Negotiating the offer


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Negotiating the Offer

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Negotiating the offer

  1. 1. Negotiating the Offer
  2. 2. Negotiating the OfferBecause "negotiation" is not what you do when it comesto securing more financial aid from a business school. MBA Admissions Consultant |
  3. 3. Negotiating the OfferThe 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 goodnews: youve been accepted. 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. MBA Admissions Consultant |
  4. 4. Sure, offers often come with dollar signs attached, butthe amount left in the "you" column is almost alwaysgoing to be the bigger number.And that fact tends to bring up the following question:"How can I negotiate my offer?" Again, lets rephrase thequestion entirely. Dont think of this as a negotiation, butrather a request: "How can I request more aid?"That is a much better frame of reference, especially inlight of the the advice that follows. MBA Admissions Consultant |
  5. 5. Heres how we typically approach thisprocess:1.Be respectful.2.Instead, go for the heartstrings.3.Never lie!4.Wait a beat.5.Follow up MBA Admissions Consultant |
  6. 6. 1. Be respectful.There are a lot of ways you might be able to get a little more scholarship money from a business school, but we know of one sure way that you WONT get money and thats if you try to "hardball" them.We have witnessed countless admits go from months of wishing and hoping to sudden arrogance and a "you better wine and dine me" attitude.Ditch it. Immediately. MBA Admissions Consultant |
  7. 7. If you call an admissions office and try to leverageanother offer or you give them the "so what can you do tosweeten the deal?" treatment, you will inevitably findyourself on the line with a tired and supremely annoyedmember of that schools staff.Go in polite, grateful, and professional. Always. This isnot an M&A deal and you are not "negotiating" withanyone. You are "asking" a business school to grant youmore free funding.Big difference and on that is not lost on the schoolsthemselves, we assure you. MBA Admissions Consultant |
  8. 8. 2. Instead, go for the heartstrings.Okay, you have your hat in hand and you are determinedto avoid acting entitled. Now what? Not to be too bluntabout it, but in our experience, a good old sob storyseems to work best. So if you have authentic hurdles -and most of us do - to paying over $100K for your MBA,share them.You dont have to impress anyone at this point with yourhuge salary or countless offers from heavy hitters;theyve already decided they want you to attend theirschool. MBA Admissions Consultant |
  9. 9. And they are far more likely to try to work something outif they find you nice, respectful, and, yes, a bit needy.A long-term career goal that eschews riches is probablybest, but there are a lot of ways you can be honest aboutyour situation and paint a very realistic picture as to howan extra $20K could make all the difference for you. MBA Admissions Consultant |
  10. 10. 3. Never lie!If you dont have the "heartstrings" story, then dont gothere. Of even greater importance is that you dont makeup offers or dollar amounts from other programs.It damages the integrity of the financial aid process(which is designed to get money to those who deserve itand who need it most) and the school may ask to seeproof in making a decision on revising your award. MBA Admissions Consultant |
  11. 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 and theclass full and the school might have no incentive tosweeten the offer.Ive heard people worry that if they wait, this scenariocould result. And they are right - it totally could. Butheres the dirty secret ... they always spend all themoney! When decisions go out, they throw out all thescholarship awards with them, hoping to entice and bringin the necessary yield. MBA Admissions Consultant |
  12. 12. It is only when people start turning down offers - andscholarship awards - that the directors and staff start tosee where there might be A) enrollment needs and B)financial aid surplus.In other words, if Booth gave you a $20K scholarship lastweek, dont call *this* week hoping for more. They wonthave any more - at least not on paper. That spreadsheetis going to show every dollar spent.Wait for people to turn them down and for some of thatpaper money to flow back into the Booth coffers. Doingso will give you a better chance at there even beingsomething to ask for, let alone get. MBA Admissions Consultant |
  13. 13. 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 |
  14. 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 distant third),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 - itsnot crazy that your request might land on someonesdesk for a full week.In that time, hundreds of thousands of dollars mightfunnel back and forth on paper, leaving you in the cold. MBA Admissions Consultant |
  15. 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, no oneis going to fault you for being angst-ridden about yourfinancial future. And we should add here - since peopleseem to worry about it - you are not going to lose youroffer by calling about this stuff. We hope that these hintshelp you navigate that latest stress in this process.Remember that you catch more flies with honey, honestyin the best policy, and patience is a virtue. Armed with afew cliches, youll do great. MBA Admissions Consultant |
  16. 16. If you are in the midst of this process, congrats and good luck! Ifyou are just starting out on your admissions journey, email us at for a free consultation. We are currently offering some great promotions for Round 1. Additionally, you can download our free guides for applying to HBS and Columbia.