Quantcast

Working the system?

Achieve USMLE Step PREP Success | Picmonic
This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.

DancerDoc

too much information!
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2006
Messages
28
Reaction score
0
I just got accepted to my top choice state school, which is where I know I'm going to go. I have the acceptance paper work to send back and I can be a "firm" acceptance or a "tenative" acceptance. Both will hold my spot in the class but tenative requires me to inform them ASAP on whether I'm a firm acceptance or withdrawing. Since I am withdrawing from my other interview (and potential interviews) I know I will be going to this school and am a firm acceptance. However, I've heard talk that the longer you wait to give them your final word (schools in general) the more financial aid they will give you as an incentive to come to their school. I was one of the very few people accepted in after their first month of interviews at their first committee meeting, so I know they want me to go to their school. I would love as much financial aid as possible (don't we all?), but I also don't want to mess anything up with my acceptance to this school. Advice as to what to mark? Or am I just being overly neurotic and it won't matter at all...
 

liverotcod

Lieutenant Crunch
15+ Year Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
2,336
Reaction score
6
If you're definitely going there, you should say so. If you are still considering other schools, then you're tentative. Please just be honest, instead of gaming it.
 

MarzMD

Full Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2005
Messages
1,148
Reaction score
3
I say play the game. Milk them for as much money as you can. Once med school starts, they will rape you....so at least get what you can now.
 

lord_jeebus

和魂洋才
Moderator Emeritus
15+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2003
Messages
5,823
Reaction score
174
I see no advantage to giving them a "firm acceptance."

I played the game to the point where I told a director of admissions that I required more money to choose his school over another (I wasn't bluffing though). I got the money.
 

werd

Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2004
Messages
856
Reaction score
61
what you're saying sounds off to me. schools calculate your financial aid based on demonstrated need from your fafsa and parental assets - there is no scholarship component or "incentive to come here" component, so making them sweat won't affect anything. at most schools, you must "accept their acceptance" within several weeks to hold a spot at that med school; you can hold as many spots as you want until may, when you are only allowed to hold one spot.
 

jonb12997

I'm a doctor!!
15+ Year Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2003
Messages
1,182
Reaction score
39
parental assets don't apply to medical school financial aid, unless for some reason they'll be giving you money to help pay and you want to tell George about it when you don't have to... also, If you're certain to have the seat with the conditional acceptance, don't worry about telling them firm right now. you never know if another school will call you last minute, and then you can play them off each other. :)
 

Droopy Snoopy

Full Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2006
Messages
1,847
Reaction score
21
I just got accepted to my top choice state school, which is where I know I'm going to go. I have the acceptance paper work to send back and I can be a "firm" acceptance or a "tenative" acceptance. Both will hold my spot in the class but tenative requires me to inform them ASAP on whether I'm a firm acceptance or withdrawing. Since I am withdrawing from my other interview (and potential interviews) I know I will be going to this school and am a firm acceptance. However, I've heard talk that the longer you wait to give them your final word (schools in general) the more financial aid they will give you as an incentive to come to their school. I was one of the very few people accepted in after their first month of interviews at their first committee meeting, so I know they want me to go to their school. I would love as much financial aid as possible (don't we all?), but I also don't want to mess anything up with my acceptance to this school. Advice as to what to mark? Or am I just being overly neurotic and it won't matter at all...

I don't know whether the rumor is true, but I heard the same thing when going through the app process. I don't see anything ethically wrong with playing the game and get your extra $2000 or however much extra it's worth. Taking the same amount in loans, deferred for 7+ years until after residency and then amortized for 15 years like a freakin' house note like most physicians do, and you're looking at real money. I disagree with the whole aid enticement system anyway. Give it out for need or for academic accomplishment. Taking it away from one of these groups and handing it out to pad your offered vs. accepted ratio for US News or whatever is broke.
 

liverotcod

Lieutenant Crunch
15+ Year Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
2,336
Reaction score
6
See, I just don't think it's OK to lie to get a little financial advantage. Where does it stop? I reiterate: if you really think you might go to another school, then you're tentative, otherwise your firm. In a couple months this site will be absolutely hopping with people insisting that people who are still legitimately uncertain where they will attend give up their spots. Don't give them more ammunition.
 

FenderHM

Where there's a will...
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
Messages
573
Reaction score
3
they cant withdraw an offer once you've accepted their offer, even if its "tentative" so maybe see what happens? i dont look at it as a lie you arent required to decide on schools now so dont be forced into anything, ie definitely accepting w/o knowing the f.a. situation
 

werd

Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2004
Messages
856
Reaction score
61
parental assets don't apply to medical school financial aid, unless for some reason they'll be giving you money to help pay and you want to tell George about it when you don't have to... also, If you're certain to have the seat with the conditional acceptance, don't worry about telling them firm right now. you never know if another school will call you last minute, and then you can play them off each other. :)

so, parental assets are a part of med school financial aid. you must submit signed copies of your parents' tax records and assets for that year before you can be considered for financial aid. it doesn't matter whether or not your parents are going to give you anything, but you have to submit these documents before schools will consider you for financial aid.
i'd also like to reiterate that schools don't give incentive or scholarship components to financial aid (the only exception i know is upenn). this is true for allopathic schools, anyway.
 

