Are Schollarships an Investment and can you Negotiate it?

College is more expensive today, but there are strategies to reduce this. Attend community college to get the basic course work done. Make sure what is transferable by selecting the 4 year college that you want to attend and speaking with an advisor.

Before investing a vast amount of money, or taking out huge loans, think about taking a battery of aptitude tests, and find out what you are really suited for. If you are young enough to be in the Boy Scouts, get every merit badge you can. The government has summaries of what those in various job do.

In the USA with financial aid from the college that admits you, the word Negotiate is like a “four letter word” and you will be Tossed out of the financial aid office as soon as you utter that evil word.

Colleges do Not negotiate. They make an informed decision, based upon you and All of your parents filling out the FAFSA and sometimes the CSS Profile forms.

Of course:

  • You may have made a Mistake in filling out the FAFSA and CSS Profile forms. Be prepared to Prove you made a mistake

  • The forms are filled out Months before you accept a college’s offer of admission and a crucial item may have changed (a parent lost a job for example), then be able to Prove that

Therefore, you are Not negotiating but merely informing the college of a Mistake that You made or a major change in the financial health of your family.

There also is the “providing information” to the college’s financial aid staff. For example all of the NESCAC colleges have similar ways of determining the amount of financial aid, using the FAFSA and Profile forms. So if you got admitted to Both Williams and Amherst colleges and Williams offered you $20,000 in grants and Amherst only offered you $10,000 in grants, then you can Ask the Amherst financial aid staff member why using the same aid formulas that Amherst arrived at a totally different amount than Williams (assuming you would rather attend Amherst). Many times they will then re-review their calculations and suddenly find a mistake that they made and then make you the same offer.

You are Not negotiating you are merely Informing.

However, do NOT go to XYZ College or Harvard College and tell them that the $15,000 that they are offering you in reduced cost is too little compared to what the University of Rhode Island will charge you. They will Laugh, throw you out of their office and tell you to attend URI and get someone else to take your slot.

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