So exciting! You’ve finally received the official word that your dream business school wants you to join their incoming MBA class! However, before accepting admission, paying your tuition deposit, submitting your resignation at work, or starting to search for campus housing, there are two very timely and important topics for you to address: 1. Maximize Your Merit-based Financial Aid Did your offer of admission include any merit-based financial aid in the form of scholarship, grant or fellowship? If not, you can still request consideration. Even if you’ve been offered some aid, you can go back to seek a larger amount. Better yet, if you have acceptances from more than one school, you can use that achievement to negotiate aid. Why leave any money on the table? However, it’s essential that you contact the admissions staff diplomatically. The last thing you want to do is give them cause to reconsider an existing offer of admission or aid. To minimize any risk, and to make the most of this opportunity, your smartest move could be to engage an expert in merit-based aid so you can follow a proven path in your communications and negotiations. 2. Prepare for Background Verification Many business schools use third-party investigation firms, like Kroll and Re Vera, to review the applications of new admits with a focus on any dubious claims and questionable credentials. To help avoid any surprises, we encourage you to scrutinize your original application from the perspective of a professional background checker. Is there any content that prompts a frown, a chuckle or a raised eyebrow? Anything could make an investigator say, “Hmmmm.” If yes, then now is the time to prepare for possible questions or assumptions that might jeopardize your enrollment. A wise step could be to enlist guidance and support from a background-verification guru who has helped others survive this potential ordeal. So, party on! The MBA Exchange encourages you to keep celebrating your well-deserved admissions victory. However, only by considering and addressing these two topics – merit-based aid and background verification – can you enjoy the summer with 100% peace of mind that you will, indeed, enroll in an MBA program this fall AND pay the lowest possible cost.