You can barter with colleges just like you can barter at an auction. If your child gets two offers from two different colleges, don’t hesitate to negotiate with one or the other to see if they’ll up their offer. But you need to have your act together and know exactly what to ask for if you do try to negotiate. Colleges won't like the fact that you ask for additional money but all they can say is no. It doesn't ever hurt to ask!
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In this scenario though, you’ll have to be willing to commit right then and there. Like any other salesperson, college admissions and financial aid officers are anxious to “close the deal.” Create a spreadsheet showing your out-of-pocket costs per colleges. This will help give you the information you need to negotiate a better deal.
Some parents believe that they make too much money to do effective college planning. However, with the majority of scholarship money being merit-based now, even wealthy parents can benefit from college planning.
Having a pro on your side could mean the difference between footing your child’s entire tuition bill and receiving aid that frees up your funds for other exciting expenditures.