Ivy League Admission Tips: How to Approach Financial Aid, Part 2

As we explored in our previous post, financial aid may be one of the most important factors to consider when making your list of potential colleges. The financial aid opportunities in U.S. colleges and universities vary greatly, so you need to take the time to learn about each school’s offerings. These Ivy League admission tips will help you get the best possible scholarships and financial aid packages.

Negotiate for Better Financial Aid

If you receive multiple acceptance letters, you may be able to negotiate to increase your financial aid. For example, suppose that you were accepted by two colleges, and one of them is offering you a larger financial aid package. However, you would prefer to go to the college that offers less financial aid. In this case, you could contact the admissions office of your preferred college and explain that you will be unable to afford tuition without additional financial aid. Requests for additional aid will carry more weight if you received a larger offer from another school comparable in selectivity and national rank.

Generally, colleges want to see that a request for additional aid is about making enrollment at that college feasible, not just cheaper. Moreover, negotiating for a better financial aid package may or may not result in more aid, but doing so will not put your acceptance at risk.

Seek Outside Scholarships

If your financial aid offers don’t completely cover your cost of attendance, you may be able to rely on scholarships from other organizations. There are numerous national, merit-based scholarship funds in the United States—far too many to cover in this post. Instead of examining specific scholarships, let’s consider some general strategies for finding suitable scholarships.

Don’t Limit Yourself

Since there is no limit on how much scholarship money you can receive, you can pursue as many scholarships as you’d like.

Start Early

You should begin searching for scholarships as early as freshman year. Since these scholarships are based on merit and accomplishment, they could also help strengthen your admissions profile.

Search Locally

Ask your guidance counselor about any local businesses or organizations that offer scholarships to local students.

Search Regularly

You will be busy throughout high school, and searching for scholarships can take time. Instead of spending a lot of time at once looking for suitable scholarships, you should regularly set aside small portions of time for that purpose.

Be Practical

Many of the same elements found in a compelling admissions profile can be incorporated into scholarship applications. To avoid making a lot of extra work for yourself, you should apply to scholarships that don’t require a great deal of additional time or effort.

Apply to a Variety of Scholarships

While you may be drawn to prestigious national scholarships, you should not ignore smaller local, regional, or niche opportunities. The smaller the number of applicants, the greater your chances of winning scholarship funds. Keep in mind that several small scholarships can eventually amount to a significant amount of financial aid.

Financial aid can be one of the most important factors in the college admissions process—it’s never too early to start looking for scholarships or researching your potential schools’ financial aid packages. These Ivy League admission strategies will help you find the best financial aid available. Contact Ivy League Prep to receive specialized guidance on how to gain admission to the most prestigious colleges and universities.