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 Post subject: Multiple Offer question
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 7:47 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 4:39 pm
Posts: 7
Our DS has received offers from Westminster, Habs, MTS, John Lyon and City - three of which have offered scholarships -my general question here is:-

Our DS has a preference of the school he wants to go to, however, a higher level of scholarship has been offered by the second choice school. Has anyone experienced schools raising the scholarship level to gain a pupil, from their original offer level, as I was thinking of whether I should approach the first choice school (lower level scholarship) to see if they would match the offer of the second....or are schools pretty rigid with the levels of scholarship and they don't enter into a bidding auction to gain pupils.

I hope the post is not interpreted as boasting about our DS - as this is far from the case. We are in an extremely fortunate position of having numerous offers. Whilst his current school mentioned that he was able, we were expecting offers from 2 of the schools at best-and did not expect scholarship offers at all. He did work hard at times, but much preferred to have his face glued to a tablet playing Roblox or Minecraft...... So, opening the envelopes on Friday was a real shock!

We want to reach a final decision asap as we are aware that we are holding offers which can be made available to the waiting list.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:26 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:59 pm
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When we withdrew from a school that my son had been offered a 30% scholarship at, because he had the GS place he really wanted, but I was being polite in the rejection letter (because the school might have been a back up to our second child) they immediately came back and upped the offer to 50%. However, and this is a big however, this was nearly 10 years ago and the felling on scholarships has changed significantly. Schools are now being encouraged to ditch the scholarship scheme entirely (or have it in name only, rather than financial benefit) and focus on the bursary programme helping those who cannot afford private schol, so I suspect there is less flexibility nowadays - not least because scholarships are capped at a lower percentage than when we were applying.

I would advise you check the terms of both scholarship offers carefully - they may not be like for like - whilst it may be a bigger percentage off the fees, the trips may be more expensive (and compulsory) in the second choice school - or they may require participation in a scholar scheme that takes up additional time/money. But generally, I would say if you applied to both schools you obviously felt you could afford them without any scholarship, so don't let money sway you from the one you preferred before.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:30 pm
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Congratulations to your DS! Certainly doesn't come across as boasting to me.

No idea on this but what's the worst that can happen? They say no, I'd guess. Unlikely they will withdraw initial scholarship. So, I'd ask if I were in your shoes!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:22 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2016 8:30 pm
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Crossed post with Kenyancowgirl. I have a new screen protector on my phone and it now takes forever to type. Posted my response above, then saw KCG’s. As it happens, the train went in the abyss that’s the London Underground at the same time so no internet connection.

KCG obviously has experience so ignore me WOTSIT.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:42 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:23 am
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I would definitely send a really polite and charming email to first choice school asking if they would cinsider raising the scholarship to match the bigger offer. Tell them how much you and your son want that school but that the bigger scholarship offer is making the decision more difficult. You have absolutelynothing to lose and I know that Schools often increase their original offers. They want you as much as the other way round. Good luck and let us know the outcome.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:02 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:49 am
Posts: 127
Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

I agree that some schools often will raise their scholarship offer, and it doesn't hurt to ask. I'd probably approach it in terms of suggesting that you're delighted to receive the scholarship offer, but will be unable to accept the place without a bigger reduction of fees. Mention the alternative and if it would be useful state the percentage and/or the absolute value in money terms that it's worth. Make very clear that school you are writing to is your first choice and you're very happy to chat further about it all.

Yours will not be the only email/conversation they have like this. If they can't/won't offer more you are no worse off and can still accept if you choose to.

And before you send the email or have a conversation, make some decisions in your head - what will you do if they say they can't offer more, if they offer just a little bit more? You need to make those decisions in advance of a conversation, in the cold light of day, not whilst speaking to a persuasive bursar. And remember that if you have a conversation, you can always say you need 24 hours to discuss it with your family - they probably won't give you very long, so you need to be almost decided.

Hope it all turns out well for you.....and would be fascinating to hear how you get on.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 8:08 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:49 am
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Oh, and sorry, meant to add that those schools do represent a range in terms of how selective they are. If the preferred school is the most selective and the big chunky scholarship you are considering using as a bargaining tool is from the least selective, you might not find its a very effective bargaining tool. However, if your top choice isn't the most selective, it's probably worth having a go. I've know parents of children in Independent schools who would never consider buying any expensive luxury item without a bit of bargaining. You might be int hat category or you might find the whole thing horribly embarrassing, but it isn't uncommon at all, although I'm sure success rates vary.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 11:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:14 am
Posts: 491
We know someone who tried it at Whitgift last year.
They asked Whitgift to consider offering a scholarship so the fees would be the same as at the other school they had a scholarship offer from.
Whitgift told them it was a no go.
Don’t know anyone else who has asked but I wish you all the best.
Your son has done very well.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:14 pm
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Location: London
I haven't read the whole thread, but yes, this is doable, I have heard of a family managing to get a scholarship from an academic school that didn't offer one initially after receiving a very generous one from a slightly less academic one, but still very respectable, therefore there was a real chance of loosing that boy.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:12 pm
Posts: 38
I would read the terms and conditions of the scholarship very closely - because in nearly all cases they are on condition that they are not discussed with a third party. This is designed to stop you doing what you are attempting.

If you breach the T&C's you could risk having the offer withdrawn completely...


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