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worldleader2018

Tips on Negotiating Offers

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This is a really awesome idea for a resource. I’ve hesrd from several admissions officers that superior offers from comparable schools is the most determining leverage for successful negotiations.

If I can piggy back and add some specific questions for discussion:

- What kind of offers are relevant as leverage to a specific school? Is it similarly ranked schools? Is it schools with similar programs in terms of academic focus? Location?

- How do you negotiate an already superior offer? Say you’ve been given full tuition plus stipend, but want to increase the stipend at one institution based on a superior offer from another.

- Is it possible to negotiate without other superior offers? How?

Edited by acerbicb

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Now my experience is all of one school, but I would imagine your only real lever is your offers from superior or equal schools as far as rankings.

 

Your email can be something along the lines of, "Thank you for your generous offer, but the scholarship isn't enough to make the cost feasible for me. Especially when I have an offer of X% from school X and Y% from school Y, bringing my total cost to about Z. Is there any way I can get my offer reevaluated to get closer to Z? If so, what are the next steps? If not, I completely understand."

 

Then they'll ask from the offer letters from school X and Y and see what they can do

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Hoping for some advice on negotiating with SAIS, basically whether I should email them now (so they have more time to consider my funding) or wait until next week (when I'll hopefully have an additional funding offer that might give me more leverage).

SAIS gave me a 75% tuition scholarship (bring the total COA to $30-35k/year) but Harvard Kennedy just offered me full tuition and a $10k/year stipend (COA around $18k/year) and based on their reputation, I think Princeton WWS is likely to offer me something similar (I'll know later today). So I'll have two competing offers to send on to SAIS this afternoon to see if they can give me more funding. However, both Harvard and Princeton are MPP programs rather than IR-focused ones, so I'm not sure if SAIS will see them as comparable programs.

Next week, I'll hear from SIPA about additional funding that would bring my COA there down to $22k/year. Do you guys think it's worth waiting until next week to potentially be able to send SAIS a competing IR offer I received in addition to the MPP program offers? Or would showing my offers at Harvard and Princeton probably be enough?

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Guest ke7312

I'm confused about how schools treat a student's funding increase request when they ask the student to state a specific amount that they are requesting. Is it a yes-or-no proposition on the original request, or can the school counteroffer? For example, if I got 25% funding and request 50%, could the school counter with an offer of 35%? Or will they just say either yes or no to the 50%?

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Schools will counter offer, I believe. A co-worker of mine requested additional funding at NYU and didn't get the full amount requested but was offered an amount between that and the initial aid offer.

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9 hours ago, City Stripes said:

Schools will counter offer, I believe. A co-worker of mine requested additional funding at NYU and didn't get the full amount requested but was offered an amount between that and the initial aid offer.

Which department/school in NYU did your friend get into? I got into NYU GSAS for MA in IR but got no funding. I got a full tuition scholarship from UCSD for MIA program so I used that to in hoping to negotiate some form of funding from NYU. The Director of the program replied to my email and mentioned that funding is currently unavailable for 1st year students and given only to selected 2nd year students. 

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4 hours ago, TheSAfiltercoffee said:

Which department/school in NYU did your friend get into? I got into NYU GSAS for MA in IR but got no funding. I got a full tuition scholarship from UCSD for MIA program so I used that to in hoping to negotiate some form of funding from NYU. The Director of the program replied to my email and mentioned that funding is currently unavailable for 1st year students and given only to selected 2nd year students. 

It was the MPA program at Wagner, for fall 2017.

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Is it advisable to attach offer letters from other schools when we are negotiating aid or just mentioning the aid amount works

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9 hours ago, SC88 said:

Is it advisable to attach offer letters from other schools when we are negotiating aid or just mentioning the aid amount works

I probably wouldn't attach them in the first email broaching the subject, but they are going to ask for them in a follow up email

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First thing I would say: the only leverage you have is a competing offer from another school. There is really no reason for them to increase your funding if you don't have a better offer on the table. Also, it's still worth asking even if you think the schools are of different ranks. You'll never get extra funding if you don't ask! Finally, I wouldn't recommend asking unless you're seriously considering the school - i.e., don't ask every program that accepted you to match the offer. I'd limit it to 1-2 schools you're trying to decide between. 

