Can I withdraw from a US college and enroll in a UK college?


I have been offered a place at both a US liberal arts college and a UK university. As the deadline for acceptance for the US university is May 15th, I felt I had to commit and therefore made a deposit. However, the UK university has a stronger CS department and their deadline to enroll is 10th June. Whether I get into the UK university is hugely dependent on my certain IB grade requirements which would be released on 5th July.

I am facing a dilemma in that the US liberal arts college has practically offered me a financial package where I would practically be graduating debt-free after 4-5 years even though I am an international student, whilst despite being a home applicant, going to the UK university would mean I would have 70K debt. The main issue is that the computer science department of the UK university is very strong and has a strong reputation whereas if I were to go to the US liberal arts college, I would be studying for a bachelor’s in Computer science and then transferring to an engineering school for the next 2.

I would like to find out whether it is possible to 'wait and see what my IB grades are and then commit officially. What do you guys think I should do?

You only have a conditional offer to the UK university, so it is perfectly justified to commit to the US school while you wait for your results. If you know you got in to the UK university in July, it’s like getting off the waitlist at a US college, if you pick the new one, you withdraw from the old one, forfeiting the deposit. It’s called summer melt and is, up to a point, expected.

However, if you do get into the UK university, it sounds like you can’t afford it.

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Hi, thanks for the reply.

Upon enrolling at the US college, I deposited around 500 bucks. Most answers I have read seem to suggest that I would lose my deposit which I am content with. I can “afford” going into the UK university (eligible for student loan+ maintenance loan) but given the unpredictability with how grades will be given by the IB, I am being cautious since there is an offside chance I might fail to meet the entry requirements. From what I gather, US colleges are generally more flexible with regards to grades.

Anyway, I am pretty sure that regardless of the college, it is up to me to have a positive experience.

Once again, thank you for the assurance.

What you are proposing is actually entirely usual for US students with conditional offers to UK unis - and yes, if you meet your offer you will lose the $500 deposit. Good luck!

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Thank you!
I feel much better now.

BTW, while I tend to prefer studying CS in the US (which tend to be more project-heavy than CS courses in the UK, though granted, that is changing now), do note that for that 3-2 program, fin aid for that last 2 years is NOT guaranteed.

Yea this was something that annoyed me as an international applicant). Whereas I could be studying informatics at Edinburgh university (5-year course with masters) as opposed to completing 2 bachelor degrees in liberal arts + engineering.

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Plus, which, 4 years in a subject at a good Scottish uni (3 years in a good English one) would already cover as much material as a major+1Y masters in a subject in the US (difference between English and Scottish is that the Scots give you about a year’s worth of slots to take other classes too).

The liberal arts part can still be technical. CS+CompE is a popular combination. But the greater concern is that the last 2 years likely would not be covered by fin aid.

One point to consider is that the great FA package at the LAC won’t transfer to the engineering university. Can you afford full pay for those last two years?