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TwoEdgedSword

Tactfully asking for more award $

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What is the best way of wording a request for a college to consider giving more merit/scholarship aid for a student?

 

We have one college which has awarded twice as much, but the one that awarded less may be her first choice.

 

Thank you!!!! We want to sound confidant, not tacky.

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I have heard that sometimes you can show them the competing award; if your student is desirable to the college with the lower award offer they have an incentive to narrow the gap.

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We asked for more reward money, but had a very specific reason for doing so.  So I think it's not as much correct wording as simply having a good reason.  Do you have a good reason that you can explain to them?  They will want to know precise numbers, etc.  

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We appealed for more merit aid by providing a copy of a competing school's offer. I only included the one other school because it was it was very similar (private STEM school; I didn't think they would care that the big state school offered her more money). I compared not only the two similar schools' offers but the rankings too. The school we were appealing to was actually ranked one sport lower for her major than the other school, so we felt this also demonstrated interest in that she would choose their school over the higher ranked one. The school we were trying to get more aid from only allowed one appeal for merit aid, so I included everything I could think of, even that airfare would be more expensive going to that school. I didn't ask for a specific dollar amount of additional aid, but I did say that it would cost ____ more in tuition each year to attend your school (and it seems that was what they focused on because they cut that number in half). And, yes, I wrote the email -- not DD -- despite some people saying that type of correspondence should always come from the kid (I think it's great if the kid does write it, but we needed to get it out fast and she didn't have time). 

 

So, in our case it worked out pretty well -- they did not beat the other school's offer but it was enough to make us feel good about the process. She had already received higher than average merit aid for the school, so I was glad they offered anything. It never occurred to me when she was narrowing her list to try to have at least two similar schools just for this purpose, but I will definitely make sure we do so in the future. I think it helps to focus on what's similar between the schools. For example, I didn't focus too much on housing because there were too many variables involved there; it was easier to just focus on the tuition costs.

 

Hope it goes well for you!

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To piggy back on this, they won't ever offer more than tuition, right?  DD is in the running for a full tuition scholarship but, crazy enough, it could still be more expensive than the offer she has right now from Chapel Hill (with her scholarship).  

Edited by Attolia

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To not appear tacky, tell them that your dc really wants to attend their school, but you can't as a family ignore the significant cost savings by attending his second choice school.  Is there anything they can do make your decision easier?  <Discretely slide a copy of his award letter from second choice school across their desk.>  

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To piggy back on this, they won't ever offer more than tuition, right? DD is in the running for a full tuition scholarship but, crazy enough, it could still be more expensive than the offer she has right now from Chapel Hill (with her scholarship).

Depends on the school. There are some that give either merit or financial aid awards that cover room and board as well as tuition and fees.

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