Backing out of Virginia Tech Early Decision

Hello! I am a student who was recently accepted Early Decision into Virginia Tech as an architecture major, but off late I have been having some doubts about my decision due to financial concerns and my twin brother’s pending college acceptance (along with my general tendency to overthink things). I am totally at fault here, I was completely aware of the conditions of applying ED before I did it, but at the time (a couple months ago) I really did want to attend Virginia Tech, and still really do. However, in retrospect I think it would have been better to apply Early Action, which I primarily didn’t do because I felt I would be yield protected as I have pretty good stats and am from Northern Virginia. Any who, my reason for this post was to mainly figure if there is any possibility that I could email Tech and inquire about the chance of my acceptance getting deferred to Early Action, meaning I would still have my spot, but it would be like I got accepted EA and not be bound to attend as opposed to ED. Is this crazy? Is this something that colleges do/ have done in the past? Furthermore, if this is not possible, would it be viable to withdraw after paying my deposit?

TL;DR → Because I have been having second thoughts, is there any chance that my ED acceptance be deferred to EA. Or, is there room to back out once I have paid my deposit and enrolled?

Any insight is greatly appreciated, but please no hate! I am totally aware that it is not a great look to back out of ED and that this is a less than ideal situation completely inflicted my me :frowning:

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After acceptances, when you back out of ED you are typically walking away from that option. Go into any communication with the understanding that not having the option to go to VT is a possible outcome. You are asking to get out of a contractual agreement and you need to give a reason.

Prior to acceptances may have been okay to request a switch.

What are your other options out there that are more affordable? Did you get accepted somewhere else that is a backup.

Thank you for your response! I was accepted with a full ride to VCU, which is what would be my backup, but I’m also waiting on some schools that I feel confident I will get into and get good financial aid. So as for paying the deposit/enrolling and then backing out with good reason, do you think would that be possible? I understand that that is a sure no with higher-ranked colleges, but I was just wondering if it would be the same case with VT.

The question I would have - and I don’t know the answer - as both are public schools and within the same state, would Va Tech share this with other schoos and could that impact your offer at VCU?

Most, if not all colleges, lose kids on ED and per many articles on the Internet, it is not “legally” binding. But there can be consequences.

It sounds like you tried to game the system and lost - i.e. you didn’t realize VCU would come so strongly. But frankly, that shouldn’t have mattered based on the decision you made.

I would, once you decide for sure you want to go to VCU, call your admission officer, explain the situation without offering up where you plan to enroll, and ask the consequence. You can let them know you have siblings and made a hasty decision and yes you received a full tuition offer that you did not expect and it will be much easier on your family financially. See what they say?

In the end, if you want to be at VCU, you can likely be at VCU. Yes, it’s not right - but mistakes happen - you’re human.

But for anyone reading - be very very careful before you agree to a binding decision. There can be repercussions for you and for future students at your HS. Your HS will likely be informed of the behavior - again, not sure they can/will do anything but it can impact future students there.

Good luck to you

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You can back out of ED for financial reasons. What will you study though? VCU doesn’t have Architecture.


Sounds like OP is anticipating some additional acceptances with good FA, VCU won’t be the only option and wants the opportunity to compare offers.

It never hurts to ask, but technically the only way out is if you can’t afford it. Being able to afford a school is not dependent on any other school’s financial package. It’s a yes or no answer for the school in question.


@Maria_Maple Are you having second thoughts about committing to VA Tech or about committing to the the Bachelor of Architecture? If it’s the BArch that is giving you cold feet, then I think you may be able to convince VA Tech to give you some more time to consider your options.

The BArch is a demanding and narrow degree path, and the drop out rate is high. Schools of architecture are aware of this and are usually open to responding to prospective students’ concerns.

VCU has a very strong art department, but, as pointed out, VCU doesn’t offer the BArch or, as far as I know, any degree in architecture. With an art degree from VCU you could always get an MArch from another school, including VA Tech.

If you’re not 100% sold on architecture, then then the BA/BS/BFA+MArch might be a better route than the BArch. UVA’s BS+MArch would be a good alternative, but there are plenty of other options.


It will not be possible to switch your application at this stage as you have already been accepted. If you are able to get out of your ED contract, you will have to attend college somewhere else.

Since Va Tech is public, I do not know if they will share this info with other VA publics and what other repercussions it might have.

Finally why did you apply ED to Va Tech? It doesn’t even appear to give an advantage.

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I agree with the others that you can’t change VT’s app to EA, your only choice is to move on.

If you must break the ED contract, talk to your HS GC about it first, you know, the one who also signed the ED contract. At the very least, you owe them an honest explanation. Good luck.


Great advice. The only caveat is that you’ll want to add the prices up. BS + M.Arch is equivalent to B.Arch. The advantage is it’s more flexible. The disadvantage is that it takes more time and could cost even more.


I don’t see switching to EA as an option since you’ve already been accepted.

As others have said, the ED decision is not legally binding, but it was a decision you knowingly took, so please either stick with it or contact VT and decline the offer and move on. The thing I am not understanding is… aren’t you supposed to withdraw all other applications once you are accepted ED? It really isn’t fair to other applicants at both VT and the other schools you applied to that you are playing this game of “maybe something better will come along.” You sort of gave up that option when you decided to apply ED. If you truly do not want to go to VT, then you have your answer… If you are just unsure because something better might come along, then I wish you had been given better advice from your counselor and parents before signing on for ED.

I wish you the best with your decision! I understand how huge these decisions are and you have to make them at 17-18 years old. Just know that, if you put the work in, you can succeed anywhere.


For what it’s worth, Virginia Tech was one of the schools mentioned in this article from 2016. The director of undergraduate admissions said then that the school doesn’t try to punish students who break an ED agreement.


I would imagine a large public school would care less than a private. Not many publics even offer it. . We sat in the Va Tech info session and if I recall the # of kids who applied ED was small. If I recall there was negligible advantage.

Also they clearly state on their website that if your decision to attend is based on finances, apply early action.

It’s wrong to back out. It’s the principle of it. But the OP won’t be the first nor last who does it.

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According to the 1st spreadsheet on the website linked below, Va Tech had an ED acceptance rate of 58.5% and an RD acceptance of 66.4%.

Yep. Negligible. But they showed the quantity by plan in the info session we went to. I want to say…if memory serves correct…it was under 1k.

But as I read it, the OP has accepted the offer from VT. A condition of accepting the offer is withdrawing all other applications. There should be no pending acceptances at this point.


I mainly applied ED because at the time it truly was the only school out of my list that I could see myself going to, and I wanted to know my decision early so I wouldn’t have to worry that much about the rest of my senior year. I also felt as if I would not get in because I am much more qualified than most applicants and I’m from Northern Virginia, and last year they yield protected NoVa applicants like mad so I felt as if I wouldn’t get in EA

If you make the deposit to VT, you are supposed to withdraw ALL of your other applications and decline any other acceptances.

You seem to want it both ways…that can’t happen.

You CAN decline the ED acceptance and you can give finances as your reason (with twins heading to college at the same time…this would be understood).

But don’t expect VT to give you a EA or RD admissions spot. Your acceptance is an ED acceptance…you can either accept…or decline.


Thank you so much everyone for your responses! Although they mostly confirmed what I already knew, it was good to get some outside input. Virginia Tech is a fantastic school for architecture and it is definitely somewhere that I could see myself at and somewhere where I would like to genuinely go, I was just having some last-minute jitters. The main thing now is whether or not my brother will get in, but I understand there’s not much I can do about that. At this point, I feel confident in my decision to go there, and I know that I will always have the option to transfer if I don’t end up liking it after all.