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You can find a better version of my blog at http://www.adammarkus.com/blog/.

Be sure to read my Key Posts on the admissions process. Topics include essay analysis, resumes, recommendations, rankings, and more.

April 03, 2010

Money: Ask for it!

Imagine a situation where you have been admitted to three graduate schools (MBA, MPP, MPA, MS, MA, PhD, LL.M, or anything else) for Fall 2010 and the programs are offering you the following scholarship packages:
School A, your top choice, has offered you nothing.
School B, your second choice, has offered you a 50% tuition waiver.

School C, your third choice, has offered you free tuition.

Assume that the total cost for tuition and living expenses at the three schools is the same. Assume your criteria for ranking these schools is based on some combination of your overall sense of fit, program rank, program reputation (brand value),  expected post-degree starting salary, and location.  Assume you actually either have the money or can obtain loans to go to attend any of these schools. Finally, assume that you have just received all three offers.  What is the next thing to do?


The worst situation is that School A can  say that they are unable to offer you any money.  They can't withdraw their offer of admission, so without being rude, just politely explain your situation and ask them for money. Don't lie about what Schools B and C are offering you and be willing to give School A the details.  School A might not offer you anything and you might very well decide to go there anyway, but it never hurts to ask.

The above suggestion is based on observing what some of my clients do. They don't always succeed at getting more scholarship money, but often they do.  I am not professional negotiator, so I can't tell you the best way to actually negotiate, but I can tell you that it never hurts to ask.

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