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Should a student who applies for financial aid not be offered an award that makes attendance possible, the student may decline the offer of admission and be released from the Early Decision commitment.
“Early Decision (ED) is the application process in which students make a commitment to a first-choice institution where, if admitted, they definitely will enroll. While pursuing admission under an Early Decision plan, students may apply to other institutions, but may have only one Early Decision application pending at any time. Should a student who applies for financial aid not be offered an award that makes attendance possible, the student may decline the offer of admission and be released from the Early Decision commitment. The institution must notify the applicant of the decision within a reasonable and clearly stated period of time after the Early Decision deadline. Usually, a nonrefundable deposit must be made well in advance of May 1. The institution will respond to an application for financial aid at or near the time of an offer of admission. Institutions with Early Decision plans may restrict students from applying to other early plans. Institutions will clearly articulate their specific policies in their Early Decision agreement.”
If you are accepted under an Early Decision plan, you must promptly withdraw the applications submitted to other colleges and universities and make no additional applications to any other university in any country. If you are an Early Decision candidate and are seeking financial aid, you need not withdraw other applications until you have received notification about financial aid from the admitting Early Decision institution.
Students cannot decline an ED offer if they don't get enough financial aid....
You contractually commit to the school when you apply ED and must pay whether or not you receive financial aid.