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How to ask for/negotiate more funding at a masters level?


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Here's the situation: I've been admitted to two very prestigious (and one somewhat prestigious) programs in my field. Unfortunately there isn't a lot of funding to be had in this degree at the masters level from what I understand.

Two schools are offering me the same amount in scholarship funding (it's around 25% of full time tuition.) One of them, however, allows students to enroll part time and maintain their scholarship funding. The third school is offering me a larger dollar amount, but they do require full time enrollment so it doesn't make a huge difference to my decision at this point. If the school that allows part time enrollment were to increase their funding to match it, though, it would definitely make a difference in my ability to attend/take more credits.

I've seen people say that if one place offers you better funding, you should present that package to your other schools and ask them to match it. Is this true for masters students or just doctoral candidates?  If it's something I could try, how would I start that process? It seems unwieldy to call a financial aid office and say "I would like more money please." I mean, wouldn't we all? :P 

 

Edited by SarahEP
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/27/2017 at 2:55 PM, SarahEP said:

Here's the situation: I've been admitted to two very prestigious (and one somewhat prestigious) programs in my field. Unfortunately there isn't a lot of funding to be had in this degree at the masters level from what I understand.

Two schools are offering me the same amount in scholarship funding (it's around 25% of full time tuition.) One of them, however, allows students to enroll part time and maintain their scholarship funding. The third school is offering me a larger dollar amount, but they do require full time enrollment so it doesn't make a huge difference to my decision at this point. If the school that allows part time enrollment were to increase their funding to match it, though, it would definitely make a difference in my ability to attend/take more credits.

I've seen people say that if one place offers you better funding, you should present that package to your other schools and ask them to match it. Is this true for masters students or just doctoral candidates?  If it's something I could try, how would I start that process? It seems unwieldy to call a financial aid office and say "I would like more money please." I mean, wouldn't we all? :P 

 

Hi!

I know this is a late reply, but I think you are on the right track.

First question: Do you have a supervisor?

My experience with discussing funding is to discuss with my supervisor about funding concerns (or dept. head). I would not pose it as "pay me more or I will not come", but rather as "X school offers a really competitive funding package, and that support is crucial for me focusing on X studies, is there any opportunity to close that gap". Through this way, at one uni the supervisor told me they were willing to create an RAship to close to discrepancy between the funding packages. In general, supervisors or department management really understand that funding is important for being able to focus on producing really good work- not having to worry about working 3 jobs just to make ends meet. Also, look into external funding! there are some really good ones out there (at least in Canada)

 

good luck

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I don't know about the programs/unis and your profile, but 25% is on the lower side of funding.

 

Write an appeal of FinAid letter

Thank person for FinAid, honour to be admitted and program A is your first choice.

But you wish to be fiscally responsible as you still have a student loan from BA and are concerned about FinAid. Point out that you have received more $$ at program B and are inclined to accept with all things unchanged. Ask FinAid officer to help and enquire about more funding.

The worst outcome is no, adcoms can't withdraw your offer.

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