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Old 10-08-2012, 03:47 PM   #1
Tinijocaro
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How to "haggle" for more college money?

I've been hearing lately, inreal life and on this board about people calling and trying to get the college to cough up up more money than was originally offered. Some people are successful.
Who do you call, how often do you call, what do you say? Any info greatly appreciated!

How do you do this, who do you call, how often dodo you call.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:04 PM   #2
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After we got DD's financial package, my DH did go to the financial aid office and ask about the possibility of getting more $$$. The man in FA said it was the best they could do.

We had heard someone went in a few years ago and easily added more $. Thought it was worth a try but it didn't do any good. We only went once. Not sure what DH said--but he can be pretty persuasive.

People who love their college give back--DD's been giving back physically for the last 5 years and has just started there as a Freshman. I have no doubt, pending anything horrible happening, that she will be an alumni they'll be happy to have.

We needed $42,000 total for DD to attend--merit money was a Presidential (the most) of 19,000. That left a lot for us to come up with. TN has a lottery scholarship that gives you 4,000 & 1,000 extra for (maybe a 30? and above) on the ACT, and several other smaller scholarships + one large one (10,000 for 4 years) that she won on her own from a private fund.
In the beginning, that 19,000 seemed like a drop in the bucket and very overwhelming. Since this was DD's dream school, we weren't giving up easily.

Good luck.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:08 PM   #3
laurafergie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinijocaro View Post
I've been hearing lately, inreal life and on this board about people calling and trying to get the college to cough up up more money than was originally offered. Some people are successful.
Who do you call, how often do you call, what do you say? Any info greatly appreciated!

How do you do this, who do you call, how often dodo you call.
I don't know about "haggling" but I had success when I appealed the decision.

My DH was laid off the end of 2008. Fin Aid decisions are based on previous years tax returns. So I appealed the award for the 2009 spring semester and also appealed the award for 2009-2010 as both DH and myself were under employed. (Still are)

There is a process to this, you just don't call. You have to fill out the school Fin Aid appeal forms. Provide documentation.....blah, blah...it does take awhile. In fact, the first time I did it, my DD's account ended up with a hold while we were wrangling, but it worked out.

The only other thing close to haggling was when the initial decisions were being made. Tulane was made aware that their offer fell short of two other schools, and even though they upped the scholarship offer, it wasn't enough and this DD ultimately went to UVA full ride.

Right now, things are pretty tight. Lots of Federal and State cuts. I would think the student would have to have it really together scholastically or athletically to even attempt to "haggle".
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:16 PM   #4
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Yes ^^^

My sister has 2 kids in college and is going through a divorce. She also contacted the school to see if they could help her out a little more and they did provide more $. Here, a parent doesn't have to help a student so my BIL isn't helping his kids through college. He probably IS helping his 18yo GF though. Ugh.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:05 PM   #5
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Several years ago when my DD was applying to colleges, she had been offered a competitive scholarship from our state that could only be used at an in-state college. However, her first choice was an out of state college. So she wrote to the financial aid office of her OOS first choice college, explained how much she wanted to go there, enclosed a copy of the scholarship offer letter and asked if they could do anything. They matched the offer and she went to the OOS college.
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Old 10-08-2012, 05:50 PM   #6
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I'm going to test this out so I'll let you know if I succeed.

Two small private colleges seem to be very interested in my DD. They are out of state for us but they are both in the same state. Both have called me to tell me how "wonderful my daughter is." Yeah, they don't live with her. I may have name dropped the other college to each one so they know DD is looking at both.

She has not received an acceptance letter to either but they both claim that is just a formality. Both have invited her up to interview for more money. But even if she receives the absolute top amount from both places, it will only be half of the total cost and they are expensive. I am not willing to pay that and DD is not willing to take out loans in that amount.

So, once the "formalities" are handled, I figured I'll see just how wonderful they think DD is. I'm guessing she won't look as terrific if she needs more money.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:14 PM   #7
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Well I used to work in a financial aid office.

Our policy was that the pool of available money was handed out to students who applied and qualified for various scholarships (small private school)

We did have a contingency fund for just the circumstances you said.

Most of that money went to kids who had extenuating financial circumstances. Be prepared to show proof like decreased wages, medical bills, divorce etc.

You could use another college offer to see what they do etc. It might get considered if they want the student etc.

For my own son, he just transferred to a new school and they were not willing to budge with any financial aid, so he didnt go there. He ended up getting a full ride to nursing school for the next 2 years as he got a scholarship not based on need but more on grades, extra curriculars and family circumstances (I have cancer).

Best of luck,.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:17 PM   #8
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My DD is an athlete with very good grades and test scores. She received an academic scholarship to a large state school where she was told she could walk onto the lacrosse team. She also looked at a small private school that was very pricey. She was told she could come in and start (which she does). We told the coach at the small private school that we needed them to come really close to the large state tuition.

They ended up matching it for her first two years. We did have to go up and do an extra interview/essay day. For her junior year they actually found her some more money that we did not even have to seek our. Her FA dept applied for a scholarship for her and she earned it.. She does have to maintain a 3.5 GPA to keep her money.

It never hurts to ask.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaR View Post
I'm going to test this out so I'll let you know if I succeed.

Two small private colleges seem to be very interested in my DD. They are out of state for us but they are both in the same state. Both have called me to tell me how "wonderful my daughter is." Yeah, they don't live with her. I may have name dropped the other college to each one so they know DD is looking at both.

