Should You Try to Negotiate a Merit Scholarship?

merit scholarship

Landing a seat at the MBA program of your dreams is a significant accomplishment. It makes all of those months of application preparation (and worrying) worth it. If you’ve also received a merit scholarship, good on you!

When you suddenly find yourself with a financial incentive to attend a particular school, you’ll understandably feel honored and thrilled at your good fortune. However, if you’ve received more than one offer of admission, this unexpected twist can often make your ultimate decision that much more complicated.

But here’s something that lucky future business school students often forget: you can try to negotiate merit scholarships.

Maybe you received drastically different scholarship amounts for two or more programs. Or, perhaps you received a financial award for one school but nothing for another. Why not contact the AdCom and explain your situation?

This should go without saying, but we wouldn’t recommend naming the competing institution, sharing your offer letter, or making demands. Instead, reach out to the admissions office. Reiterate your deep interest in attending their program, and then ask if they would consider increasing their merit scholarship offer (or any scholarship amount) because you now have another offer of acceptance and financial incentive on the table.

The best way to negotiate an MBA merit scholarship

merit scholarship

Don’t miss B-Schooled Podcast Episode #44 on MBA scholarships. That episode covers:

  • How accepted MBA candidates should go about asking for an increase in merit aid, whether they were offered anything initially or not;
  • The four positions a candidate might be negotiating from and tactics associated with each; and
  • Detailed advice for approaching such an ask over the phone vs. email.

Also, check out Fortune’s recent article: What MBA Programs Offer Scholarship Opportunities? Ultimately, this is one of those rare situations in life where—if handled professionally, of course—you have nothing to lose.

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