accepting then dropping

<p>I have been "forced" to reply to a certain college at an earlier date than the national deadline date, and for saftey sake, have decided to send in my acceptance. I am waiting on scholarship notification from a different school and would most likely accept that being that it is a full tuition scholarship. If I do not recieve this, I will stay at the first accepted college as it is in state and more affordable as well as a reputable program. My question is, if I do recieve the scholarship and decide to drop my acceptance, what will happen? I have sent in NO money just a signed letter of intent. Honestly, I am a bit upset that they pressured me to do this. I did get a 2 wk extension but as soon as that time frame was up I recieved an email stating that they would drop me and start on the wait list if they did not hear back. My only option at that point was to accept and unfortunatley if I get the scholarship I guess I will just have to call them and explain the situation. What happens when this situation occurs? Am I legally bound to the signed letter? Anyone else ever been in this prediciment?</p>

<p>Great question. I have heard from a few people that one program, in particular, is requiring those they have accepted to, um, accept them before the National Reply Date, which has put a number of students (and their families) in a quandry, as they wait for the financial aid letters/scholarship offers from other programs.</p>


<p>First - there is no legal force to your acceptance - you may attend whatever school you would care to attend.
Second - there is also no legal force, or even universal standard "Deadline Date", true, a lot of schools subscribe to May 1st as a date by which they want you to make a decision. Any school can adjust there calendar of deadlines in any way they care to. Some schools have a time frame on scholarship money that does not conform to the May 1st convention. There is nothing illegal or immoral about this.</p>

<p>Nothing will happen to you directly. All that is at stake is your integrity. You have made a commitment in accepting a spot and some scholarship money. Depending on the school, that money in the MT program might be a "use it or lose it" proposition with a deadline date for that MT program imposed by the college - someone else who needs the money might not have access to it when you drop - that might be a reason a program has different deadlines for scholarships </p>

<p>I understand you felt pressured into accepting. I don't know that I would jump into something I felt pressured into doing. In any case, I hope it all works out for you.</p>

<p>I am glad you asked that question. My concern is for those who are waitlisted. Some schools have said that they may not contact the student regarding placement until past the May 1st deadline. So if the student is called on May 6th and they have already committed to a school by May 1st what will be the consequences if they decide to go with the school they were waitlisted for even though they committed to another school already?</p>

<p>NCMTmom....the situation you describe is different than the OP's. But to answer YOUR situation, the student must reply to a school to which they are accepted with an intent to enroll (and usually a deposit) by May 1. the student needs to pick from her accepted schools. IF the student gets off a wait list (which often doesn't happen until after May 1, the National Reply Date), they are allowed to take the wait list school and back out of the enrolled school but usually will have to forfeit the deposit. Schools are used to students backing out due to getting off a wait list elsewhere and thus there is what is called "summer melt." This is how that works (again, not exactly what the OP is talking about). </p>

<p>MTDog, actually there IS a universal "Deadline Date" called the National Reply Date ,which is May 1, which is when candidates have to reply to offers of admission.</p>

<p>Students, please know your rights when it comes to informing colleges about your intentions to matriculate. I want to refer you to the Students' Rights and Responsibilities in the College Admissions Process put out by the National Association of College Admission Counseling. It states:</p>

<p>"You have the right to wait until May 1 to respond to an offer of admission and/or financial aid. Colleges that request commitments to offers of admission and/or financial assistance prior to May 1 must clearly offer you the opportunity to request (in writing) an extension until May 1. They must grant you this extension and your request may not jeopardize your status for admission and/or financial aid. Candidates admitted under early decision programs are a recognized exception to the May 1 deadline."</p>

<p>This policy is known by ALL colleges in the US and in fact, May 1 is referred to as the National Reply Date. A college cannot make you commit prior to May 1. If a school asks you to commit, mention that you have the rights under the NACAC policy to have until May 1 to respond to the offer of admission and you wish to have until then to decide once you have all your acceptances in hand and can visit your schools. That is what needs to be said IF they are actually asking for a decision (they should NOT do that!!!). Here is the web page with the policy:
<a href=""&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>Toonastie - </p>