She has not received an acceptance letter to either but they both claim that is just a formality. Both have invited her up to interview for more money. But even if she receives the absolute top amount from both places, it will only be half of the total cost and they are expensive. I am not willing to pay that and DD is not willing to take out loans in that amount.

So, once the "formalities" are handled, I figured I'll see just how wonderful they think DD is. I'm guessing she won't look as terrific if she needs more money.
so true...
my ds was offered the top merit aid at several privates (most were called Presidential awards etc, he was a strong candidate) which still left him with what we considered Big debt for an undergrad degree...he qualified for no financial aid. My ds wanted little to no debt and despite what we were willing to pay, the Gap was still significant...we chose to speak to two of those schools...basically told us about private loans, outside scholarships etc....
in the end the ds accepted a full 4 yr academic scholarship to a state university and will be debt free....he did also receive 2 private scholarships, which placed him in a very good position financially, while attending. So the undergrad money can now be used for grad school..
Despite the Accolades, Scholastics, etc...we learned that the money is easier to be "manipulated" for lack of a better term when it came to financial aid versus merit $...Its much easier to tell parents/students to take a loan, borrow from family (yup we heard that too) than to somehow give more merit money..the competition is fierce for enrollment at competitive schools.....my only suggestion is to be prepared and decide what is best for your student/family...Where is the best bang for your money and your education....Unless its an Ivy....I strongly believe that your grad degree is the one that will ultimately be the focus....like I said previously, it was really difficult for him.us to turn those Acceptances down....
But having 2 extended family members paying huge monthly undergrad loan payments (and one of them not even qualifying for a lousy car loan because of it) and one of them being underemployed...seemed to keep it in perspective for us.
As an aside....he is very happy where he is....
It all works out....Very Best of luck to your daughter!!!
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:57 PM   #10
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We tried to get DD's college to give us more money too - but nothing doing.

This was our thought...the worse that can happen is they say no.

My guess at this point - they will direct you to wait until after the FAFSA process is over.

What DD "got" for a small private college in a neighboring state, was a "package" that included a combination of a president's award, and a "neighboring state scholarship". The bottom line - the total package approximately equalled what the cost would have been for DD to go to the highly selective state school. We did not receive any financial aid, nore were we expecting any.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:01 PM   #11
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We tried to get DD's college to give us more money too - but nothing doing.

This was our thought...the worse that can happen is they say no.

My guess at this point - they will direct you to wait until after the FAFSA process is over.

What DD "got" for a small private college in a neighboring state, was a "package" that included a combination of a president's award, and a "neighboring state scholarship". The bottom line - the total package approximately equalled what the cost would have been for DD to go to the highly selective state school. We did not receive any financial aid, nore were we expecting any.
Scholarships are financial aid.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:03 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by luvmarypoppins View Post
Well I used to work in a financial aid office.

Our policy was that the pool of available money was handed out to students who applied and qualified for various scholarships (small private school)

We did have a contingency fund for just the circumstances you said.

Most of that money went to kids who had extenuating financial circumstances. Be prepared to show proof like decreased wages, medical bills, divorce etc.

You could use another college offer to see what they do etc. It might get considered if they want the student etc.

For my own son, he just transferred to a new school and they were not willing to budge with any financial aid, so he didnt go there. He ended up getting a full ride to nursing school for the next 2 years as he got a scholarship not based on need but more on grades, extra curriculars and family circumstances (I have cancer).

Best of luck,.
Awww. I am so sorry.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:59 PM   #13
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Scholarships are financial aid.
This is true - but a college (unless they are giving you a full ride) generally isn't going to offer more than their standard merit scholarships until they've seen the FAFSA data. YMMV.
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Old 10-08-2012, 10:30 PM   #14
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If the grades/test scores are high enough, pit the schools against each other. School 1 offers 10,000. School 2 offers 15,000. Go back to school 1 and see if they'll beat it. Rinse and repeat. Got my brother a full ride, and worked for several of my students going to grad school.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:01 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinijocaro View Post
I've been hearing lately, inreal life and on this board about people calling and trying to get the college to cough up up more money than was originally offered. Some people are successful.
Who do you call, how often do you call, what do you say? Any info greatly appreciated!

How do you do this, who do you call, how often dodo you call.
My daughter was offered a substantial scholarship from a small private college, and the college REALLY, REALLY WANTED HER. Even with the money they offered, the state school that she really wanted to attend was substantially cheaper. So, with absolutely nothing to lose, we called and laid it out for them: She would attend the small private school, but ONLY if they could offer more than they were offering.

Apparently they didn't want her as badly as they'd intimated. They wouldn't offer more money.

So she's at the medium-sized state school, which was always her #1 choice, and both she and I are thrilled.

The moral: Try, but don't expect too much.

She did earn two scholarships, neither of which is connected to her university. We didn't even consider asking for more -- it wouldn't have been appropriate in these situations. One scholarship is from a local group, and they said up front that the scholarship is X amount; it would be ungrateful to ask them to up it. The other scholarship is from the state, and -- again -- it was for a specific amount. No use to ask in those situations.
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Scholarships are financial aid.
Not really.

Financial aid is generally recognized as money given because you're needy. It might come from the federal government via that FAFSA form, or it might come from the school.

Scholarships, on the other hand, are an earned award. Some are academic, some are athletic, others are based on leadership or community service or other criteria. Some consider need as well as achievement.

But, no, they're really two different categories.
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