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decline an early decision acceptance offer?

blueredbeaverblueredbeaver Registered User Posts: 15 New Member
edited December 2009 in Parents Forum
Hi everyone. Does anyone know how to decline an early decision offer due to financial reasons? (If the package is not too horrible, but a state school is offering full ride and since our family background is far from wealthy). Should I write a letter explaining, and just not pay the deposit?
Post edited by blueredbeaver on

Replies to: decline an early decision acceptance offer?

  • maritemarite Registered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member
    You're not supposed to decline ED unless the package is horrible. It seems it's not.
  • poetgrlpoetgrl Registered User Posts: 13,334 Senior Member
    In most cases, it's ill advised to decline an ED offer...but, if it is a state school and a full ride, you could call the ED school and talk to them about your financial situation, and your reasons. I wouldn't just "do it," but I'd talk to them. In this economy and since it is a STATE school, I think they might accomodate you. FWIW. Just be honest and be prepared to honor your agreement if they don't let you out. I suspect they will under these circumstances.
  • dstarkdstark Registered User Posts: 34,241 Senior Member
    Tell the school you can't afford it. Your family is far from wealthy. When did you find out about the state school scholarship? Did you already get a financial aid package from the ED school?
  • younghossyounghoss Registered User Posts: 3,021 Senior Member
    I am guessing you were accepted at State school before early decision, right? I hope so.
    Part of ED obligation is that if you are accepted, you must withdraw any other pending apps. The give-and-take of ED is that student promises to go to school if accepted, and in exchange, the school promises to let the student know early. Many here advise strongly against such an ED agreement for the very reason you have. You promised to enroll in another school, but now have a better offer elsewhere that is tempting you to renege.

    As best I know, and as has been discussed on this forum many times before, the only couple of exceptions are death or a horrible aid package. The idea that "one offer is quite a bit better than the other" is NOT enough. This is the student and parents' integrity on the line. The student has promised, in writing, to attend if accepted.

    I guess there is no harm in talking to the ED school, unless of course you make them mad(if you failed to honor the agreement). I'd urge parents and student to honor their word.
  • maritemarite Registered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member
    Yes, this really bugs me. Why apply ED if one was not prepared to honor one's word? It's not difficult to figure out the wording on the ED contract!
  • sunmachinesunmachine Registered User Posts: 824 Member
    Actually, most ED agreements say that you must attend if offered admission unless the finanancial aid award is so bad that it is IMPOSSIBLE for you to attend. Based on what you've said, that does not seem to be the case. Nevertheless, I agree with poetgrl that the school might accomodate you since the other college is a STATE school and if you explain your situation. But just withdrawing unilaterally would be a real bad move.
  • younghossyounghoss Registered User Posts: 3,021 Senior Member
    This same dilemma was posted a couple weeks ago if the OP wants to see those results:
    look for this thread title:

    Withdrawing other apps after ED
  • dstarkdstark Registered User Posts: 34,241 Senior Member
    I'm so sick of this ED crap.

    OP...you can walk. You don't have to go to the ED school. The binding part is total bs.

    A school can't hold you to an ED acceptance. It definitely can't hold you to an ED acceptance if it is bad for you or your family financially.

    Just tell the ED school.

    There are people walking away from their mortgages. Leases. CalPers walked away from a $50 million loan. Sam Zell is going to walk away from deals and he is a billionaire. To tell some kid he has to take an Ed acceptance is irresponsible and wrong.
  • 'rentof2'rentof2 Registered User Posts: 4,327 Senior Member
    I agree. Just talk to them. Some schools may be miffed and you'll have to go through some sort of process with them about it, but on the other hand you may be dealing with a school that isn't interested in spending time on such things and will just accept your request to attend elsewhere. I don't think there's any reason to assume it's going to be a problem until and unless it actually is one. Which it may be, or it may not be. But I agree you should approach it as a conversation, not a declaration.

    I would appreciate it if you could come back and post on the result. There is much speculation about this on CC and it would be enlightening to hear of a student who has actually gone through the process of declining an ED acceptance.
  • hmom5hmom5 - Posts: 10,882 Senior Member
    This is an acceptable reason to decline.
  • momofthreeboysmomofthreeboys Registered User Posts: 15,341 Senior Member
    Agree, you need to call them. Be very prepared for the conversation as you might have been able to turn your ED application into a regular decision application and you wouldn't be in this position. My first thought when I read your post was to wonder why you continued in the ED round and I suspect admissions may ask that question also.
  • younghossyounghoss Registered User Posts: 3,021 Senior Member
    dstark may have a point with his idea that *others can default, you can too!*.

    I not 100% sure how binding giving one's written word is legally to a college. I'm not sure how hard they would press you to make you honor your word. I was looking at the bigger picture, in addition to the ED school.

    One angle to consider: what if ed school led you to believe you were accepted, and honoring your word, you cancelled all other apps. You sent in your deposit. Then about 2 weeks before school they returned your check, uncashed, and told you they changed their mind and accepted another student instead. Just an angle to consider.
  • vonlostvonlost Super Moderator Posts: 23,694 Super Moderator
    Yes, appeal to UPenn first; maybe they can do better. Because UPenn is a Common App school, the decision is yours; you don't need to prove anything.

    But many out here will wonder, if the FA is workable, why you want to give up UPenn for a state school.
  • maritemarite Registered User Posts: 21,586 Senior Member
    It's not a matter of UPenn vs. state school. I'm not dissing state schools. I have no idea which it is, anyway and many are excellent.

    This is not a matter of facing starvation or homelessness but of getting a better finaid package. I've never been of the opinion that "just because others do it, it's okay for me, too."

    I don't like ED. But if one is willing to play the game, one ought to see it through.
  • dstarkdstark Registered User Posts: 34,241 Senior Member
    Penn Admissions: Applying Early Decision

    Student must answer by Jan 1. Hmmm...
This discussion has been closed.