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5 tips for negotiating your offer of admission

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5 tips for negotiating your offer of admission

5 tips for negotiating your offer of admission


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  • 1. http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/5 Tips for Negotiating YourOffer of Admission
  • 2. By the Amerasia Consulting Group,Boutique MBA Admissions Consulting5 Tips for Negotiating YourOffer of AdmissionMBA Admissions Consultant | http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com
  • 3. Todays blog post is about negotiating your offer ofadmission ... except that its not. Because "negotiation" isnot what you do when it comes to securing more financialaid from a business school.The term of art for what you are going to be doing is"asking." Let us explain.Obviously, any discussion of an offer in this contextautomatically means were dealing with some good news:youve been accepted.MBA Admissions Consultant | http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com
  • 4. So congrats on that!However, with the news that a b-school wants you toenroll comes the sobering reality that they also want youto *pay* for that privilege.Sure, offers often come with dollar signs attached, but theamount left in the "you" column is almost always going tobe the bigger number. And that fact tends to bring up thefollowing question:"How can I negotiate my offer?"MBA Admissions Consultant | http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com
  • 5. Again, lets rephrase the question entirely.Dont think of this as a negotiation, but rather a request:"How can I request more aid?"That is a much better frame of reference, especially inlight of the the advice that follows.Heres how we typically approach this process:MBA Admissions Consultant | http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com
  • 6. 1. Be respectful.There are a lot of ways you might be able to get a littlemore scholarship money from a business school, butwe know of one sure way that you WONT get moneyand thats if you try to "hardball" them.We have witnessed countless admits go from monthsof wishing and hoping to sudden arrogance and a "youbetter wine and dine me" attitude. Ditch it.Immediately. If you call an admissions office and tryto leverage another offer or you give them the "sowhat can you do to sweeten the deal?" treatment, youwill inevitably find yourself on the line with a tired andsupremely annoyed member of that schools staff.MBA Admissions Consultant | http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com
  • 7. Go in polite, grateful, and professional. Always.This is not an M&A deal and you are not "negotiating"with anyone. You are "asking" a business school togrant you more free funding. Big difference and onthat is not lost on the schools themselves, we assureyou.MBA Admissions Consultant | http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com
  • 8. 2. Instead, go for the heartstrings.Okay, you have your hat in hand and you aredetermined to avoid acting entitled. Now what?Not to be too blunt about it, but in our experience, agood old sob story seems to work best. So if youhave authentic hurdles - and most of us do - to payingover $100K for your MBA, share them.You dont have to impress anyone at this point withyour huge salary or countless offers from heavyhitters; theyve already decided they want you toattend their school.MBA Admissions Consultant | http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com
  • 9. And they are far more likely to try to work somethingout if they find you nice, respectful, and, yes, a bitneedy.A long-term career goal that eschews riches isprobably best, but there are a lot of ways you can behonest about your situation and paint a very realisticpicture as to how an extra $20K could make all thedifference for you.MBA Admissions Consultant | http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com
  • 10. 3. Never lie!If you dont have the "heartstrings" story, then dont gothere. Of even greater importance is that you dontmake up offers or dollar amounts from otherprograms.It damages the integrity of the financial aid process(which is designed to get money to those who deserveit and who need it most) and the school may ask tosee proof in making a decision on revising your award.MBA Admissions Consultant | http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com
  • 11. 4. Wait a beat.One of the keys to even getting yourself in the runningfor more aid is to wait a little bit so the dust can settle.Sure, on the one hand, the money could be gone andthe class full and the school might have no incentiveto sweeten the offer.Ive heard people worry that if they wait, this scenariocould result. And they are right - it totally could.But heres the dirty secret ... they always spend all themoney! When decisions go out, they throw out all thescholarship awards with them, hoping to entice andbring in the necessary yield.MBA Admissions Consultant | http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com
  • 12. It is only when people start turning down offers - andscholarship awards - that the directors and staff startto see where there might beA) enrollment needs andB) financial aid surplus.In other words, if Booth gave you a $20K scholarshiplast week, dont call *this* week hoping for more.They wont have any more - at least not on paper.That spreadsheet is going to show every dollar spent.Wait for people to turn them down and for some ofthat paper money to flow back into the Booth coffers.MBA Admissions Consultant | http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com
  • 13. Doing so will give you a better chance at there evenbeing something to ask for, let alone get.Plus, while this isnt necessarily likely, if you wait, youmight also catch a school getting shorted a bit onenrollment, in which case they will be far more likely tohelp you meet your needs.(Think of what is better for a program - going to thewaitlist and thereby increasing their "admitted student"number in the process, or getting a 1-for-1 right off theexisting list by spending a bit more money. Its a no-brainer.)MBA Admissions Consultant | http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com
  • 14. 5. Follow up.If you talk to someone and they say they will get into it(most likely scenario other than "sorry" is "let me getback to you" ... "heres more money!" is a distantthird), dont be afraid to follow up.The squeaky wheel can get the grease given that anadmissions office is like a battlefield this time of year -its not crazy that your request might land onsomeones desk for a full week.In that time, hundreds of thousands of dollars mightfunnel back and forth on paper, leaving you in thecold.MBA Admissions Consultant | http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com
  • 15. So wait a day or two and then call back to ask -respectfully, of course - if there has been any progressand if there is anything else you can or should do.As long as you are really nice and polite about it, noone is going to fault you for being angst-ridden aboutyour financial future.And we should add here - since people seem to worryabout it - you are not going to lose your offer by callingabout this stuff.MBA Admissions Consultant | http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com
  • 16. We hope that these hints help you navigate that latest stress in this process.Remember that you catch more flies with honey, honesty in the best policy, andpatience is a virtue. Armed with a few cliches, youll do great.For an overview of Amerasia MBA Admissions Consulting services, please visithttp://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/mba_admissions_consulting_services/If you are interested in the MBA Admissions Consulting services offered byAmerasia, please email mba@amerasiaconsulting.com to inquire about setting upa free consultation.http://www.amerasiaconsulting.com/