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How to ask for more money


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Hello All,

Like most of you, I am considering offers from several schools. I narrowed my choices down to three schools all of which that offered some funding. After speaking with several students and former professors, It was suggested that I ask for more money. (All of my schools of interests are out of state). I was wondering what is the proper etiquette in doing so? Who do I contact? What do I say?

Sorry for all the questions,

Thanks!

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Hi, Clueless91! I have a similar question. If I know that there are merit scholarships available (being a minority, being excellent, etc) is it rude to mention that and nudge along the fact that that might help me in my decision?

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It depends on whether or not you have better offers. That would put you in a much better/less awkward position. If not, I would think that your only option would be to ask your potential supervisor if he or she would consider providing you with a top up. If you have competing offers you could possibly ask if there is anything more that the department can do for you.

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Hi, Clueless91! I have a similar question. If I know that there are merit scholarships available (being a minority, being excellent, etc) is it rude to mention that and nudge along the fact that that might help me in my decision?

I don't think it's rude to ask if you have competing offers. My problem is, that I'm torn between schools so I don't WHO to ask and I'm not sure it's okay to ask all schools for money without seeming like a douche if I don't attend their school after all

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I don't think it's rude to ask if you have competing offers. My problem is, that I'm torn between schools so I don't WHO to ask and I'm not sure it's okay to ask all schools for money without seeming like a douche if I don't attend their school after all.

 

You can think of it like comparing multiple job offers. It's not douchey. It's business. 

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Hello All,

Like most of you, I am considering offers from several schools. I narrowed my choices down to three schools all of which that offered some funding. After speaking with several students and former professors, It was suggested that I ask for more money. (All of my schools of interests are out of state). I was wondering what is the proper etiquette in doing so? Who do I contact? What do I say?

Sorry for all the questions,

Thanks!

Well. There are two options:

1) threat (I'd go with this one) :).

2) say "oh man, I just really love you, but school A offered me X amount of dollars..,and gee I'm just really hurting financially...so I wish this decision didn't have to be made off money because I love you but...(now pause and wait for them to budge)."

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I was offered a very generous fellowship offer from my second choice school. When I asked my lab mates and advisers about asking for more money from my top choice school, I was warned to be very careful in how I did so. My former PI is on the admissions committee at Cornell and he said that they would be somewhat offended if someone flat out said they wanted more money. He said a better way to do it (and only do this if you would commit to that school!) is to say that this school is my top choice due to the variety of research availability, collaborative community etc etc, but due to the high cost of the area I am worried financially about making a commitment. You can then ask if there are fellowships that the school offers you can apply to... such as this fellowship that I was fortunate enough to be awarded at this school. Research communities are very small so you should be pretty careful in how you approach this. Of course, I have heard of people asking for more money so it does happen and maybe some schools don't care or expect it. Good luck!

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I don't think it's rude to ask if you have competing offers. My problem is, that I'm torn between schools so I don't WHO to ask and I'm not sure it's okay to ask all schools for money without seeming like a douche if I don't attend their school after all

 

In my opinion, it is not okay to just blanket ask all the schools for more money. Yes, there is some aspect of business/comparing job offers to this but you have to also consider the practicalities of the power dynamics too.

 

The first thing you should do before you start asking for more money is to know what you want. This is true for negotiating job offers in academia and the real world (or even buying a car etc.). You need to go into this knowing what you want to get out of it.

So, you need to sit down and decide what school you want to attend. Since stipend is going to be negotiated here, think "If money was not an issue, where would I want to be?". This is the school you need to be negotiating with. Next, decide how much money you need to be happy there. Usually, because of the power dynamic, grad students have the best chance of getting a better offer if they can show a competing offer from a similar ranked school in a similar cost of living area. Now, go and ask for what you want/need, showing the competing offer if necessary.

 

When you are bargaining in good faith, you are saying that "if you say yes to my asking stipend, I will attend your school". You should not be bargaining simply to get a higher offer to bargain with another school. If you do not get your offer raised or they can't match what you need exactly, or if you don't think you can bargain with this school (i.e. perhaps it's the highest offer already) then you have to decide whether the current offer is good enough or move on to the next school on your list.

 

I also would advise you to not negotiate simply for a little bit extra. Definitely push hard if you need the difference to live comfortably but if you already have enough, a few thousand extra dollars is not worth it. Again, some people might say "this is business" but it's not worth it for the potential damage to your reputation. Graduate students should definitely negotiate when necessary but they should do this in "good faith". Just my thoughts!

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I'm wanting to ask for more money as I have lots of health issues and will need a bit of extra money to attend appointments, get antibiotics, and afford tests that I need frequently. It shouldn't affect my work abilities as long as I have the money I need to handle these expenses. Do you think I can ask specifically for help in this realm? Thanks!

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I'm wanting to ask for more money as I have lots of health issues and will need a bit of extra money to attend appointments, get antibiotics, and afford tests that I need frequently. It shouldn't affect my work abilities as long as I have the money I need to handle these expenses. Do you think I can ask specifically for help in this realm? Thanks!

 

The healthcare plans should definitely be a factor then...

 

I would compare the healthcare plans at the schools. If school A has terrific health plan and offers you 30k a year while school B has mediocre healthcare and offers you 27k but you truly want to attend B then I think that bargaining is appropriate. I would just inform B of the situation and see if they would be willing to purchase the "gold" healthcare plan for you or whatever their best plan is.

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