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4 keys for negotiating a better college aid offer

Dave_BerryDave_Berry 492 replies2493 postsCC Admissions Expert Senior Member
"... since families were allowed to submit their FAFSA aid forms earlier this year -- Oct. 1, 2016, instead of Jan. 1, 2017 -- it has created “a bigger window for considering all of their financial options. (Note: If you haven’t submitted a FAFSA yet, get cracking. Most colleges won’t process aid requests without it.)

Once you have aid offers to consider, your first move is psychological: Remember that you’re empowered to negotiate. You won’t know what the best offers are until you press for them. Here are four essential steps for doing that:" ...

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/4-keys-for-negotiating-a-better-college-aid-offer/
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Replies to: 4 keys for negotiating a better college aid offer

  • thumper1thumper1 73722 replies3213 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    There are also plenty of private universities that will NOT reconsider their financial aid offers. Both of our kids had that experience. Some schools do...and some schools do NOT...at all.
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  • AlumDadMAAlumDadMA 31 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Leverage one school against the other...remember, this is the business part. If you can find schools that are natural competitors, that is best. See Notre Dame and BC. Also, best chance is for your child's safety level schools. They are the most motivated to deep discount price in order to get your kids credentials to attend their school and bring up their averages.
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  • suzy100suzy100 5694 replies58 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @AlumDadMA, I don't think that ND sees BC as a peer school. D was accepted to both - ND's aid was vastly superior. I can't see BC matching that, but I could be wrong.
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  • AlumDadMAAlumDadMA 31 replies1 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    @suzy100 sorry, I was just using those two schools as an example.
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  • sybbie719sybbie719 20683 replies1989 postsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    IME, Notre Dame sees Duke and Dartmouth as peers as there is a lot of overlap in students getting accepted to these schools.
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  • robincornrobincorn 56 replies3 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Any good resources to determine what schools a specific college considers as a peer school. For example will Univ. of Pittsburgh consider Temple a peer school?
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  • CourtneyThurstonCourtneyThurston 1369 replies14 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited March 2017
    "Any good resources to determine what schools a specific college considers as a peer school. For example will Univ. of Pittsburgh consider Temple a peer school?"

    Maybe. But UPitt's merit standards are higher so you probably couldn't bring a Temple offer to them to 'negotiate', because an award for a 1400 SAT and decent GPA at Temple isn't the same as the like 1500+ level required for any merit at UPitt.

    But maybe for financial aid. Definitely a big overlap in accepted students.
    edited March 2017
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  • STEM2017STEM2017 4029 replies94 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    In my opinion, a key point missed in this article is to get the student involved in the discussion. Maybe I am being naive, but I would bet that a financial aid officer or a college dean would rather hear the voice of the student than the parent during the process. I would also bet that the officer or the dean would continue the discussion on behalf of the student rather than put it on the pile with the rest of the parent discussions.

    This would require some extensive coaching by the parents on the language of financial aid and their own personal situation. But I think we sometimes underestimate the persuasiveness and the abilities of our kids.

    What do you think @CourtneyThurston?
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  • TomSrOfBostonTomSrOfBoston 14651 replies979 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @CourtneyThurston Exactly! A college would be impressed with an applicant who is articulate and a self starter, not impressed by an applicant who uses mom and/or dad as a spokesperson.
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  • LAClusterLACluster 81 replies19 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    What about grad schools? Are scholarships and loan packages from competing graduate programs considered negotiable to some extent?
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  • STEM2017STEM2017 4029 replies94 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    @TomSrOfBoston Thats pretty much what I said.
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  • STEM2017STEM2017 4029 replies94 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    I advocated for myself, and yes I think it was a lot more effective.

    Thank you for confirming my point.
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  • sybbie719sybbie719 20683 replies1989 postsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    Financial aid at grad school is totally different. Most of it is purely merit and how the work you plan on doing in grad school fits in with a professor that is doing that work. The prevailing wisdom is that if you are not going to a fully funded PhD program, then it is not worth it to go.
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  • LAClusterLACluster 81 replies19 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    Sybbie, are you saying then that merit aid offers from competing programs are not negotiable?
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  • CourtneyThurstonCourtneyThurston 1369 replies14 postsRegistered User Senior Member
    Imo grad school is a lot harder to negotiate for the reasons Sybbie listed. A friend of mine is going for a PhD and two peer schools he was accepted to would not match each others offers (one had better relocation, one had a better stipend, etc). It's more about what the school has available for that specific position in the dept, etc.
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  • LAClusterLACluster 81 replies19 postsRegistered User Junior Member
    In this case, the programs I'm referring to are fairly similar masters programs in nursing at good private universities -- not a PhD / research program. So I'm wondering if their merit aid offers could be negotiated in as much as they are competing programs.
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  • sybbie719sybbie719 20683 replies1989 postsSuper Moderator Super Moderator
    It is highly unlikely that you are going to negotiate merit even at the Masters level. Grad school admissions and financial aid is vastly different from undergrad. Your best bet if is to find out if your can get tuition remission benefits from your job to help defray the cost of grad school.
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  • Eeeee127Eeeee127 880 replies4 postsRegistered User Member
    what are some of university of michigan's peers? would cornell be a peer? like if I have to pay 60k for cornell could I negotiate and say I only have to pay 27k for umich (I'm a michigan resident)?
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