I think that's right WFG, but 50% of a lot of money is a lot of money and if it's evenly balanced then I am not sure that it's something most people can ignore. If there is a clear favourite and there are no financial issues then I agree with you. We thought we might be in this very position. DS original first choice school being very competetive, we were not expecting the scholarship offer he received. We had decided to ignore the scholarship offers and make a decision on the basis of the school, but we are in the fortunate position of being able to make that choice. What I can honestly say, however, is that the scholarship interview process and getting to know the schools better has made the decision much more difficult that what our initial choices had been. Had he not received the scholarship offer from his first choice we might have been swayed, not for financial reason, but because
1. The school had obviously singled him out as a child that could contribute to their environment, I am loathe to believe that schools make these offers simply to boost academic results, although that is clearly part of it
2. The additional responsibility in terms of behaviour and perfomance that is expected of a scholar (provided a child is up to the pressure)
3. The additional responsibility it places on the school, having identified a child's natural talent, to ensure that they excel.
All of these things come into the mix quite regardless of finances. However, I agree that there is no way that a scholarship should persuade you to send a child to a school you do not think is the best for them. Like you I think this should only matter if it really is very evenly matched. I can see then why a scholarship would be persuasive.
In so far as writing to the school is concerned, I have found that a phone call to let them know what you are doing is fine, but if you feel you want to write then why not.