The results were better than Shock's, but a little backstory to put it into perspective: My UGPA was 3.96, Magna Cum Laude in Finance / 154 LSAT. Elon Law took me, but at near sticker price, which was about $55k. I'm from VA, so any VA school in-state at sticker was cheaper than what I was paying at Elon. After the first year at Elon I was #3/125, with 7 CALIs and a SA with Norfolk Southern.

I related all of this to our Dean and mentioned that the only thing that would even remotely keep me at Elon would be a substantial scholarship. I was offered $12,500 to stay, but that's clearly not going to get me to stay at a T4 with dim employment opportunities. I (politely) declined the scholarship and signaled my intent to withdraw / transfer to W&M.

TL;DR- I was able to get more $$, but echoing what Shock experienced - schools aren't going to line up to give you a full ride anytime soon.

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Hamilton
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Re: Using transfer acceptance as scholarship leverage

Postby Hamilton » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:14 am

Now that I'm graduated, I'll share my experience. I had no intentions to transfer; I liked my T20-30 midwestern school at near sticker, got law review, moot court, etc. A professor said he was surprised when I told him I wasn't putting out transfer apps, and offered to write a letter on my behalf. My plan was, "ok, get into a couple T14s, show my letter to the dean, and collect the scholarship dollars."

Long story short. I got accepted to a T6 and met with an assoc. dean who flatly told me that there was no money to give. A couple of my 1L profs then allegedly asked the head dean to put up money to keep me to stay, but the answer was still no. (This is a rumor, I can't verify it). Every prof I then met with to ask for their advice told me to transfer.

Two years later, I've graduated from my transfer school, and would do it again in a heartbeat. Nothing against my 1L school, but if you're already paying near sticker, you might as well get the higher-ranked degree. Law review and moot court are great as signaling devices, but you can still put "invited to law review staff" on your resume, and then your GPA and new school will also be signaling devices to employers.

So in sum: The law schools have already reported your LSAT/UGPA to USNWR. Your good law school grades are of no value to the school. Therefore, your only value to them is: 1) future donations you give as an alum, 2) employment connections you can provide for their future students, and 3) anything outstanding you do as an alum, so they can claim you as an example. (e.g. supreme court clerk, etc.)

Each law school will compute the calculus differently. Some value what their high-performing 2Ls and 3Ls can provide in the future, some don't. In the end, it can't hurt to ask, but you need to weigh what your current school can provide at your current tuition rate, vs. what your potential transfer school can provide at their sticker rate. Ask around on TLS on all the "X school 2Ls and 3Ls taking questions," threads how the transfers usually do. More often then not, at least from my experience and from what I've heard, transfers assimilate well and tend to find their way into the top half of the class.

mdfreeman
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Re: Using transfer acceptance as scholarship leverage

Postby mdfreeman » Sun Jul 15, 2012 12:10 pm

I can confirm what other posters in this thread have said so far. My school, when I broached the subject of transferring, very politely told me that they have no idea what money, if any, they can award as scholarships until Sept. 1st.

It's really sad too because honestly if I got even a 50% break on tuition I'd stay but it's really hard for me to pay roughly the same amount of money regardless of school rank/standing.

My advice? Go in, talk to your dean, don't be a jerk. See what happens. But don't get your hopes up.




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