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Schools Retracting Acceptance Offer to Graduate School - Consequences?

  • Thread starter MPKU
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I applied to universities X and Y. University X got back to me quickly and I visited and was relatively pleased with my visit. Recently I accepted this offer at X University, since University Y said I was wait listed.

University Y says that they will have a couple of positions open, and they will e-mail the 'wait-listers' to let them know, and the position will be given out on a first come first serve basis.

I REALLY would like an opportunity to look at University Y, I believe the program is slightly better and there is more faculty. I'm not really set in my ways on research, but have a general idea, so the breath of University Y's department would help.

I plan on accepting the offer at University Y (assuming it will be there, and I will be first come) and then shortly after arranging a visit. Assuming all goes well I would keep the offer at University Y and retract my confirmation of acceptance at University X. If the visit was awful, I would tell University Y I would not feel morally or personally good about this, but this is a huge decision, and as much as it would pain me to go against my commitment, it would pain me more to give up a more fruitful opportunity.

Would I be reprimanded for this action? I didn't sign any papers or anything confirming my acceptance.. I only sent an e-mail.
 
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You wont be reprimanded aside from being inconsiderate. Acceptance of offers even through emails are supposed to be more than "feelers"
 

Physics_UG

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This is unavoidable, especially when some universities have such early decision deadlines.
 

Vanadium 50

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I don't know what Physics_UG is talking about. The deadline is April 15th for the vast majority of schools in the US (members of the Council of Graduate Schools) if support is involved.
 
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I don't know what Physics_UG is talking about. The deadline is April 15th for the vast majority of schools in the US (members of the Council of Graduate Schools) if support is involved.
Agree.
 

Physics_UG

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I don't know what Physics_UG is talking about. The deadline is April 15th for the vast majority of schools in the US (members of the Council of Graduate Schools) if support is involved.
that's right. I forgot it is april 15th today.
 

Physics_UG

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Not sure why the OP felt the need to accept his offer from university X so quickly then.

Also, I have had universities accept me back in February and require a decision by early march. This kind of thing makes it difficult when the student has other admission decisions pending.
 
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Grad admissions policies are different than undegrad admissions policies. I would wait until you go through the complete process or risk making comments which ignore general facts such as the April 15th deadline of the council of grad schools.

A school outside of the council of grad schools doesnt have to follow the April 15th deadline but everyone outside of the bottom schools is part of the council

The council has 500+ members.

https://www.cgsnet.org/institutional-members-us-and-canada [Broken]

If the school is outside the list of top 150+ school. Realistically they are probably very flexible.
 
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Physics_UG

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Grad admissions policies are different than undegrad admissions policies. I would wait until you go through the complete process or risk making comments which ignore general facts such as the April 15th deadline of the council of grad schools.

A school outside of the council of grad schools doesnt have to follow the April 15th deadline but everyone outside of the bottom schools is part of the council

The council has 500+ members.

https://www.cgsnet.org/institutional-members-us-and-canada [Broken]

If the school is outside the list of top 150+ school. Realistically they are probably very flexible.
Yes, my experience was for grad admissions. My username (physics_UG) tends to mislead people, but I am no longer an undergraduate. The school I applied to was top 100 so it might not be a part of the council.

edit: The university I applied to is a part of the council, yet they wanted me to make a decision much earlier than April 15th.
 
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Physics_UG

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"In those instances in which a student accepts an offer before April 15, and subsequently desires to withdraw that acceptance, the student may submit in writing a resignation of the appointment at any time through April 15. However, an acceptance given or left in force after April 15 commits the student not to accept another offer without first obtaining a written release from the institution to which a commitment has been made. Similarly, an offer by an institution after April 15 is conditional on presentation by the student of the written release from any previously accepted offer. It is further agreed by the institutions and organizations subscribing to the above Resolution that a copy of this Resolution or a link to the URL should accompany every scholarship, fellowship, traineeship, and assistantship offer."

https://www.cgsnet.org/april-15-resolution

According to this, it is fine to turn down an offer you have previously accepted if before April 15th. After April 15th has passed you may not. Of course you cannot be penalized for this but it is considered inconsiderate.
 
