According to Cornell University it makes sense to apply to several competing colleges to increase the chances of getting the scholarship. In fact, there is one of the best-kept secrets of the college financial aid: students who get into several competing colleges have more chances of getting a scholarship than those who apply to just one "dream" college.
For example, Cornell matches the aid offers of admitted students who also got into other Ivy League colleges comparing the parental contribution and loan levels at Stanford Universitiy, Duke University and MIT. Dartmouth College also matches aid offers from other Ivy League educational institutions. So those students who would like to enter Cornell or Dartmouth, but can't afford the full tuition cost that reaches $55,000 this year, will substantially increase their chances of getting bigger scholarships if they also apply and get into highly rated and more competitive colleges like Princeton University, for instance.
Of course, getting into these colleges is hard. Brown, Columbia, Harvard, Princeton and Yale are known to reject over 90 percent of their applicants. In 2014 Dartmouth rejected 88.5 percent of applicants while Cornell had only 81.6 percent. Having publicly revealed their matching strategies, Cornell and Dartmouth confirm that applicants who can get into several competing schools may get colleges to act like bidders on eBay, and increase their odds of receiving scholarships.
One reason prestigious colleges like Cornell start scholarship bidding wars is to prevent students to get to schools like Harvard or Brown. Most colleges grant scholarships because of grades or other accomplishments but as all of their students have "A"s and/ or other "merit," most of the elite universities provide aid because of students' financial needs. For example, Harvard estimates that families with up to $180,000 of yearly income can't afford to pay more than 10 percent of their earnings for college. Cornell is less generous than Harvard, but brilliant students who get into both schools can win bigger scholarships, if Cornell adopts Harvard's financial aid policy.
Once you decided to apply for the scholarship in any college or university the first thing you should do is complete your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) early in January, the sooner the better. You will be required to provide your tax/income information but as you can't have your taxes filed that early, base your FAFSA on your last pay stub or the previous year taxes. As soon as you have your taxes actually filed you will have to log on and update. Make sure you mention all schools you would like to be enrolled into. This is vital if you want to get access to the largest source of financial aid. Schools will rely on this list to determine whether you are eligible for any state or institutional grant. The application is a free so it won't cost you any money to complete this form.
Unfortunately, applying to many colleges does not always guarantee bigger scholarships. Many colleges just refuse to "negotiate" over financial aid simply because they have no money to enter into bidding wars. Other schools will only match offers from those colleges that they consider to be their "peers" while there is a group of universities that will only take into account offers from schools with superior admission rates or rankings.
Anyway, if you know which colleges compete with each other you can often get extra aid. Some applicants have used offers from Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y. or Carnegie Mellon University to start scholarship bidding wars. Of course, it takes a lot of time and work to apply to, get into, and then negotiate with these colleges, but getting an award of thousands of dollars and a college education are worth the efforts.
Bidding on eBay also requires some time but the reward of getting the coveted product well justifies the cost. Many college students get to eBay to purchase everything they need for school while staying within their limited budget. Cost-savvy shoppers score the best deals maximizing their savings by using Ebay Promo Code to enjoy extra discount.