is it acceptable to play two graduate offers off against each other?Watch
I've been offered graduate places at literature masters courses at both Oxford and Cambridge. Oxford has offered me a partial scholarship which covers my college fees and brings the cost of both Unis down to roughly the same level.
However I know I would be happier in Cambridge. Girton have accepted me and I have applied for several of their graduate scholarships and awards. If I contact the college to let them know about the scholarship in Oxford, but that I would be a lot happier in Cambridge, would I be shooting myself in the foot? In other words, is it better to just sit tight and hope I get a scholarship offer from Cambridge too?
I'd appreciate your advice.
Need more help on going postgrad?
I'm not sure it's really done to actively and explicitly negotiate, though. Certainly I've not heard of anyone doing it in the humanities. I don't know about the specific criteria of the awards you've applied to but most such things are merit-based, and if that's the case with these then whatever other offers you have elsewhere should be irrelevant to how you get ranked in scholarship competitions. And by actively telling people that you have counteroffers you'd run the risk of annoying them. So my advice would be to wait until acceptance deadlines, accept both, and then reject the Cambridge offer if they don't have any money for you in the end and it works out cheaper to take Oxford.
That's my take on it, anyway. I'm not going to pretend to be a great authority on this sort of thing, so don't take me for one!