<p>After reading the policy Soozie posted it seems like this school is strong arming you and not acting with integrity. I can understand if you don't want to post who they are here...but to privately give a heads up to anyone in the future I'd love to know which school this is. Would you PM me??</p>

<p>My son is in the same situation as the original poster. If he does not commit to a particular school by March 31st (this coming Monday) he will lose the scholarship they offered him. I assume they have this deadline so that they can then offer the funds elsewhere if he declines admission. While I understand that students have the right to wait until May 1st to decide, it appears to me that is not necessarily the case when there are scholarship monies involved? This is very difficult for him as he still has not decided where he is going, nor has he heard from his 2 last schools regarding admittance.</p>

<p>SeniorMom, I would mention this policy I quoted to the school and ask for an extension until a certain date (either May 1 or a date before that once you have the other results in hand). I recall PSU telling my D that she had to reply about the scholarship offer (not her acceptance itself but in my view, this was one and the same!) before she had heard from all schools (it was prior to April 1 when many decisions come out) and we asked for an extension for that reason and they granted it. NO other school where she got in demanded this and all gave scholarships to her. I have a kid now who is accepted to multiple graduate schools with scholarships and none demand to know before the common reply date for that process which is April 15. She won't lose any offers and should not (see the policy I posted for undergraduates and May 1).</p>

<p>Now I'm a little nervous. Quite a while ago, my D was offered a scholarship and requested a return signature saying that we accepted the offer. We did not put down any deposit or anything, but we did sign and return the form. We assumed it was just saying that IF she decided on that school, that we were accepting their scholarship offer. Do I need to call those schools and clarify that we are still in the process of receiving offers and have not made a decision yet?</p>

<p>From what I have read it sounds kinda like quitting a job. You can quit on whatever terms you want however you want, but if you leave on bad terms with your employer, don't expect to be able to get a job from them again. Am I right in this analogy?</p>

<p>Soozie, thank you. We've been debating doing what you recommended. He'd hoped to hear about FA etc from one school in particular by now which would make the decision making process a little easier. I think asking for an extension may be in order.</p>

<p>freedom - I think you have a good point; we know of one girl in particular who was accepted into a BFA at one school (and was offered a scholarship). She chose to attend a different school, then changed her mind, and auditioned as a transfer at the school that had accepted her. Unfortunately she did not receive an acceptance offer. It could very well be that they simply were not too happy with her declining their original offer, but also that they were pulling from a larger talent pool, or that it is harder to get in as a transfer.</p>

<p>I do think that things vary from school to school, but, like Soozie suggests, I would try to get extensions.</p>

My D was in this position last year. I called the school befoe she had to sign the acceptance of schlarship and was informed that they would not hold that money for her without that paper. HOWEVER they also said that it was NON- BINDING on my D's part until May 1st. They are legally obligated to allow you to have to May 1st to make the school committment, so do not worry. My D just sent an email andd followed up with a hard copy, return receipt requested, when she declined that offer in the end. Her friend got into an MT program that requested a written commitment by late February! She called the school and found out that even if a specific dept. such as MT requests a committment that the school cannot until May 1st. In this case the girl signed the letter committing to the program, but then decided later to go elsewhere and simply wrote a letter and email declining and withdrawing her acceptance to the MT program. There were no repercussions in either case. Some MT heads are trying to get committments early to make sure they have the class they want, which is understandable, but in no way does any student have to committ before NRD of May 1st as soozievbt said thanks to her for providing these kids with that link!). Hope this helps.</p>

<p>OOPS_ forgot to spellcheck-SORRY-I hate that!!!</p>

<p>Also, I am really not into colleges that demand a reply prior to May 1 or say you can make a non-binding commitment to attend and back out by May 1. The latter scenario means the colleges are ENCOURAGING multiple "intent to enroll" replies by students to multiple schools which goes against the ENTIRE process. You are supposed to ONLY enroll in ONE school and only hold a spot at ONE school. (this is not the same as enrolling in one school by May 1 and backing out later due to an offer off of a waitlist)</p>

