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Suggestion for Admission Curriculum- Scholarship Negotiations

Sarah889Sarah889 Alum Member
edited February 2018 in Law School Admissions 877 karma

The admission curriculum has been super helpful to me and has undoubtedly increased my chances of admission to many schools this cycle. I definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to perfect their applications. (A huge thank you to @"David.Busis" and his team). I have one suggestion that I think would make it even better-- a section on scholarship negotiations. What is the proper protocol regarding timing and how to frame your "argument" for more money? What are comparable schools that make it appropriate to use money from one school to ask for money from another? Who do we contact? What do we say (in other words, do we explain that we deserve the money or that we have gotten better offers elsewhere? At what point is reiterating your qualifications and contribution to the campus redundant from your application?) How much emphasis do we put on money being our decision making factor without sounding ungrateful for being admitted? I know technically the curriculum is focused on admissions, but I personally think scholarships play a huge part in the process.

Just a thought! On that note...does anyone have any input on this? Definitely planning to ask at least one of my schools for money within the near future, but I do sort of feel like I'm shooting in the dark regarding how to do this.


  • Seeking PerfectionSeeking Perfection Alum Member
    4423 karma

    Additionally, How do we go about asking for a scholarship increase without looking totally ungrateful especially when the offer is already impressive?

  • westcoastbestcoastwestcoastbestcoast Alum Member
    3788 karma

    @"Seeking Perfection" said:
    Additionally, How do we go about asking for a scholarship increase without looking totally ungrateful especially when the offer is already impressive?

    I'm actually faced with this predicament myself. From what I have been reading in the forums, I think the best course of action is to first acknowledge that the scholarship is impressive and that you are grateful to have gained admissions to the school . You can mention how finances play a big role in choosing which law school to attend because you may not have decent savings to live off of during the three years you attend. You can mention how there are other schools who have bigger scholarships and ask the target school if they can increase the offer money to make your law school aspirations a possibility.

  • Eric25Eric25 Member
    720 karma

    I always thought this was a reasonable article on it, at least to get a feel for what might be appropriate to do:

    @Sarah889 great idea though thanks for suggesting it!!

  • Sarah889Sarah889 Alum Member
    877 karma

    @estouten25 That article is super helpful! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • nathanieljschwartznathanieljschwartz Alum Member
    1723 karma

    Yeah great article thanks

  • David.BusisDavid.Busis Member Moderator
    6996 karma

    Some advice on scholarship negotiations:

    There are two kinds of leverage when you negotiate a scholarship:

    1. Scholarship offers from lower-tier schools.
    2. Offers of admission from higher-tier schools.

    And there are two key principles:

    1. Walk up the ladder. E.g., you could use a scholarship offer from WashU Law to bid up UCLA Law to ask for money from Cornell Law to ask for money from Michigan Law.
    2. Convince each school that you actually want to go there, and that you’re not just doing number one.

    Here’s a sample template:

    1. The butter-up: I love your school so much. (Say, briefly, why you’re excited about your offer).
    2. The catch: However, financial concerns play a large role in my decision. (Explain your financial circumstances if you don’t have a lot of dough.)
    3. The polite pressure: Recently, school X offered me a scholarship in the amount of P, and school Y offered me a scholarship in the amount of Q. (You can also note that a higher-ranked school gave you a place in the class).
    4. The ask: I am writing to ask if you can match school X’s offer. (You might also say something like, “If you were able to offer me a scholarship in the amount of Z, I would be able to commit immediately.”)
    5. The sign off: Thank you so much for your time. (Briefly reiterate your gratitude.)

    Attach PDFs of the offer letters you mention.

    When do you ask for more merit aid?
    The more schools you’ve heard from, the more potential leverage you will have when you ask for merit aid.

    That said, I wouldn’t wait much longer than early March. Send a letter by, say, the second Monday of March, even if you haven’t heard from every school.

  • stepharizonastepharizona Alum Member
    3197 karma

    Awesome! Thanks @"David.Busis"

  • episode413episode413 Free Trial Member
    9 karma

    Hi all,

    I have a question. Is it possible to negotiate scholarship with a law school using a fully-funded PhD offer? I applied to both PhD in philosophy and law schools this cycle. And I've got offers from Toronto's PhD program and UCLA Law (with a $80,000 scholarship). Would UCLA law consider increasing my scholarship based on the PhD acceptance? And does anyone know anything about the possibility of doing a joint JD/PhD at two different schools (unfortunately I think I might be rejected by UCLA's phd and I didn't apply to Toronto's Law School)? Thank you so much!

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