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Users Comments:

Here are ideas that the attendees learned from Joe:

Apply for more colleges to be able to negotiate, and if divorced, then check for schools that only use 1 parent for expected family cost.

Apply to schools even if you don't want to go there to get competing offers
State schools are bad appeal candidates

Just having a process to review and appeal awards AND I really liked the idea of applying to schools that do give a lot of merit aid to use as a comparison.

One thing that stands out is asking for a specific amount in the appeal. I have gone back and forth on this. I have seen students get money unsolicited. I have seen them ask for a specific amount and not receive. And I have, this year, seen them ask for additional consideration, showing the competitive school's offer without a specific "ask." Results on this last one are TBD. I think it's nice to have a rule. In this case, "Ask for a specific amount."

The ability to negotiate aid armed with detailed information has a greater chance of success
"The appeal process in general--we don't really focus on that here.

The details in the software could be very useful for our clients.

Wasn't aware that one might have visibility into actual scholarships a given school awards.