Actually, I contacted the college explaining the May 1st national deadline date however, I was told that this is for admission into the college ONLY. For admission into the MT program they reserve the right to ask for an earlier acceptance date. I explained that students applying for MT programs are in the position to go above and beyond the typical college application process because of the competitiveness of this field. As a result, there is an extrodinary amount of time and money that goes into filling out the many applications and the expense of going on auditions. Therefore it is only fair, that one is alloted the time to see the results of these efforts before making any decisions. I also spoke with the financial aid office asking how we could be asked to make a decision without even having any financial award letters to look over? Apparently, you are suppose to just use the cost of attendance as your only knowledge of costs.
I would rather not get into any conflicts with this school as it may very well be where I will attend. Therefore,I just decided to go ahead and accept, and should know within a week or so if my other offer will come through.</p>

<p>"They must grant you this extension and your request may not jeopardize your status for admission"</p>

<p>They are relying on the May 1st date as just applying to "admission" and trying to carve out some unfair exception. I would argue your "status" is as a MT Major and they are threatening to jeopardize that. </p>

<p>Unfortunately this is a terrible way to start off a relationship with your future school. It is also, in my opinion, shocking that an institution of higher learning would pull this. </p>

<p>If anyone rejects this college I hope you report them so that they cannot try this in the future.</p>

<p>Soozievt, </p>

<p>I am aware of the convention of the May 1st reply date. My point is that date has no actual legal force. You cannot, for example, be sued for breech of contract if you commit, then choose not to attend. Neither would a student be able to sue for scholarship money if the offer was only open until April 15th. It is necessary, of course, to have some conventions in play, else wise chaos would ensue. However, there are colleges with rolling admissions, there are colleges that have internal deadlines on scholarship money that are independent of the May 1st convention. I agree the policy is likely to be known by every serious program in the US - and adhered to by many - but not universal.</p>

<p>But my real point was to answer the initial question - that answer is that there is no legal force that compels anyone to attend a school even if some commitment was made.</p>

<p>To the OP and others, permit me to put my lawyer's hat on for a moment. I actually had occasion to research the issue of the binding nature of college offers of acceptance and student acceptance of the offers both with respect to RD and ED. Without getting into all the details and legal doctrines involved, neither an offer by a school nor an acceptance of the offer by the student creates a legally binding and enforceable contract for either RD or ED. There are a ton of cases in a multitude of states involving issues of college "acceptances" which make this clear. As a matter of contract law, either party can change their minds. (A school can not "change its mind for reasons that are prohibited under the various discrimination laws, but that's not what we are talking about here.) This, of course, has nothing to do with the ethics or morality of doing so which is driven often by the specific facts. I am also not addressing issues of financial aid agreements which are a whole other matter (and can be binding against a school). I am talking simply about an offer of admission made by a school and a student's acceptance of that offer. Again, as a matter of contract law, there is no binding and enforceable contract.</p>

<p>There can, obviously, be some practical ramifications. A school is in the position of taking "punitive" action, when a student "backs out" of an acceptance, such as "blacklisting" the student's high school or attempting to notify other colleges to which a student has applied that the student reneged on ED Which could result in RD offers being rescinded. But this also is beyond the scope of the OP's inquiry.</p>

<p>Bottom line, the OP is being put in an unfair position by a school that knows it is attempting to pressure the OP to walk away from potentially better financial packages. The school knows that it is in violation of the National Reply Date policy and is acting in callous disregard for the student's interests and welfare. In many respects, the school has abandoned basic concepts by which educators should be guided and instead is acting no different than any other mercenary business looking to preserve its own pecuniary interests at the expense of others. So I say, screw 'em; the OP should do what is necessary to protect his or her interests.</p>

<p>Hey Michael - in your spare time send citations on the offer-acceptance-consideration college acceptance cases. :) Sounds interesting</p>