Everyone who is thinking of "negotiating" - I can help you out, just went through the process and, despite "compelling" reasons, was dinged via Email. I know a 2L was was given a raise after 1L grades were posted, otherwise I've yet to talk to someone who has been given an increase pre-1L. I do think it's possible, however.
For starters, at least with the Emery peeps, you don't negotiate
. You appeal
. I don't know if they're different from other schools or not in this respect. But, I do feel like the appeal gives you less wiggle room, meanings in negotiations, you can provide more reasoning for something, make a stronger case. The appeal form is one page, and only gives you ~ 100 or so word space to work with. Its very wham bam thank you ma'am. So email Fin. Aid office, they'll hook you up with a form. Anyone who thinks they have a decent shot, PM me and I'll tell you what my deal was and how the whole thing went down, and you can compare your situation to mine.
EDIT: for anyone who is interested, the email said I was denied due to lack of funds. That being said, people who are in at SCU as a safety and were tossed money, feel free to withdraw and then maybe I can ah, substantiate their claim
And IMO, on an appeal anyway, I don't think "I got into an arbitrarily higher ranked school than yours" is really compelling. That's like trying to bargain with one manufacture for a lower price because another manufacturer is in one way perceived to be a better producer; they probably won't want to work with you. I'm sure that's not the consensus round here.
I'd focus on better, more personal things than the USNews system, esp. everyone with a 170+ LSAT. That's a badass score. It may be obscene you don't have full tuition from a school that's hovered around 77-85 in said capricious ranking system for a couple years, but they probably "low balled" you because really, you're probably going to wind up a higher ranked school and they aren't going to toss a ton of money at someone who may not be a serious prospect.. they aren't t14 material, or Cooley, so they may be gave money to people who are more likely candidates. Like scholly YP. Fluff them a bit in the appeal and see what happens. That's one way of thinking about it anyway, I'd think a full ride would be in order to see if you'd call it in, but I guess this is law school and not poker. Unfortunately.