With that in mind, here is the letter I used to the Director of the Program and my POI; they matched my competing offer by requesting extra funds from the Grad Department and I accepted the program. Check your offer letter as they may specify in there who you should contact with questions or competing offers. 

"Dear Dr. Director and Dr. POI, 

Thank you again for your offer of admission to Program A at University ABC. I am reaching out because I will be making a decision on which school to accept this month and I wanted to touch base about funding. 
 
I received an offer of admission from Program B at University XYZ for $XX,XXX per year in guaranteed funding for 2 years ($XX,XXX total). The offer I received for University A is for $XX,XXX per year in guaranteed funding for 2 years ($XX,XXX total).This leaves a gap of approximately $XX,XXX. 
 
I remain very excited about University ABC and the prospect of working with Dr. POI in Program A, but was hoping that something could be done to close the funding gap as $XX,XXX would have a significant impact on my finances over the course of the program. Thank you in advance for your consideration, and please let me know if I can provide any further details to assist at this stage.
 
Warmly,
Applicant"

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I tried to email SIPA but they asked me to fill out an appeal form that won't be reivewed until after the offer acceptance date.

That's not particularly helpful in the decision making process....any other advice with SIPA?

Edited by worldleader2018

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Can anyone who has successfully negotiated an increased offer speak to when in the process they made their request? For example, in my position, I have multiple offers, some better than others, but all from great schools (SIPA, SAIS, Fletcher, etc.), any of which I think I'd jump at if they offered me a full ride (my best offer is 2/3 tuition at this point). My current plan is to visit all the schools during their admitted students' days over the next few weeks, and then after I really have a feel for which programs/places I truly prefer among my 5 options, reach out to the top 1-2 and ask for more funding. My parents think this is the right approach, as it will allow me to more honestly tell the schools that after visiting that they are my top options. The idea is that once the schools know that they are truly my top option, with funding as the only obstacle, they might be more generous/open to granting me more funding.

On the other hand, I could reach out right now to all of them asking for more funding, to match the 2/3 offer, but not necessarily indicating to them they are my top choice (I could also tell all of them they are my top choice but at first glance, that would seem a bit disingenuous. Although it is true to the extent that if any of the programs offered my a full ride they would immediately become my top choice.). The reason to do this would be if I thought that the schools might have a smaller pool of funding to draw from if I make my request in 3 weeks compared to making the request now. 

Any thoughts?

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36 minutes ago, nextgen2010 said:

Can anyone who has successfully negotiated an increased offer speak to when in the process they made their request? For example, in my position, I have multiple offers, some better than others, but all from great schools (SIPA, SAIS, Fletcher, etc.), any of which I think I'd jump at if they offered me a full ride (my best offer is 2/3 tuition at this point). My current plan is to visit all the schools during their admitted students' days over the next few weeks, and then after I really have a feel for which programs/places I truly prefer among my 5 options, reach out to the top 1-2 and ask for more funding. My parents think this is the right approach, as it will allow me to more honestly tell the schools that after visiting that they are my top options. The idea is that once the schools know that they are truly my top option, with funding as the only obstacle, they might be more generous/open to granting me more funding.

On the other hand, I could reach out right now to all of them asking for more funding, to match the 2/3 offer, but not necessarily indicating to them they are my top choice (I could also tell all of them they are my top choice but at first glance, that would seem a bit disingenuous. Although it is true to the extent that if any of the programs offered my a full ride they would immediately become my top choice.). The reason to do this would be if I thought that the schools might have a smaller pool of funding to draw from if I make my request in 3 weeks compared to making the request now. 

Any thoughts?

I'm in the midst of this process myself, so feel free to ignore this, but my advice would be to put your requests in ASAP. It will take them a while to get back to you, and you don't want to be in a crunch right before the deadline. I don't think whether or not you've visited yet will change their evaluation of your request, and they certainly don't know what you're telling other schools about what your top choice is.

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1 hour ago, nextgen2010 said:

Can anyone who has successfully negotiated an increased offer speak to when in the process they made their request? For example, in my position, I have multiple offers, some better than others, but all from great schools (SIPA, SAIS, Fletcher, etc.), any of which I think I'd jump at if they offered me a full ride (my best offer is 2/3 tuition at this point). My current plan is to visit all the schools during their admitted students' days over the next few weeks, and then after I really have a feel for which programs/places I truly prefer among my 5 options, reach out to the top 1-2 and ask for more funding. My parents think this is the right approach, as it will allow me to more honestly tell the schools that after visiting that they are my top options. The idea is that once the schools know that they are truly my top option, with funding as the only obstacle, they might be more generous/open to granting me more funding.

