You have done everything right, and are weighing offers of admission and comparing scholarships. Is it possible to negotiate with business schools, and to leverage scholarships to increase funding from other programs? The short answer is yes, it is possible to negotiate for MBA scholarships, but there are no guarantees, and it’s crucial to handle the conversation appropriately.
Based on my years making scholarship and admissions decisions for Tuck, and my experience helping my clients earn and negotiate for more than 5 million dollars in scholarships over the past two years, here is my advice:
Have a clear strategy.
Organize your thoughts and have a clear sense of your priorities before approaching any schools. Understand where you really want to go, so that you are entering the negotiation with a well-actualized plan.
Be humble and respectful.
You are not entitled to admission or to a scholarship. There are many, many people who would be thrilled just to have been admitted, with or without funding. Please keep this in mind, and also consider the fact that the admissions officer you are talking to has most likely advocated for you, and is on your side. Also, if they tell you that they can’t negotiate, or that there simply isn’t any scholarship money available, please believe them.
Follow the school’s protocol.
Some schools require you to put all requests in writing, and to answer specific questions. Please follow their rules – again, the school is doing you a favor by even considering you for additional scholarships, and you want to make it as easy for them as possible.
When I was at Tuck, I was very fortunate to have open lines of communication with current students and alums. This meant that I would often hear [...]