2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2019
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  1. Pre-Medical
Hello, I have been accepted to 4 schools so far with 3 being top 10 schools. I have received my financial aid package from one of the schools so far and it was all loans. I wanted to ask 1) Can I negotiate my financial aid even if I do not hold a scholarship, but I hold numerous other acceptances of the same caliber/rank?, 2) When is the best time to negotiate aid? Should I wait until I receive all of the financial aid packages before asking about scholarships?, and 3) What is the best way to ask about receiving a scholarship, negotiating aid, or increasing the amount I can get?

I feel extremely fortunate to have received these acceptances; however, finances are going to play a large role in my final decision, so I wanted to ask early! I appreciate any advice in regards to this topic! Thank you all in advance!
I haven't been through it yet (with any luck, I will be in your position next year :)), but, from having observed the prior two cycles, T10s save their merit-based money for their rock stars, not merely anyone who has an A and wants to pay less than full price. If this were not the case, EVERYONE would be receiving merit money, and the schools clearly don't have the funding to do that (other than NYU).

From what I've seen, the key to being successful here is actually having a scholarship from a peer institution. Otherwise, what is your pitch? "Thanks for the A, but finances play a large part in my final decision, so can I please have money, even though I haven't demonstrated financial need and nobody else has given me any"?

You have to remember that unless you are a total rock star that multiple T10s are fighting over (as evidenced by the fact that one or more has offered you merit money), you have no leverage because you can literally be replaced, everywhere, by dozens if not hundreds of highly qualified candidates who would be thrilled to take your place, and for whom finances are NOT going to play a large role in their final decision.

JMHO. Hopefully, some folks who have actually gone through it, both successfully and unsuccessfully, will chime in and either confirm or deny.
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5+ Year Member
May 28, 2014
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  1. Medical Student
Wait til you get the packages from others.
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Aug 10, 2019
For Federal Loans, the max amount is determined by the respective school’s official full COA. You simply need to inform the fin aid office how much you want them to indicate will be federal loans.

I’m a believer in asking earlier versus later. The more info their fin aid office has when evaluating you, the better their Potential response.

I’d state any letter very matter of factly, indicating your success at four T10 schools. That you are emailing to ask each of them to consider some grant of merit aid given that you will be funding your education through all loans despite their EFC calculation making your decision very financially sensitive.
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