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Negotiating a Scholarship [Master Thread]

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Negotiating a Scholarship [Master Thread]  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 09 Jan 2020, 15:46
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It's almost 2020 and at this time, I feel almost everyone tries to negotiate their scholarships. The success rate is fairly low and I would say schools more often than not seem to adjust things on their own, including sometimes admitting applicants from WL with a scholarship - that was a shocker to me but it happens.

I would start by saying that probably 95% of attempts to negotiate fail (that's my unofficial stats but it is hard to have the exact numbers since people who do negotiate and succeed are often under a request not to disclose their new fortune from adcom so the failure rate may actually be lower, around 90 or 85%).


Successful Negotiation Stories:
1. Fuqua Successful negotiation
2. Sample successful letter sent to Stern
3. Tepper R2, 2019, Female applicant
4. Sample Letter sent to Owen for Scholarship negotiation
5. Older thread from female applicant, negotiated likely with Booth


The Best Ways to Negotiate a Scholarship..
Welcome other folks thoughts, esp if you were successful:

  1. Thank you letter to the adcom - this works best if you have an adcom member you have befriended or interacted on a number of occasions who was kind of your champion, though I kind of feel it works best in a 2-stage approach. Send a pure thank you note first right after the admit. Then a week or two later, follow up that you have been working on financing and have a gap/need.

  2. Leveraging another offer, esp if this is a competing school (e.g. Ross/Fuqua/Stern) and send a nice message asking if there is anything you could do to improve your candidacy for consideration of any other financial aid opportunities such as named scholarships, fellowships, Teaching Assistanships. Some folks feel that unless you have another offer you can't really negotiate efficiently.

  3. Be nice and polite. Don't demand. Try to appeal instead of threaten; it goes further.

  4. Be specific - don't ask for money but ask for a specific amount. I feel this is a lot easier for the school to digest if you have an exact amount (along with why) you are seeking. E.g. I am able to borrow 100,000 but I am still short $25,000/year and not able to have that portion financed. I also think you can ask for amounts per year, which makes the figure smaller and that's how adcom seems to think/function anyway.

  5. Ask indirectly if possible. Instead of going directly to the Director of financial aid, perhaps ask the AdCom person you befriended (if you have) to see if they can check for you. This only works if you have a relationship but I am a believer that it works better if you have someone else doing the bidding for you.

  6. Decision extension = scholarship? One user reported asking AdCom to delay their decision (deposit) date which obviously would be for waiting on another school's admit decision which signals to the school that they are not the first choice, and instead they received a scholarship offer back. To their surprise. Sometimes you can ask for money without asking for it I guess.



Scholarship Tips:
How to evaluate Multiple Offers - Summary of a Chat with Admissions Consultant
A tip from an Alum - Negotiate Shamelessly :)
https://gmatclub.com/forum/negotiate-a- ... 55712.html
https://gmatclub.com/forum/negotiate-sc ... 46241.html
https://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/blog ... -the-offer
https://gmatclub.com/forum/negotiating- ... 14390.html





P.S. This often comes up - is there any downside to asking/negotiating? The fast and long answers are: No. You have an admit offer and I have never heard of anyone face any consequences for asking/confirming/clarifying their financial aid position.
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Originally posted by bb on 20 Dec 2019, 11:35.
Last edited by bb on 09 Jan 2020, 15:46, edited 5 times in total.
Added more links to success stories
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Re: Negotiating a Scholarship [Master Thread]  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2019, 10:16
Hi BB!

Quick question - what have you seen is a more effective means of negotiation. Starting right out the bat with the schools and offer those schools and providing? Or a general “would you reconsider” question?

I get concerned around if there is an expectation around confidentiality with other schools’ offers. Thanks!

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Re: Negotiating a Scholarship [Master Thread]  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2019, 10:23
Hi. I feel that’s a matter of style and personal preference. I have linked to the 2 references of scholarship negotiation letters and both of them seem to approach the issue head-on. I am not sure I would be comfortable taking that approach right off the bat but I feel it shows strength and seems to get the job done without being vague.

