In order to grow their applicant pool, these institutions offer a range of pleasant amenities — a fee waiver, extended deadline, priority admission decision. The most attractive offer of them all, perhaps, is the scholarship.
Out of curiosity, and because the information about scholarships can sometimes be confusing and vague, I reached out to three universities that contacted me about their scholarships.
Receiving my first email from Hult Business School, I wanted to find out what chances I have in getting a scholarship if I were to get accepted. According to Marie Hjorth, the Senior Application Manager, they "do not provide full scholarships for students in general". Mentioning the Hult Scholar Grant, which is awarded to few applicants every year, Marie noted that "the process is highly selective". The recipients usually have a teacher or school counselor recommendation, have a plethora of academic achievements, and demonstrate financial need. At the end, Ms. Hjorth added that "one would of course still need to pay the living costs since only the tuition fees would be covered by this grand."
Located in Hempstead, New York, Hofstra University were one of the few who were offering fee waivers, priority admission decision, and automatic scholarship consideration. To top it off, I was their "Select Candidates". While it seemed wonderful, when I asked for the specifics, the only response I got was a letter listing the same benefits as previously.
Long Island University's email subject was loud and bold: "$100 Million in Scholarships & Grants". The title and the collage, however, probably took the most thought and creativity, judging by the one-sentence email that followed. I was told that "based on [my] strong academic performance, [I] have been nominated to receive a Long Island University scholarship", but it wasn't clear what this meant. My email was met with the same bold title, the same colorful theme, yet none of my questions were answered. Their Vice President of University Admissions sent a two-sentence, reworded email: "Based on [my] outstanding academic credentials, [I] may qualify for one of Long Island University's prestigious academic scholarships. Each year Long Island University awards over $100 million in scholarships and grants".
With Hult being the only institution to answer my questions cooperatively and clearly, the universities trying to broaden their applicant pool really should try to be less laconic and up-to-date with their emails, and more specific about what they write. Otherwise, they are prone to losing potential applicants just like me.