Negotiating Scholarships

Congrats on multiple admission offers AND multiple scholarship offers! This is quite an enviable position to find yourself in! The challenge arises if your top choice school either did not offer you any money or offered you a smaller amount than a second choice or lower ranked program.


It is important to note that YMMV and not all programs welcome scholarship negotiation offers and I hope to shed more light on this soon.


If you are ready to negotiate, how should you proceed?


  • First, determine what amount would sway your decision 

    • Since this is a negotiation you should determine your walk amount. Perhaps you will go to your dream M7 no matter what so this is moot, but perhaps you're on the fence and $10k can make a huge difference between enrolling and declining to attend. It is important to know that because this is a very expensive investment.

  • Draft and document your request

    • Based on what I have read, it is hard to negotiate with a higher ranked program if you are trying to use a lower ranked program's offer as leverage. It is hard, but not impossible. Ultimately you need to convey your commitment to attend your preferred program, but note that financial considerations are important to you. Delicately compose this in an email to your primary admissions office contact (the individual listed on your admissions offer or the person who made the call) as well as the financial aid office. Have someone reread the email for clarity. Add the offer letter from the other school as backup when you send the email.

  • Submit your email early and follow up

    • As soon as you can put together a scholarship negotiation request go for it. Now that admission offers are out in the wild, schools are busy managing applicants and prepping for admit weekend. You do not want your request to get lost. A call 3-5 days after sending the email to confirm receipt and follow up calls once a week between when you make the first call and the deposit deadline seems to be best.


Have more questions? Something unclear? Need more information? Email me! This is a work in progress!