I have now been accepted to two MBA programs. It is not an easy decision. Id be happy in both programs. Both have their advantages.
My question is, should I open up a negotiation with them? Tell them that I’ve been accepted at the other program? Basically ask them, if they’d be willing to give me something such as a scholarship? Or better yet, promise to send me to the exchange partner of my choosing? Anything else?
Or will they react VERY negatively to this? In my line of business, Im used to people expecting this kind of negotiation, but maybe they won’t?
I doubt they would or even can reverse your acceptance for simply asking. You could approach them carefully and say you were accepted at another school but really want to go to this one but because of X, you were wondering if there’s any way they could offer some form of scholorship or a research fellowship as you’re struggling with the finances. The thing here, is that it’s not likely to work. The vast majority of students get accepted to more than one program, so you’re not really in some superior bargaining position. If you say no, they just give your spot to the next borderline candidate on the waiting list. I think they have far too many students to get into these complications. You also have to be careful that if it is perceived in a negative light, it will likely spread around the staff. Be careful not to let this go to your head and realize that many students are having to choose now. Also, don’t bluff about a competing offer, because they likely know people at the other program and will call to unofficially verify a scholarship or whatever.
Offend them? This is graduate business school we’re talking about. They’re supposed to be breeding the next generation of d-bag BSD’s, not a bunch of timid BOM’s. Lay your offer on the table and tell them they have 48 hours to accept or they will forever regret the day they let CT walk out the door. They should hand you your diploma on the spot.
I doubt this will work, but the risks are also probably low. MBA programs need students like the ocean needs rain, unless you are pretty unique and they need you to meet some diversity standard. Nothing you’ve said about yourself here or in other threads seems to indicate that you’d fall into that “diversifier” category.
Last time I was familiar with the numbers, about 15% of MIT Sloan’s admitted applicants chose not to accept their offer, and the HBS percentage was around 10%, so there’s not much to do on the bargaining front.
Good question. What I would literally say to the potential business school admissions officer would be something along the lines of this: “Hi, I’m calling first of all because I’m really grateful to have been accepted to your institution. I’ve enjoyed my interactions with your professors, students and alumni and could see myself being a great fit. However, I am concerned about financing my education, and have been presented with a compelling scholarship from another institution. Can we please discuss some ways of making it financially feasible for me to attend your school?”
There’s no harm in asking. Many students from the top schools (at least full-time programs) get some type of financial aid or merit scholarship. The worst thing the schools can say is “no.” But be prepared to reiterate your qualifications for the school, and also know your financial position so that if they ask you about more details, it wouldn’t seem like you’re trying to just scrub them for extra cash (i.e. we all want more money). There should be some financial aid questionnaire forms from various schools that you can find to understand the types of things you need to know about yourself (i.e. income, estimated cash + marketable securities at the time you plan to enter school, any other sources of financial support, etc.).
Numi, are you advocating fabricating a story about a scholarship elsewhere? Because I didn’t see anything about there actually being a scholarship at either location.
My understanding is that there are very few scholarships for MBA programs, the assumption being that students will get enough of a bump to pay off debt (an increasingly dubious assumption, but a convenient one). The ones that do exist are typically designed around specific ethnic and/or religious groups, founded by some successful alum who wants to promote their group. These scholarships, to the extent that they exist, probably have already been allocated by the time acceptance letters go out, though they might possibly be redeployed if a current recipient elects to go to another school.
I misread the post thinking that he had already gotten a scholarship at one place but not another. But in any case, the effect is the same – he could easily say to School X that he has an offer to attend School Y that makes it more economically feasible, but that he really wants to go to School X if they can offer him some type of scholarship or financial aid to bridge the gap. That way, he is not representing to anyone that he has a scholarship when he doesn’t actually have one, but still gets the point across that aid/scholarship is an important consideration and I don’t think that admissions officer’s ear would hear it any other way.