Leveraging Institutions with money to spend?

<p>So I applied to a lot of schools with money to throw around and large endowments. I was curious whether beyond the FA given, if you could leverage a school for more merit aid or money to lower costs beyond your EFC at big institutions?</p>

<p>Most of the largest endowment schools only give need based aid. At the few that have merit aid, if your stats are at the top of their pool, you can sometimes get enough merit aid to start reducing your EFC. So if you're talking Duke, Chicago, you'd need to have HYPS fighting over you.</p>

<p>I would suppose it depends upon how much they really NEED/WANT you.</p>

<p>When you say "beyond FA given", do you mean need based FA? If so, then it's not likely you would see an increase in merit aid that did not reduce other non-Pell need based aid because, as merit aid increased, your need would decrease. If merit aid exceeded your need (COA-EFC=need) then you could lower your costs.</p>

<p>In my experience, you're actually more likely to get small institutions to budge. Your choice to attend or not probably means a bit more for their statistics, and they usually have a little more flexibility in FA than big schools do, who are setting up FA packages for possibly several thousands of students.</p>

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So I applied to a lot of schools with money to throw around and large endowments.

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<p>Ahem...I'm going to suggest an "attitude adjustment" before you do anything. They are NOT throwing their money around. They are using it to help students with financial need attend their institutions.</p>

<p>Now..having said that...SOME but not all schools will look at the aid packages from PEER SCHOOLS (schools that are similar demographically to them) and will sometimes match or increase your aid to match these schools. E.g Schools like Amherst might look at a school like Williams and consider your aid package at the other school). Schools will NOT consider aid packages from schools that are not Peer schools...e.g. if you get an outstanding award from Ohio State, it is not likely that Dartmouth will look twice at it.</p>

<p>Likewise, some schools have more generous need based policies. For example, Stanford has excellent need based aid even for high income earners. If you got an outstanding award from Stanford but wanted to attend Tufts, I don't think you would see an increase in aid as Tufts does not have the same generous need based aid policies.</p>

<p>So...it's school by school...peer schools only.</p>

<p>In addition to the previous post, you must match apples to apples. A school that only gives need based financial aid (the Ives, to LACs, MIT, Stanford, etc) will not care what you received in merit money from another school.</p>

<p>Agree with the above posts of Sybbie, Thumper, and some others....</p>

<p>Your best test score is an ACT 34. That's very good, but not at all unusual for those top schools with the big endowments. You'd be a dime a dozen at those schools.</p>

<p>Those schools aren't going to care that Mid Tier Univ gave you a big scholarship. All they're going to do is determine your need and give you that. If Ivy #1 gives you $25k in grants, and Ivy #2 gives you $23k in grants, then maybe Ivy #2 will give you the extra $2k after you show them the offer by #1. Reported adjustments (if given) tend to be very low...like a couple of thousand dollars. Larger adjustments usually involve a serious mistake.</p>

<p>However, schools aren't going to hand you big bucks that cut will cut into your family contribution. </p>

<p>I think you're over-estimating how much a school will want you.</p>

<p>I once helped a Black male Valedictorian with high test scores who was accepted to EVERY elite school he applied to. he wasn't happy with his FA pkg. Even thou he was highly desirable for each of those schools (some had even flown him in for visits), only one school increased his aid...and only by $3k.</p>