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edit: The university I applied to is a part of the council, yet they wanted me to make a decision much earlier than April 15th.
All universities want you to make a decision as soon as possible it simply doesnt mean much since you dont have to make a decision. Making a decision that you didnt even have to make and then backing out of it is the inconsiderate part.
 

Physics_UG

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All universities want you to make a decision as soon as possible it simply doesnt mean much since you dont have to make a decision. Making a decision that you didnt even have to make and then backing out of it is the inconsiderate part.
We don't know the OP's specific circumstances. Perhaps he accepted school X's offer because they set a specific deadline far earlier than April 15th. There is nothing wrong with backing out if another school that is a better match for him makes an offer if it is by the end of April 15th.
 
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Sorry for the confusion. The problem is they are making the offer (possible offer) tomorrow, on the 16th. Not that I want to be inconsiderate, but if the school is a better match, then I would find it hard to turn down that offer.
 

Physics_UG

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I don't know what Physics_UG is talking about. The deadline is April 15th for the vast majority of schools in the US (members of the Council of Graduate Schools) if support is involved.
Many grad programs impose a deadline much earlier than April 15th...and yes, they are members of the Council of Graduate Schools. It is perfectly fine to retract any offers to such schools if a better offer comes up before April 15th. The very organization you refer to specifically states this on their website.
 

Physics_UG

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Sorry for the confusion. The problem is they are making the offer (possible offer) tomorrow, on the 16th. Not that I want to be inconsiderate, but if the school is a better match, then I would find it hard to turn down that offer.
If university Y makes an offer and you find it a better fit I think you should go for it. university X will get over it. Technically you are not supposed to retract an offer after the 15th but it is partly their fault for making their final decision after the 15th.
 
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I just wasn't sure if there were any legal ramifications or if any thing PHYSICALLY prevents me from doing this. I know that the applications for these institutions are all linked from a common provider/site/host (not sure what you would call it).
 
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If university Y makes an offer and you find it a better fit I think you should go for it. university X will get over it. Technically you are not supposed to retract an offer after the 15th but it is partly their fault for making their final decision after the 15th.
University Y's deadline was the same as X's.....

I guess they extended it to people on the waitlist?
 

Physics_UG

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I just wasn't sure if there were any legal ramifications or if any thing PHYSICALLY prevents me from doing this. I know that the applications for these institutions are all linked from a common provider/site/host (not sure what you would call it).
There are definitely no legal ramifications. I wouldn't worry about it.
 
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Do what's best for you. I did a similar thing when I was trying to decide where to go.
 

Physics_UG

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Actually, over half of the graduate schools I applied to (and that are members of the grad school council) had decision deadlines months before April 15th. They didn't simply encourage you to make a decision but had a specific deadline. Are these schools all breaking the rules?
 

Vanadium 50

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If by legal ramifications you mean "can they handcuff me and drag me to prison?" the answer is no. If you mean "can they withdraw my support?" the answer is absolutely yes.
 
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Actually, over half of the graduate schools I applied to (and that are members of the grad school council) had decision deadlines months before April 15th. They didn't simply encourage you to make a decision but had a specific deadline. Are these schools all breaking the rules?
Every school applied to didnt even have decisions "made" months (2/3+ months) before April 15th. Most schools have application deadlines in Dec/Jan I dont see how they could turn over decisions quickly enough to have decisions made months before April.
 

Physics_UG

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Every school applied to didnt even have decisions "made" months (2/3+ months) before April 15th. Most schools have application deadlines in Dec/Jan I dont see how they could turn over decisions quickly enough to have decisions made months before April.
Perhaps a month...not months as I stated earlier. One school I applied to had a deadline December 25th and had made admission decisions mid january. They had a deadline to accept the offer by the end of February. I am surprised they are doing this. If there is a school like this that you applied to and a better offer comes a month after you accept I wouldn't feel bad to retract the offer and accept a new offer.

I am not trying to argue with you....I am just pointing out that just because some schools agree (that are in the council of grad schools) to require students to decide April 15th doesn't mean they actually do.
 

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