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Is it inappropriate to negotiate a XC/Track Athletic Scholarship amount?

jillismomjillismom Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
My D was offered what I would consider a small amount to run XC and Track. We are grateful for anything but she has been offered more at other schools but they are not in her top 3. I don't want to offend the coach is it inappropriate to try and negotiate? I haven't had any help with the recruiting process so I am flying blind, any help/advice you can give is much appreciated it!

Thanks!

Replies to: Is it inappropriate to negotiate a XC/Track Athletic Scholarship amount?

  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 20,201 Senior Member
    Sure, you can ask. You can also see if you qualify for more money in need based aid from the preferred school..
  • bluewater2015bluewater2015 Registered User Posts: 564 Member
    I think it's fine to ask (politely, of course). If this is D1, a fully funded women's program has the equivalent of 18 scholarships to spread among twice that number (or more) of athletes, so the coach may or may not have more money.
  • lubbublubbub Registered User Posts: 67 Junior Member
    It is appropriate to ask but be prepared for a worst case answer - sorry we won't be able to recruit your D anymore. I think the subject can be best approached by stating that "your school is her top choice, but you just can't quite make the money work, can they offer any more or give some direction to help with more financial aid.". Also could ask if there might could be a little more it D hits certian marks this season.

    When My D was being recruited, one school offered her a flat amount, and then made 3 conditional offers of extra amounts for hitting a certain mark in her two events, and for winning a state championship. I thought it was unusual as it was the only school of several that came right out and offered in this manner.

    Also some coaches will give more after Freshman year if a kid hits certain marks. Kids on my D's team are open and talk to the coach about what it would take to get them more, and coach gives them honest feedback and marks to hit. Not saying every coach is this way, but some are. Ask if this is a possibility at the school.

    There are no rules, each relationship with each coach is unique. Some may be very open to a discussion, others might take offense and walk away. I think something that is well established is that your D needs to be having these conversations with the coach, or at most both of you with the coach. You don't need to try to do this one on one with the coach without D as part of the conversation.
  • varskavarska Registered User Posts: 1,430 Senior Member
    I think the subject can be best approached by stating that "your school is her top choice, but you just can't quite make the money work, can they offer any more or give some direction to help with more financial aid.

    I agree with that. A friend's daughter was being recruited for track at a school that was financially a major stretch. He called the coach and said something like, 'she really wants to run for you guys, but before I let her fall completely in love with the school, I need to know if I can afford it." The coach did sweeten the offer a bit.

    Usually I am a big proponent of the kid making all the phone calls. In this case I think it's okay to make this call solo.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 20,201 Senior Member
    My daughter asked me to 'do the money' and I did just this, called and said I was trying to make it work but just wasn't sure I could afford it, and she immediately offered more. I also asked if it would matter if we didn't commit in the fall but waited till the spring and she said no. We did learn that one of the teammates got more, but I think she may get less in merit money, and the coaches do check to see what other sources of money the player is getting.

    DD also didn't ask for more for sophomore year, but I've told her she needs to for the next two years. We've had several players leave, so I know there is more money available. Also, tuition had gone up, and we just need more money.

  • jillismomjillismom Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Thanks so much for the advice. I really appreciate it.
  • OnTrack2013OnTrack2013 Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    We handled it very similar to twoinanddone and have done this twice now because my son transferred after his freshman year. My son talked to all recruiting coaches directly (which he hated btw) until finances came up and then he handed the phone over. We told coaches what our budget per year was and the school he ended up going to out of HS quoted his scholarship in terms of percentage of cost of attendance. Their % got us exactly to our budget. He did get “better” offers to other schools but they were not a good fit academically, so while it was hard to say no to more money/year we tried to look at the big picture. Comparing offers does get interesting though because while one school may offer a lesser % or less money, if the school is less costly to begin with (state univ. vs. private) a smaller offer may be the better budget option. And in my son’s case no amount of money would have made him stay at his first school.

    In transferring, his current school just offered him a straight dollar amount/year. This time we had to negotiate on a poor performance year, so he definitely had less leverage and we took the first number offered and said thank you. He is on a mix of academic and athletic money so even though his current athletic scholarship is less than his first school, our out of pocket cost is less. However, now that he is on campus my son has already talked to the coach about what it would take to get him to a full athletic scholarship, and they have agreed on incentives; win conference, qualify for nationals, etc. The athletes do talk among themselves and everyone knows who is on a full vs.partial. At this school the coaching staff never pulls money away from any of the athletes if they are doing their part, but in his first school, in the one year that he was there, he knew of two athletes that had money cut due to various issues, so the environment was different, there was always the uncertainty of what next season would bring.

    So make sure you look at the total picture when negotiating money, the whole situation will be stressful enough for your daughter, but if you push for performance incentives, make sure you can also handle the reverse situation if performance goes the other way. Granted our kids are all amazing, but sometimes things don’t go as planned.
  • Hastomen123Hastomen123 Registered User Posts: 95 Junior Member
    Here was our process (swimming):

    1. Target schools where my D would be a solid recruit, to generate more interest from coaches, as well as greater scholarship possibility. (Granted, this is easier with quantitative sports like swimming and track). This required a clear-eyed assessment of her abilities and was definitely the MOST IMPORTANT step in the process.

    2. After the 2nd or 3rd call with a coach, my D made it clear that we have multiple kids in college, and "money is a significant issue in choosing the right program". She mentioned that on the phone and also in email.

    3. After she received an official visit and was interested in the school, I called the coach to discuss finances. I made it clear that I wasn't negotiating, just trying to understand how that school handled things. All of the coaches were very happy to have the conversation. I let them know I was taking notes as we talked. Here were some of the questions:
    • Is in-state tuition available?
    • Is academic money available based on her scores/GPA? How much, exactly?
    • Are multi-year scholarships offered?
    • What is the practice on increasing or decreasing scholarship? (e.g. times, academics) Defined incentives?
    • What off-season (summer) travel competitions are covered? At what percentage?
    • Do scholarships cover summer housing, food, classes? At what percentage?
    • Do scholarships cover any travel training trips (like a Christmas trip)? Is food covered on the trip?
    • What happens if tuition increases?
    • Are medical expenses covered?
    • Does the scholarship apply to a 5th year or post-graduate year?

    4. Some of the schools offered a range or minimum percentage before she accepted the OV - which tended to make them more attractive. A couple wouldn't put a specific number on the table, and she had to decide whether or not to go on the OV without quite knowing if we could afford the school.





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