liverotcod

Lieutenant Crunch
15+ Year Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
2,336
Reaction score
6
so, parental assets are a part of med school financial aid. you must submit signed copies of your parents' tax records and assets for that year before you can be considered for financial aid. it doesn't matter whether or not your parents are going to give you anything, but you have to submit these documents before schools will consider you for financial aid.
i'd also like to reiterate that schools don't give incentive or scholarship components to financial aid (the only exception i know is upenn). this is true for allopathic schools, anyway.
I'm afaid that's not true. In order to receive some (some) institutional financial aid, you have to submit parental info. But for the majority of folks who only need Stafford loans, all professional students are considered independent and do NOT have to submit parental information. And, in fact, many schools offer grant scholarships, both need based and merit. I receive both.
 

liverotcod

Lieutenant Crunch
15+ Year Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2003
Messages
2,336
Reaction score
6
they cant withdraw an offer once you've accepted their offer, even if its "tentative" so maybe see what happens? i dont look at it as a lie you arent required to decide on schools now so dont be forced into anything, ie definitely accepting w/o knowing the f.a. situation

I agree that you aren't required to decide. Until May, in fact. What I was saying is that IF a person has decided, he should not then prevaricate. Honestly, though, it's unlikely to matter.
 

Ambiptosis

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
i'd also like to reiterate that schools don't give incentive or scholarship components to financial aid (the only exception i know is upenn). this is true for allopathic schools, anyway.

Michigan, Pitt, Chicago, and Vanderbilt are all schools that, like Penn, give merit money. And I'm just spouting this off of the top of my head. I think that you're vastly underestimating the number of schools that give merit aid.
 

anon-y-mouse

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Joined
Nov 14, 2005
Messages
1,382
Reaction score
13
what you're saying sounds off to me. schools calculate your financial aid based on demonstrated need from your fafsa and parental assets - there is no scholarship component or "incentive to come here" component, so making them sweat won't affect anything. at most schools, you must "accept their acceptance" within several weeks to hold a spot at that med school; you can hold as many spots as you want until may, when you are only allowed to hold one spot.

No...

I didn't apply for financial aid since I'm definitely not eligible, and I know a lot of schools would have wanted parental information (mine did). I got a merit scholarship, but I didn't actually know about it since apparently the letter had been lost... I talked to the relevant dean before matriculating and told them I needed a scholarship to consider their school, and I actually ended up getting significantly more than they initially offered me.

"Working the system" is a valid option.
 

deuist

Stealthfully Sarcastic
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Joined
Jun 14, 2004
Messages
4,537
Reaction score
447
what you're saying sounds off to me. schools calculate your financial aid based on demonstrated need from your fafsa and parental assets - there is no scholarship component or "incentive to come here" component, so making them sweat won't affect anything. at most schools, you must "accept their acceptance" within several weeks to hold a spot at that med school; you can hold as many spots as you want until may, when you are only allowed to hold one spot.

Others on this thread have already listed some examples that go against your statement. The private schools are particularly good at giving merit scholarships. I don't know if someone can game the system, but one of my classmates did tell her interviewer that our school would have to give her a scholarship for her to come here. She got her wish.
 

cyclegirl

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2005
Messages
274
Reaction score
0
My advice would be to be honest from the start. I do not know about institutional scholarships but as far as receiving federal loans it does not matter who you are or how long you hold out on a school you are going to be eligible for the same amount as everyone else. As far as federal loans go what your parents make does not really matter. If it did I would not have qualified. I never qualified in undergrad because of what they make and now that I am in med school I qualified for the max amount. So do not worry about what your parents make. Now money you have made on your last tax return is something different. If you made a ton of money during time off between undergrad and med school it could be a factor in how much federal aide you qualify for.
 

hale-bopp

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2003
Messages
161
Reaction score
0
I wrote to the school I wanted to go to and told them that I would rather go there, but I had a financially much more attractive offer from another school. (all true, for the record, I was in-state at UMass) It led to a scholarship offer that was better than I could have imagined. (and they could have convinced me for a lot cheaper)
on the other hand, at my school, from what I can tell they only give huge scholarship packages to URMs and really high MCAT scorers, so if you're not in one of those categories, I don't think you'd have a whole lot of bargaining power here... just know that different schools have different policies and all your gaming might get you nowhere because of your school's policies.
also, I don't advocate lying. If you're going to say 'tentative accept', I think you should at least be going on one other interview at the school you think you're most likely to go to otherwise.
 

gleep and gloop

New Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2004
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
I don't have a problem with trying to get more money, but the way you're doing it is kind of dumb. Instead of holding out and hoping that the school will read your mind, why not just contact them and ask? Say that you're really interested in the school and are leaning towards a firm acceptance, but that you were hoping to have some sort of financial commitment in place before completely withdrawing from other places. No need to lie, no need to play a passive-aggressive game, just ask. You're not going to "mess anything up" with your acceptance unless you make a death threat or send anthrax along with your request.

And despite what that guy says upthread, most schools have some sort of non-need based grant aid that can be used to lure people in, ranging from small one-time grants to full four-year scholarships. Just because they aren't advertised in blinking lights on the admission office's website doesn't mean they don't exist.
 
Top