How to Ask for More Scholarship Money from a College

We are asked pretty frequently by our students and families how you go about requesting more funding from colleges, whether it’s in the form of financial aid or a scholarship. We have written a blog on negotiating financial aid awards, which you can read for further advice on that topic. Here, we are going to focus on asking for additional scholarship money. First off, you should know that it is always fine to go back and ask the college for more funds. There is no downside. But, you need to be prepared to have a school stay firm in their scholarship amount.

There are some schools that just flat out will not give you more money. They simply say that this is the award and it is all they are going to offer you. And, there are some schools that don’t even give any merit money at all. Remember, merit money is based on your credentials. If your credentials are not sufficient, you will not receive any scholarship.

When Asking for More Scholarship Money, You Need Proof to Support Your Request

When you go back and ask the college for additional scholarship money, you need to have some proof to support your request. What does that mean? Well, you need to show the college comparisons of scholarship awards from other schools. But, it is not the award amount itself that is considered. The college wants to know your actual net cost for each school. What is that? The net cost is the cost of the school minus the scholarship amount. So, if the school cost $60,000 and you received a scholarship for $15,000 your net cost is $45,000. They want to compare net cost to net cost. Before you request more money, be sure to have the net costs from all the schools that awarded you scholarships at your fingertips.

That, however, is not the only thing the school will consider when assessing whether to increase your scholarship award. They also look at the quality of the schools. The school wants to compare apples to apples. What do we mean here? We mean that if the college that you’re going back to ask for more scholarship money is pretty selective, you want to show scholarship amounts from other selective schools. You don’t want to ask a selective school for more scholarship money if you are towards the bottom end of the applicant pool and you are only providing proof of a school that’s not nearly as selective as that school. Doing so will not help your request. You need to show award letters for schools that are of equivalent “academic quality”.

Be Selective in Your Scholarship Requests

We suggest that the schools to which you are going back to ask for more scholarship money are close to the top of your list, that they are schools that you really want to attend. You don’t want to waste anybody’s time if you’re really not thinking about attending that school.

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

As the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained. And that is true with scholarships. There’s no problem with going back and trying to work on getting more money. We have definitely had many students that have received additional funding as a result of their requests. Go ahead and plead your case.

So, being deferred just means that the decision on your admission is going to be considered again along with the regular decision applications.

Looking for help with the college search and application process? We help students and families through the entire college planning journey – from search, applications and essays to interview prep, financial aid consultation and final school selection.

Contact us at or by phone, 845.551.6946. We work with students through Zoom, over the phone, and by email.