On the other hand, I could reach out right now to all of them asking for more funding, to match the 2/3 offer, but not necessarily indicating to them they are my top choice (I could also tell all of them they are my top choice but at first glance, that would seem a bit disingenuous. Although it is true to the extent that if any of the programs offered my a full ride they would immediately become my top choice.). The reason to do this would be if I thought that the schools might have a smaller pool of funding to draw from if I make my request in 3 weeks compared to making the request now. 

Any thoughts?

I think you should send in your request now and ask to meet in person during the visit day. That way they have time to review it, and they know for sure you’re serious about them!

And if in the meantime someone ups their offer, all the more leverage to use that to get more money at your first choice.

Edited by cactus_taco

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Question about the negotiating offers process! Perhaps this is only applicable to the schools I’m talking to but SIS, SAIS, ESIA, and SIPA all directed me to surveys for more aid that won’t be reviewed and responded to until after the deadline for putting done a deposit. If I cannot get a confirmation on more aid from these schools then it doesn’t make sense to me to put down a security deposit on the off chance I get more money. 

 

What do you guys think? Should I put down multiple deposits? Should I try emailing again?

 

I would appreciate your thoughts!

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On 3/21/2019 at 2:00 PM, sdb12014 said:

Question about the negotiating offers process! Perhaps this is only applicable to the schools I’m talking to but SIS, SAIS, ESIA, and SIPA all directed me to surveys for more aid that won’t be reviewed and responded to until after the deadline for putting done a deposit. If I cannot get a confirmation on more aid from these schools then it doesn’t make sense to me to put down a security deposit on the off chance I get more money. 

 

What do you guys think? Should I put down multiple deposits? Should I try emailing again?

 

I would appreciate your thoughts!

 

I am in the same position as yours. I got $24k scholarship from Fletcher and $0 from SAIS. When I asked, SAIS offers reconsideration for funding but this decision will be made on Apr 29th after they confirm other's deposits. As Fletcher's deadline is Apr 20th, it does not make sense if there is nothing on the table.

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Two questions regarding SIPA's financial aid award appeal process, for anyone who wants to chime in.

  1. On the financial aid appeal page, they ask you to indicate the "additional amount of funding you are requesting, per year." What do people think about this? Is it best to throw out a huge number, at or approaching a full ride? Or should I just indicate that I want them to fund me to the point that the cost of attendance matches the COA for a competing institution I've also received funding at? Or something in the middle?
  2. They also ask you "what your financial plan is if your need is not met?," letting you check boxes including "student loans," "assistance from family," "use current savings and/or earnings," "further attempts to find a sponsor and/or external funding," "reapply in future with more savings and an attempt to receive more funding," and "I will not be able to enroll without more funding." I am leaning towards choosing that last option, as presumably it puts me in the strongest negotiating position. My only concern would be if they get back to me and say "well if that's the case, we take back your admission/existing scholarship in order to give it to someone else." Is there any other downside to just selecting the "I will not be able to enroll without more funding." option and none of the others?

 

 

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OK, so here's my story:

Got a 50% tuition offer from USC, a 75% tuition offer from The New School, and offers from UT-Austin and UCLA with no financial incentives.

I reached out to all except TNS asking about the possibility of increased funding. UCLA never replied, USC looked into it but said no more than what was offered, and UT just got back to me with a 50% fellowship offer.

I did it all by email, was very matter of fact, and UT asked to see the other offers, which I was able to do. 1/3 in negotiations is not bad, and now I'll be able to get my MPAff for around $20k, which is a great result.

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On 4/12/2019 at 4:24 PM, bac said:

OK, so here's my story:

Got a 50% tuition offer from USC, a 75% tuition offer from The New School, and offers from UT-Austin and UCLA with no financial incentives.

I reached out to all except TNS asking about the possibility of increased funding. UCLA never replied, USC looked into it but said no more than what was offered, and UT just got back to me with a 50% fellowship offer.

I did it all by email, was very matter of fact, and UT asked to see the other offers, which I was able to do. 1/3 in negotiations is not bad, and now I'll be able to get my MPAff for around $20k, which is a great result.

Great work! Sounds like you got the best offer from the best school.

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