I was admitted to a school via ED II. I know that I'm supposed to attend, but I've run into some issues that will either force me to take a gap year or attend a school that's closer to my residence (Northern California). My parents are getting older and are suffering from health issues nearly every day. I'm not going to get too specific on what the issues are, but they'll likely need me to take care of them or help around the house a couple days a week. My brother's in middle school right now and having someone available to take care of him over the weekend would lessen the burden on my parents by a ton.
Here are my questions: How do I go about asking for a gap year? Who do I email, and what happens if I'm not allowed the gap year? I'm supposed to accept my offer of admission by March 1st. What happens if I don't accept that offer? Would I be able to accept offers from the UC's and/or other universities?
My second question is: If I take a gap year, am I still bound by the ED II agreement? I have a 4.0 UW, 2240 SAT, and many extracurriculars and awards. I'm counting on acceptances from Cal and UC Davis in March. I'd much rather attend Cal at this point as it's only around 40 minutes from home, wheras the school I was accepted to is over 2000 miles away.
Anyhow, it's going to be very hard for me to attend my ED II school for the next 4 years. I hear UC's are very hard to transfer to if you're from an OOS university, so I'd much rather attend a UC at this point for the reasons stated above. Is there any way to cancel the ED II agreement and attend a UC school instead?