As to concerns related to disclosing other admits and details, I have not see or heard of any issues as the result of that. It appears there are no confidentiality issues since schools frequently request proof of other scholarship/offer. This is what I have seen on gmat club.

PS. If you end up approaching a negotiation, please share your experience. Thanks!



ConsultingGuy0543 wrote:
Hi BB!

Quick question - what have you seen is a more effective means of negotiation. Starting right out the bat with the schools and offer those schools and providing? Or a general “would you reconsider” question?

I get concerned around if there is an expectation around confidentiality with other schools’ offers. Thanks!

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Re: Negotiating a Scholarship [Master Thread]  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2019, 20:03
Hi bb,
I might be mistaken, but I haven't yet seen someone updating the ad-com with a higher GMAT or some additional responsibilities (or any such improvement to the profile) and asking for more money based on these improvements.

Do you think this can be an effective strategy?
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Re: Negotiating a Scholarship [Master Thread]  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2019, 20:57
bb a small question on this front.

Most schools have an online enrolment form. Now I have not yet accepted mine, since I plan to write a letter to the financial aid team to reconsider my scholarship. Do you suggest I accept the enrolment form in the meantime or not?

There is no deadline specified (they just say that accept at the earliest possible, there are deadlines for the admission fee in Feb'20).
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Re: Negotiating a Scholarship [Master Thread]  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2019, 21:00
SageJiraiya wrote:
Hi bb,
I might be mistaken, but I haven't yet seen someone updating the ad-com with a higher GMAT or some additional responsibilities (or any such improvement to the profile) and asking for more money based on these improvements.

Do you think this can be an effective strategy?


This is usually a WL strategy. I haven’t heard many of doing it for a scholarship. I would only improve your GMAT if adcom says you would be eligible for a scholarship (often the case in lower ranked schools looking to boost their average gmat for rankings). I don’t know that a promotion would work though... only if you got another admit with $$$

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Re: Negotiating a Scholarship [Master Thread]  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2019, 21:02
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rachitkansal wrote:
bb a small question on this front.

Most schools have an online enrolment form. Now I have not yet accepted mine, since I plan to write a letter to the financial aid team to reconsider my scholarship. Do you suggest I accept the enrolment form in the meantime or not?

There is no deadline specified (they just say that accept at the earliest possible, there are deadlines for the admission fee in Feb'20).


I think once you accept you will have to pay a deposit and at that point it is game over... you lost your negotiation leverage or at least a part of it... If you are serious I would hire an admissions consultant for $500 to help brainstorm. May be worth it. I have no recommendations off top of my mind but you can find a bunch on the site here.

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Re: Negotiating a Scholarship [Master Thread]  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2019, 21:20
bb wrote:
SageJiraiya wrote:
Hi bb,
I might be mistaken, but I haven't yet seen someone updating the ad-com with a higher GMAT or some additional responsibilities (or any such improvement to the profile) and asking for more money based on these improvements.

Do you think this can be an effective strategy?


This is usually a WL strategy. I haven’t heard many of doing it for a scholarship. I would only improve your GMAT if adcom says you would be eligible for a scholarship (often the case in lower ranked schools looking to boost their average gmat for rankings). I don’t know that a promotion would work though... only if you got another admit with $$$

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Great!
Thank you for answering!
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Re: Negotiating a Scholarship [Master Thread]  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Dec 2019, 21:28
Thanks for the response bb
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New post 30 Jan 2020, 10:30
Great tips! I have never heard that we can negotiate a scholarship. Now I will have a chance to get one, following you advice. Thanks a lot
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Re: Negotiating a Scholarship [Master Thread]  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Feb 2020, 12:19
bb and everyone else

What is everyone's thoughts on calling admissions vs writing an email?
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Re: Negotiating a Scholarship [Master Thread]  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Feb 2020, 11:48
xprometheusx wrote:
bb and everyone else

What is everyone's thoughts on calling admissions vs writing an email?


