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lorenzen

Leveraging an Offer

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I feel so tacky and sneaky even making this post. Let me explain!!!

 

My alma mater and dream grad program in my state admitted me to their Master's in Sociology program, but did not offer funding. They said that if I applied in my last year of the program, I would likely get an assistantship. 

 

Another school I applied to offered me a very generous offer of assistantship and tuition funding, and yet another school offered me an assistantship and in-state tuition. 

 

I already made it clear to the Department head of the program I covet that I would greatly appreciate funding if any offers were declined. Now I have these letters offering me funding in different states. What would it look like if I met with her and told her about these other offers, and implied that if I received funding from my first choice school (her program), it would make my decision of where to go much easier?

 

 

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23 hours ago, lorenzen said:

I feel so tacky and sneaky even making this post. Let me explain!!!

 

My alma mater and dream grad program in my state admitted me to their Master's in Sociology program, but did not offer funding. They said that if I applied in my last year of the program, I would likely get an assistantship. 

 

Another school I applied to offered me a very generous offer of assistantship and tuition funding, and yet another school offered me an assistantship and in-state tuition. 

 

I already made it clear to the Department head of the program I covet that I would greatly appreciate funding if any offers were declined. Now I have these letters offering me funding in different states. What would it look like if I met with her and told her about these other offers, and implied that if I received funding from my first choice school (her program), it would make my decision of where to go much easier?

 

 

 

Try not to feel sneaky in thinking about leveraging offers, its a very common thing. If im understanding you correctly, you want to make it clear to your dream grad program that you are valued and being offered funding elsewhere in hopes that they will offer you funding.

I don't think you should be implicit about it, I think you should be very clear. You are clearly valued and wanted as a graduate student or else you wouldn't have received offers elsewhere, just because its your dream school dont let them undercut your worth. The program I was accepted to, clearly stated that if I received any offers that were higher than theirs, they'd do their best to match it. These departments know you probably received attractive offers from places, and clearly stating that you already have BUT also making it clear that you would deny all these and go to your dream program if they could provide some more funding is something they expect from you. 

These people also know that graduate school is hard to survive without funding (its your livelihood), so they won't take it any other way than you're trying to secure the best possible graduate experience as you can. Just be clear, direct, and assertive about it! Good luck!

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Kevin,

 

Thank you for your reply to my topic. It has definitely clarified for me what I need to do to start the discussion. But may I ask you another question?   How can I conclude such a conversation with the department head? I fear that she will say " well, are you waffling on our program? You must decide by next week if you want to attend or leave."  

 

Oh dear, I lack  social tact. This would come easily to another person, but I have to consider these things carefully lest I muddle everything up. 

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On 4/20/2018 at 11:32 AM, lorenzen said:

Kevin,

 

Thank you for your reply to my topic. It has definitely clarified for me what I need to do to start the discussion. But may I ask you another question?   How can I conclude such a conversation with the department head? I fear that she will say " well, are you waffling on our program? You must decide by next week if you want to attend or leave."  

 

Oh dear, I lack  social tact. This would come easily to another person, but I have to consider these things carefully lest I muddle everything up. 

Sorry for the late reply. I guarantee she will NOT say that. You're just looking out for your own livelihood and there's nothing wrong with that.

Just try to make clear you love their department and itd be perfect, but what can they expect you to do if you couldn't afford to come?

In concluding the conversation, all you have to do is thank them (sincerely) for the information they've provided etc then tell them you need some time to deliberate. Then email them an hour or so late, thank them for the meeting and tell them you'll be in contact shortly. Try not to be too stressed about this, im sure 80% of phd applicants are doing this!

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