Mission Admission is a series of MBA admission tips; a new one is posted each Tuesday.
Oh, the difference a day makes. One day, you are on the outside, wondering whether you will ever get into any of your target schools. Then, the next day, you get a call from the MBA admissions board at your first choice school, and your life changes forever. Suddenly, with an acceptance letter in hand, you become more self-assured and start to contemplate whether you will receive scholarships. Then, your second choice school calls and offers you $10K. You now find yourself facing a tough choice: Should I accept the offer from my second choice with a scholarship or the offer from my first choice, even if it does not come through with any funds?
In the short term, you do not need to make this choice. With acceptance letters in hand, you can diplomatically leverage the financial aid offer you received from your second choice school to influence the decision at your first. Once you have been accepted, your first choice just might not be prepared to let you go. Of course, diplomacy is key. If you make your request in too forceful a manner, you will only alienate the financial aid office, who may then decide to not offer additional resources to encourage you to choose the alternate.
So, tread carefully, but you won’t lose anything by asking for more.