No, not lying about finances, but just willing to back out because the offer isn’t palatable enough even if it meets EFC. This is my example: we allowed our D18 to ED to Wash U. We had a bit of need then. Our EFC was about 1/3 the COA of Wash U at the time. I called the admissions office to go over the ED agreement before we signed it. I was told by the representative that the decision as to whether or not the financial offer is acceptable falls totally on the parents. Even if the school thinks it’s a fair offer, they go by what the parents think and accept. In my D18’s situation, she was deferred and then denied, but this was a very big deal to us at the time.
Now, I believe, parents/students are more willing to do exactly what the Wash U rep told me – they want out when they realize a safety private school just gave my kid $100,000 over 4 years, and this ED school is full pay. But it’s not a new realization. It’s brazen because they know this at the beginning of the process. Read the fine print, talk to admissions, and right now, you can get out just because you think the offer isn’t good enough. 3-5 years ago, I don’t think it was this common to pull out of ED. But since admissions has gotten all that much more difficult, people are more brazen.