D.Kim wrote:Boalt and Michigan are two of my top options at the moment, and since Boalt's need grant nearly matches what I got from Michigan, if they award me any merit aid it will be a much more attractive offer. Wondering if I can ask Michigan to consider me for need aid as a way to up their offer.
I am not an expert but if you like the total package from Berkeley, I'd go to Michigan and present the whole package and ask them to match it. It's not top-14 but GW does something similar to Michigan, they cap need aid at (I think) $16,000 per year eliminating anyone getting more than that in merit from need aid consideration.
Berkeley is different in that they add the merit and need together.
One catch with the Berkeley offer is that Michigan's offer (I assume) is guaranteed for 3 years while a need-aid offer from Berkeley depends on your financial circumstances in years 2 and 3, and presumably also on Berkeley's financials (they might have more or less money to distribute for need aid next year).