I think a bit more context would be good to understand what you mean by calling. I have a feeling you won't hit the decision-maker with a phone call and even if you do, they will be unlikely to give you a decision on the spot without further checking your profile and current scholarship fund availability. So without knowing any more thoughts/ideas and what you have in mind with the phone call, I would say having a well-written email may be better but that's me.
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New post 21 Feb 2020, 18:17
Hello bb and others,

Can you please let me know whether I can negotiate a scholarship for the second time ? I negotiated once and they increased the amount, but not upto my expectations, so I am a bit disappointed.

I don't have any other offers currently, they would be out in March. So should I wait for another offer and then get back to negotiating with this school, or I can do it right now as well ?

Your suggestions would be very much appreciated.

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New post 21 Feb 2020, 18:21
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It is up to you but I feel you would have a lot more clarity after you get your results in March and hopefully have something to negotiate with.

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New post 22 Feb 2020, 01:27
bb wrote:
It is up to you but I feel you would have a lot more clarity after you get your results in March and hopefully have something to negotiate with.

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Thanks for the response, hopefully I do have something substantial in those offers.
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Re: Negotiating a Scholarship [Master Thread]  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2020, 18:07
How did it go? Any luck? Galactico7?


Galactico7 wrote:
bb wrote:
It is up to you but I feel you would have a lot more clarity after you get your results in March and hopefully have something to negotiate with.

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Thanks for the response, hopefully I do have something substantial in those offers.

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New post 02 Mar 2020, 18:15
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[quote="bb"]How did it go? Any luck? Galactico7?

Thanks for asking, bb

I'm currently waiting for a formal offer letter from BU, and also awaiting a decision from Georgetown. Once I have a comparable offer, would go back to BC Carroll and ask for more money.

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New post 08 Mar 2020, 08:57
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Hey, I have secured admission to Cranfield with early bird discount of 10k (overall 39k pounds). In addition, I have been got admit to Boston University with 50% scholarship.

Mostly my decision depends whether I could bargain from cranfield about scholarship using BU offer. Kindly, advise guys if its possible, and whats the right way to do it? I am yet to submit a scholarship essay to Cranfield (I had assumed earlier that its based on merit basis as in US. My mistake) and IELTS score (preparing).

Also, feel free to share your opinion.
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Re: Negotiating a Scholarship [Master Thread]  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2020, 09:23
All suggestions how to approach the negotiation process are offered above in the first post.

PS. IELTS score is pass/fail only. It is not taken into consideration.


samco.me wrote:
Hey, I have secured admission to Cranfield with early bird discount of 10k (overall 39k pounds). In addition, I have been got admit to Boston University with 50% scholarship.

Mostly my decision depends whether I could bargain from cranfield about scholarship using BU offer. Kindly, advise guys if its possible, and whats the right way to do it? I am yet to submit a scholarship essay to Cranfield (I had assumed earlier that its based on merit basis as in US. My mistake) and IELTS score (preparing).

Also, feel free to share your opinion.


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New post 29 Mar 2020, 15:45
I just went through this process, and found that some programs are more willing to "entertain" scholarship negotiations than others. Typically, based on the advice I got from my consultant, you can leverage an offer from a higher-ranked school to negotiate an offer from a lower-ranked one. (For example, if you get accepted to both MIT and Anderson, for example, you can leverage the MIT offer to try to get money from Anderson - ranked lower). But some schools, as I've learned, are less likely to entertain you if you request a scholarship. I've heard that Wharton, in particular, is tough (I didn't apply there so can't speak from experience). Hope that helps!

I was able to get more money from one school I applied to. I didn't end up taking it, but it was worth trying to see what I could churn up. Best to know you have all your "best offers" from your schools when trying to make a decision, in my opinion.
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Re: Negotiating a Scholarship [Master Thread]   [#permalink] 29 Mar 2020, 15:45
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